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The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride is a novel by William Goldman. The premise of the book is that it is not Goldman's original work, but an abridgement of an older version by S. Morgenstern, which was originally a satire of the excesses of European royalty. Goldman, however, remembered the book from being told it by his grandfather as an exciting adventure tale, without the complex political overtones. His work is a recreation of the abridgement of his grandfather. In fact, the book is entirely Goldman's original work, and Morgenstern and his "original version" never existed. Neither does Goldman's family as described in the book. He has two daughters, not a son, and his wife is not a psychologist. The countries Florin and Guilder do not exist and never have.

The book was made into a movie in 1987, directed by Rob Reiner from a screenplay by Goldman. The incidental music was composed by Mark Knopfler. In the movie, the story is presented as a fairy tale being read by a grandfather (Peter Falk) to his sick grandson (Fred Savage), thus echoing the book's narrative style. The film stars Robin Wright (who is now Robin Wright-Penn) and Cary Elwes.


Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers

The heroine of The Princess Bride is the beautiful Buttercup (played by Robin Wright in the movie), who falls in love with her lowly stable boy Westley (Cary Elwes). Westley leaves to make his fortune, promising to return, but his ship is attacked at sea by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who is notorious for taking no prisoners. Fearing him dead, Buttercup eventually agrees to marry Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon).

Buttercup is kidnapped by a bizarre trio of outlaws, the stunted genius Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), the expert swordsman Inigo Montoya (the superb Mandy Patinkin), and the enormous and enormously strong Fezzik (the late Andre the Giant). Westley returns just in time to rescue Buttercup, and must defeat all three of her captors in order to do so. The two escape the kidnappers, only to be captured by Prince Humperdinck and the menacing Count Rugen (Christopher Guest). Buttercup is returned to the palace to await her wedding - which, now that Westley is back, she no longer desires - and Westley is taken by Count Rugen to the Pit of Despair, where he is tended to by an albino (Mel Smith).

In the ensuing action, Westley again encounters Inigo Montoya and Fezzik, as well as Miracle Max, a washed up wizard, and his wife Valerie, who are played in the movie by Billy Crystal and Carol Kane. As you might suspect, the good guys win, and the bad guys get their comeuppance.

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