The Princess Bride
Title: The Princess
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
Commentary by screenwriter
New "As You Wish"
Documentary, featuring interviews with cast and crew
Cary Elwes' video
& 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.
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
We recommend this
one whole-heartedly. Unlike more than a few special editions on the
shelves, The Princess Bride proves worth the attention.
it here for $22.48.