Posts Tagged ‘Princess Bride’

Can't get enough of 'The Princess Bride'

Can’t get enough of ‘The Princess Bride’

 

It just so happens August 12 marks two monumental events. First, the author of “The Princess Bride” was born this day in 1931. Happy birthday to American novelist, playwright and Academy Award-winning screenwriter William Goldman, the man who introduced us to Wesley and Buttercup’s unquenchable love that can’t be stopped by death, Inigo Montoya’s vengeance for the seven-fingered man, and the fearsome Cliffs of Insanity.

Goldman’s book feels like an old friend to me. In the four times I’ve read it, twice I’ve whizzed through the 398 pages in a day. The high adventure and true love are that good. Perhaps you’ve read the book? I’m ready to bet you’ve seen the 1987 movie – and can quote it on cue. Am I right? Here’s a sampling you may know by heart:

Westley: As you wish.

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

Vizinni: Inconcievable.
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Miracle Max: Get back, witch.
Valerie: I’m not a witch, I’m your wife. But after what you just said, I’m not even sure I want to be that any more.

What the Movie’s Missing from the Book

First, the whole title of the book is “S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure: The Princess Bride” and the book you’d buy on Amazon or find at the library  is the “good parts version” abridged by William Goldman. Did you know it’s (kinda) an abridgement?

You see, two stories happen while you’re in Guilder and Florin; Goldman shares the history of the Florinese author Morgenstern (which he so wittily makes up) and you also get glimpses into Goldman’s real life (or at least what he shares in his asides about his famous shrink wife and fat kid in drawn-out parentheses. Goldman must be the best in the world at it…don’t they have a Nobel Prize for things like that? I mean, not just anybody can make the parantheses be an art form, but he does. We really ought to petition the Nobel committee…You’ve just read my feeble attempt to mirror the great Goldman’s asides.) Goldman never fails to make me laugh out loud.

The book reveals the history of the characters, like young Inigo Montoya training for years to became the world’s greatest swordsman and defend his father’s honor. We see Fezzik the Giant, the gargantuan dim-wit who would rhyme all day (hey) if his parents didn’t make him wrestle for money. And although there have been “five great kisses since 1642 B.C., when Saul and Delilah Korn’s inadvertent discovery swept across civilization” Westley and Buttercup’s first kiss “left them all behind” (p. 55).

Making it Personal with Princess Buttercup

Forgive me for a sappy personal moment here, but I have ties to the story. Here’s a quote that summarizes the second monumental event in history on August 12, at least for me:

The Priest: Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam. And wove, twue wove…

It’s Goldman’s birthday today, and also my husband and my wedding anniversary! (Did the stars align when we chose our date, or what?) Reading through the novel for my fourth time as a young wife, my jaw dropped when I read Westley’s explanation to Buttercup about the Dread Pirate Roberts on Page 184:

“‘What I am about to tell you I have never said before and you must guard it closely.’ I of course said I would. ‘I am not the Dread Pirate Roberts,’ he said, ‘my name is Ryan. I inherited this ship from the previous Dread Pirate Roberts just as you will inherit it from me.’ “

You guessed it: My husband’s name is Ryan. Crazy huh? It was only fitting we dressed up as Westley/Dread Pirate Roberts and Buttercup for Halloween.

William Goldman, thanks for sharing “The Princess Bride” with the world. And happy anniversary to my wove, twue wove.

And you, reader friend, I wanna hear it: What’s your favorite part/quote of “The Princess Bride,” either book or movie?