Friday 12 January 2024


Goodness only knows what took me so long! Only 37 years after its release, I finally watched (and loved) Rob Reiner's 1987 film of William Goldman's book, The Princess Bride


Well, there it is: life is a successions of possible discoveries: some are made early on, others made rather later than we might have wished and, of course, quite a few get missed altogether. So, I'm never ashamed about making discoveries that fall into the 'Better Late Than Never' category.

And what's not to enjoy about this magical film? As (probably) most people reading this will know, it features Robin Wright and Cary Elwes as the pretty young lovers – the latter also demonstrating a formidable talent for swashbuckling Errol Flynn-Doug Fairbanks-style swordsmanship in that exhilarating sequence in which he and his well-matched duelist, Mandy Patinkin, demonstrate their fencing skills – right-handed and left-handed! A truly heroic episode.

On the 'Boo-Hiss' side of things there's an delightfully odious Prince-portrayal by Chris Sarandon and succulent, sneering villainy from Christopher Guest that is reminiscent of Basil Rathbone as Sir Guy of Gisbourne in The Adventures of Robin Hood or the Lord Ravenhurst in The Court Jester.  

Then there are glorious Pythonesque comic turns from Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, Mel Smith and Peter Cook; and we really mustn't forget the (literally) larger than life presence of Andre the Giant (French-born wrestler, André René Roussimoff, popularly known at the time as 'The Eighth Wonder of the World') playing... well... the Giant... Nor can we overlook the smaller, more intimate companionship of Peter Falk, whose endearing and reassuring performance as the storytelling grandfather holds the whole narrative together and, in so doing, 'sells' the film. Oh, yes... and there's also a lively medieval-cum-'Eighties score by Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler! 

How can I have I denied myself all these rare and fine pleasures for so many years? Never mind, now (time willing) I will be able to enjoy them some... several... possible many times more!

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