The Princess Bride turns 30!

Although Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman’s novel preceded the film, my first experience of romantic comedy fairytale The Princess Bride (1987) was on a small screen. I missed it at the cinema as it came out during a period in which I rarely went – but I did rent the VHS video from my local blockbuster – those were the days eh?

This viewing was also the first time I saw Mandy Patinkin (right) on screen – and I’m sorry, he may have been a great surgeon in Chicago Hope, a loyal CIA chief in Homeland, but in my head, and heart, he will always be the Spanish fencer from  The Princess Bride whose catchphrase is:

Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

I loved it then, but can remember thinking that Mel Smith as the Albino was rather strange casting!   Watching it once more, I was charmed all over again and giggled my way through. Another delight is Peter Falk as the grandfather reading the book to his sick grandson, talking of whom, he has a classic reaction when Buttercup finally realises that she loves Westley;

The Grandson: Is this a kissing book?

My old paperback’s cover

I read Goldman’s original novel after seeing the film. It was published in 1973 so precedes the film by some years. The fairytale within is essentially similar, but Goldman uses a different framing device for the book within the book. It’s less cinematic than having Peter Falk as the grandfather,  but as tongue in cheek meta-fiction, it hits the spot. Goldman puts himself into the framing story as the ill child and his father reads him a book by S.Morgernstern called The Princess Bride.  Goldman is telling us this years later after having searched out and abridged S.Morgentern’s book. This is all totally made up of course, and is Goldman’s creation.

Both book and film are modern classics – and having revisited the film, I’m looking forward to re-reading the book now too.

Source: Review copies – Thank you!

The Princess Bride 30th Anniversary Edition is out on DVD/Blu-ray and the novel published in paperback by Bloomsbury

5 thoughts on “The Princess Bride turns 30!

  1. bookbii says:

    I love the movie, but still have never got around to reading the book. Maybe one day! Mandy Patinkin is a cool actor. Also good in Criminal Minds and Dead Like Me.

  2. Calmgrove says:

    The book is curious but brilliant (especially the metafictional stuff) but I chickened out of reviewing it at the time. Another book for the reread pile!

  3. Jo says:

    This is a really random thing to ask so long after you made this post but I really hope you see! When I was younger I had that same book cover! I honestly thought I was going mad from searching the internet and never finding a single cover of the princess bride matching that one! Do you know why it doesn’t exist online?! If my boyfriend hadn’t stumbled upon your lovely blog I would still be searching the night away!

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Glad to be of service Jo. I think I got the cover on the online cataloguing site I use ( where users upload millions of more obscure covers – or maybe I scanned it myself – can’t honestly remember.

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