The Princess Bride

Title: The Princess Bride
Rating: PG
Release Date: September, 2001
Running Time: approximately 98 minutes
Ten-second Rundown: A pirate, a princess, a swordsman, and a giant all join together in a battle for true love.
Version: Special Edition

  • Commentary by director Rob Reiner

  • Commentary by screenwriter William Goldman

  • New "As You Wish" Documentary, featuring interviews with cast and crew

  • Cary Elwes' video diary

  • photo gallery

  • Theatrical trailers & TV spots

  • Choice Scene:"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

    Tech Specs: anamorphic widescreen, aspect ratio 16:9, English 5.1 surround sound, Spanish mono, subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.

    As too often happens, The Princess Bride was one of those movies that defied marketers' abilities to tell people they wanted to see it. Instead, it found its deserved life on video. Like The Wizard of Oz, its reputation has only grown over the 14 years since its release, to the point that it may already be fair to call it a classic film.

    Though already released once on DVD, MGM has put together a "Special Edition," giving fans of the movie a real treat.

    For those who have no idea why I gush, The Princess Bride tells the story of Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright, pre-Penn), the most beautiful woman in all the kingdom, and her love for Wesley the Farm Boy (Cary Elwes, who should have had a better career as a result). But this is no ordinary romance. Working closely from William Goldman's adaptation of his own novel, Rob Reiner directed a perfect cast with a skewed vision, combining action, intrigue, swashbuckling, Andre The Giant and Rodents Of Unusual Size.

    On top of that, Billy Crystal gave one of the best performances of his career as Miracle Max, the retired court magician. After seeing it, you will understand why he is so highly regarded in the business, even after Mr. Saturday Night.

    To make this edition special, MGM enlisted both Goldman and Reiner to provide commentary tracks. And yes, they are two separate tracks. Luckily, the film only gets better on repeated viewings. Though faded from popularity in recent years (with good reason, considering his last couple of films), Reiner is a sharp director with a lot of insight into the creative process. His commentary proves interesting, but Goldman makes the better listen.

    After all, the project started with Goldman as a gift to his daughters. He had wrestled with the story for years before Reiner came along, and had witnessed more than one false start on a film adaptation. In addition to having much to say about the final product, he can and does compare it to other visions that almost happened. (Norman Jewison's take on the framing sequence sounds cool, and yet so wrong.)

    Goldman repeats some of the same observations in the brand new documentary "As You Wish." These kinds of extras tend to be annoying and self-serving, but again, the movie really is as good as the assembled cast and crew remember it to be. While Mandy Patinkin (Inigo Montoya) tends toward cloying, that feeling dissipates as they all reminisce about Andre The Giant. For wrestling fans, the documentary gives a glimpse of the man that the WWF cannot, and it is truly moving.

    As for the film itself, the transfer is crisp and vibrant. Mark Knopfler's brilliant score does not get lost in the mix; you haven't heard his guitar work so clearly since the theatrical release, provided you saw it in a decent theater.

    We recommend this one whole-heartedly. Unlike more than a few special editions on the shelves, The Princess Bride proves worth the attention.

    Buy it here for $22.48.

    Derek McCaw


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