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Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Princess Bride

There are a handful of movies that I consider perfect movies. With the ones on that list, I brook no nonsense from critics who nitpick over perfection.  I figured I'd start off my review columns with the best. You'll notice I'm not terribly interested in being current as a critic. My reviews will be more tailored to folk who watch old favorite movies and don't care for screenwriters who don't know how to write an English sentence that doesn't contain nouns, verbs, or adjectives that don't begin with "F".

The Princess Bride, by author and screenwriter, William Goldman, is one of those movies on my perfect movie list
. It's one of those where you find yourself quoting dialogue from it at odd times and watching it sometimes when you just need to see the best danged sword fight since Errol Flynn.

And the dialogue was incredible. I steal lines from The Princess Bride all the time. The lines are wonderful.

Great lines include: 

Buttercup: You mock my pain!
Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

Inigo Montoya: You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you.
The Man in Black: You seem a decent fellow. I hate to die.

Valerie: The chocolate coating makes it go down easier. But you have to wait fifteen minutes for full potency. And you shouldn’t go in swimming after, for at least, what? Miracle Max: An hour?
Valerie: Yeah, an hour.

Prince Humperdinck: Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I’ve got my country’s 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I’m swamped.
Count Rugen: Get some rest. If you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything.

Miracle Max: Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT – mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe. They’re so perky, I love that.

Vizzini: Finish him. Finish him, your way.
Fezzik: Oh good, my way. Thank you Vizzini… what’s my way?
Vizzini: Pick up one of those rocks, get behind a boulder, in a few minutes the man in black will come running around the bend, the minute his head is in view, hit it with the rock.
Fezzik: My way’s not very sportsman-like.

Vizzini: He didn’t fall?! Inconceivable!
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

 Vizzini: You fell victim to one of the classic blunders—the most famous of which is, “Never get involved in a land war in Asia”—but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line”! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha…[thunk].

Best sword fight ever...

Three Pineapples for the Princess Bride
Inigo Montoya: Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father! Prepare to die!
Count Rugen: Stop saying that!
Inigo Montoya: Offer me money.
Count Rugen: Yes!
Inigo Montoya: Power, too, promise me that.
Count Rugen: All that I have and more. Please…
Inigo Montoya: Offer me anything I ask for.
Count Rugen: Anything you want…
Inigo Montoya: I want my father back, you son of a bitch!

Fezzik: We face each other as God intended. Sportsmanlike. No tricks, no weapons, skill against skill alone.
Man in Black: You mean, you’ll put down your rock and I’ll put down my sword, and we’ll try and kill each other like civilized people?
Fezzik: [brandishing rock] I could kill you now.
Man in Black: Frankly, I think the odds are slightly in your favor at hand fighting.
Fezzik: It’s not my fault being the biggest and the strongest. I don’t even exercise.

The Princess Bride is written and flows visually like a prose poem. There is a rhythm to it, a kind of song-like quality. The opening and closing are the overture and postlude and carry the viewer into the story, peak into it from outside along the way and then tucks you in at the end. It's the loveliest film I know for when you just want to smile for a couple of hours.
So, bye bye boys. Have fun storming the castle!

© 2017 by Tom King


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