Welcome to ESTA’S ECLECTIC CLASSIC CORNER. These movies have stood the test of time throughout past decades and made a difference in my life. Films that I could watch over and over and still love them as much as the first viewing. They are like “comfort food” for me. Each week I will review a classic that I have loved.
Please note: There will be some spoilers in these reviews. I will have to share some of my favorite scenes and dialogue to back up my personal reflections. I am who l am because of theatre and movies.
Most people don’t know that when I was in my early 40s, I was lucky enough to learn the art of fencing with the Society for Creative Anachronism. It was a dream come true, especially after watching THE PRINCESS BRIDE in 1987. Sword fighting is not easy to accomplish, especially comparing your skills to Westley (Cary Elwes) and Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin). I would practice for hours while wearing my renaissance attire. It is an honorable, chivalrous sport with very few women participating. I worked until I could enter tournaments and battle against others besides my then fiancé, Lord William. I had custom-made swords with my engraved initials carved into the steel. I felt powerful, confident, and feminine. Glorious moments of “having fun while storming the castle.”
THE PRINCESS BRIDE is a cult classic even to this day. It is campy, over-the-top humor wrapped within a story within a story. It is timeless. True love is the theme throughout the film. “Nothing is a more noble cause than true love.” Rob Reiner, the director, wanted to ensure these words were embedded in our hearts as we watched. The unique aspect of THE PRINCESS BRIDE was also delving into all the different types of true love in this world. The love between The Grandfather (Peter Falk), and The Grandson (Fred Savage), was strong. It grew to be an inseparable bond as the story progressed. Westley and Buttercup (Robyn Wright) were mesmerizing together. Buttercup was stunning on screen, and Westley was a handsome, pretty boy who flashed those baby blues and “always came back.” Inigo loved his father more than his own life. His mantra was etched in everyone’s mind as he shouted to the world, “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” “Even death cannot stop true love.”
THE PRINCESS BRIDE has it all. From the cliffs of insanity, the pits of despair, to the fire swamp, oversized rodents, shrieking eels, the dynamic duo of Miracle Max (Billy Crystal) and Valerie (Carol Kane), we are given such amazing, creative details. The viewers are treated to the talent of Fezzik (Andre the Giant) and Vizzini (Wallace Shawn). And how will we ever forget the villain who is as chicken and petty as Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). “Inconceivable.” There are too many phenomenal actors to name them all. It was a dream cast to be sure. How did they ever keep a straight face while filming the opening words to the wedding… ”Marriage…” We all hear that sickening nasal tone in our heads and laugh out loud. So unexpected.
What makes THE PRINCESS BRIDE popular and remembered is the simplicity of it all. Yes, there were a ton of bits performed, but in the end, who can resist a romantic, squash-buckling tale about true love? (With the exception of a good mutton lettuce and tomato sandwich). When I was younger, this movie made me count everyone’s fingers and remember my relatives who would pinch my cheeks to say hello. We were enthralled with the “Dread Pirate Robert.” We wanted to dress like these characters and ride off on horseback into the setting sun.
I have watched THE PRINCESS BRIDE” countless times. It never ceases to entertain, make me smile, laugh, cry, or leave me breathless at the wonder of it all. I dream this big at night and listen for those magical words, “as you wish…”
THE PRINCESS BRIDE is available to stream on DISNEY+.