The Princess Bride: Dread Pirate Edition

DVD Reviews | Jun 12th, 2006

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Starring Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Andre The Giant, Wallace Shawn, Fred Savage, Peter Falk, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, Carol Kane
Written By: William Goldman
Directed By: Rob Reiner
Studio: Sony/MGM
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Let me start by saying if you haven’t seen Princess Bride yet than there is something seriously wrong with you. The Princess Bride could be considered a timeless classic among my generation (you know people that grew up in the 80s). The movie has everything you could ask for in a movie: comedy, action, adventure, romance, scary stuff, and of course Andre the giant!

The Princess Bride starts with a grandfather showing up to read a classic adventure story to his grandson while he is sick from school. The story is about the true love between Buttercup and farm boy Westley. They fall in love & one day Westley leaves, and doesn’t return. Buttercup ends up getting stuck having to marry the evil Prince Humperdinck, but before that happens, she ends up getting kidnapped by 3 bandits. There’s Vizzini, who’s the brains of the trio, there’s Inigo Montoya, a master Spanish swordsman and then there’s Fezzik, the giant who is very strong. As the three kidnappers are sailing away with the Princess, they notice a ship follow them. It’s a masked black pirate who comes to Buttercup’s rescue. To make the long story short, it’s Westley and he’s return to save Buttercup from the bandits & the Prince. But he has to go through the bandits, climb the cliffs of insanity, battle ugly ass rodents in the fire swamp, 6 fingered henchman and the evil Prince.

I must have seen the Princess Bride a trillion times since it first came out in 1987. The story just has everything you can want in a movie. I love action adventure movies and this movie pays homage to that and classic storytelling. There are memorable characters, funny quotes, and exciting scenes of the movie that everyone will love. If you never heard of the “My Name is Inigo Montoya..” line before, than again, there’s something wrong with you. It seems there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t end up using a quote from the movie. I think what I like about the film the most is the sword fighting and the funny dialogue. My favorites scenes are when Westley goes through each of the three kidnappers. Each scene is unique and funny in it’s own way. I almost liked how the movie wasn’t this big budget movie that took itself totally seriously and you can see some mistakes in the production. Like there’s padding on the ground when Inigo & Westley are fighting, and other little things that us movie geeks pick up on. One of the scenes I still can’t stand to watch is the fire swamp. Not that it’s bad or anything, but i’m just scared of those rodents of unusual size! They still scared me to this day and I had to leave the room while the scene was playing. They just freak me out, even though there’s some midget inside of it.

I think another reason why this movie works is it goes back & forth to the storytelling and the story. Once you get back to reality, you find yourself kind of surprised to be back there since you get so wrapped up in the story. I kind of identify with this movie because my Grandfather used to tell me little fantasy stories similar to this. I’m sure every kid had their parents or grandparents read them stories like this, and that’s why people like this movie. Well I think people also like the movie because it’s funny, adventurous, romantic, and just a entertaining movie that you can watch over and over again. The Princess Bride is the type of movies where you might find it on TV somewhere, and just get stuck watching it. It’s a timeless classic of this generation.

This is the first time that the Princess Bride’s DVD is 2 disc (I believe) and the movie has a new transfer. There is still some grain in a lot of the shots but it looks better than the first copy of the Princess Bride I own. I never went out and got the other special editions of the Princess Bride because I was just happy with the movie by itself. I believe most of these extras are from the previous special edition, with a few exceptions. Though the extras are all new to me, I liked the As You Wish documentary the most because it brought back all the cast. They talked about the movie, the characters, filming, and some funny things that happened behind the scenes. Rob Reiner and William Goldman talk about how they got together to make the movie. It was an interesting featurette to watch after the movie. There’s some mockumentary about The Dread Pirate Roberts, which I didn’t think was a mockumentary at first until I saw the British historian covered in makeup. There’s audio commentary with Rob Reiner, and there’s also another track with William Goldman but I haven’t heard them yet. I read that those tracks are from the last DVD though. I ended up playing the Battle of Wits game but it was too easy so I tried to stop playing it halfway through. I couldn’t go back to the main menu, which was annoying. You have to finish the whole game or have to turn the DVD off and start over. Other extras include Cary Elwes home movies, Love is a Storybook Featurette, original 1987 featurette and a few other things.

After not seeing the movie for awhile, it still holds up as one of best movies to come out of 80s, and if not the last 20 (almost 20) years. If you already have the Princess Bride and want a better quality version with some new extras, then this is the DVD version to get. All of the extras aren’t brand new so beware but it’s still a nice collection of bonus features surrounding the movie.

As You Wish: The Story of The Princess Bride Documentary
Dread Pirate Roberts: Greatest Legend Of The Seven Seas Historical Analysis
Original 1987 Featurette
Vintage Making-Of Documentary
Cary Elwes Home Movies
Love Is Like A Storybook Story Featurette
Miraculous Make-Up Featurette
Quotable Battle of Wits Trivia Game
Audio Commentary by Director Rob Reiner
Audio Commentary by Writer William Goldman
Fezzik’s Guide To Florin Collectible Booklet
TV Spots
Theatrical Trailer
International Trailer

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
SPANISH: Dolby Digital Stereo
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Surround

Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)

English, Spanish, French

Favorite Scenes: Westley vs the kidnappers, Miracle Max, Inigo vs the 6 Finger man
Rating: NR
Running Time: 98 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: