9 Things I Noticed Watching 'The Princess Bride'

by Loretta Donelan

It is indisputable: The Princess Bride is one of the most iconic and often-quoted films of the past 50 years. The movie is a comedy adventure fantasy romance; I would say it's one of the best genre-bending films ever made. Though it is in many ways a satire of romantic adventure films, it is never mean in its mockery. The movie clearly cares about its characters, and I think it is as iconic for its heart as it is for its quotable dialogue.

Many people don't know that The Princess Bride, written by William Goldman, is based on a book, also by screenwriter Goldman. Though I loved the book, which includes sections about the making of the film, it confused me quite a bit. Goldman discusses hearing his grandfather read The Princess Bride to him as a child, just as the little boy in the film hears it. Goldman then discusses how he found the original book when he was older, written by S. Morgenstern, and realized that his grandfather had edited out many long passages to make the story more entertaining. It is only after this explanation that the familiar (and "abridged") story or Buttercup and Westley begins. Sad to finish the book, I tried to track down Morgenstern's origins, only to learn that it was a fiction created by Goldman. Re-watching the movie as an adult, I noticed quite a few clever details that I hadn't noticed before, and you might not have either.

1. That Is One Ancient Computer

The most dated part of the movie unfortunately occurs in the first second.

2. Buttercup Is A Blah Character

She is an archetypical damsel in distress, which is probably comedically intentional, but it would have been nice for her to have more to do. Good thing Robin Wright was eventually given much meatier roles.

3. The Name "Prince Humperdink"

I am embarrassed to say that it took me way too long to realize this movie was a comedy when I first watched it.

4. There Is A Lot Of Explanatory Dialogue

In which characters explain the plot in an unrealistic way. This works for comic effect, but it is a little lazy.

5. That's The Landlady From Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt!

"I'm not a witch, I'm your wife."

6. Billy Crystal Played Miracle Max Right Before Playing Harry In When Harry Met Sally

Making the quick transition from total character actor to romantic lead.

7. That Kid Is Not Great At Acting

His enthusiasm for the book is very hard to believe, making his scenes kind of a bummer.

8. Westley Does A LOT Of Mansplaining

His interactions with Buttercup mostly consist of him explaining stuff to her while she remains silent.

9. The Sets Are Less Than Believable

There are some beautiful watercolor backdrops, though!

Images: 20th Century Fox; Giphy