Review: ‘The Princess Bride’

Based on William Goldman's novel, this is a post-modern fairy tale that challenges and affirms the conventions of a genre that may not be flexible enough to support such horseplay.

Based on William Goldman’s novel, this is a post-modern fairy tale that challenges and affirms the conventions of a genre that may not be flexible enough to support such horseplay.

It also doesn’t help that Cary Elwes and Robin Wright as the loving couple are nearly comatose and inspire little passion from each other, or the audience.

Bound together by their love at tender age, young Westley (Elwes) then stableboy, falls in love with his beautiful mistress (Wright), but they’re separated when he goes off to sea on a mission. After years of grieving for him she becomes betrothed to the evil Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) who masterminds her kidnaping to strengthen his own position in the kingdom.

First off, Westley must defeat a trio of kidnapers headed by the diminutive, but slimy, Wallace Shawn. His accomplices are the kind-hearted giant Fezzik (Andre The Giant) and Inigo Montoya, a Spanish warrior (Mandy Patinkin) out to avenge the murder of his father.

Patinkin especially is a joy to watch and the film comes to life when his longhaired, scruffy cavalier is on screen.

1987: Nomination: Best Song (‘Storybook Love’)

The Princess Bride


Act III/20th Century-Fox. Director Rob Reiner; Producer Andrew Scheinman, Rob Reiner; Screenplay William Goldman; Camera Adrian Biddle; Editor Robert Leighton; Music Mark Knopfler; Art Director Norman Garwood


(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1987. Running time: 98 MIN.


Cary Elwes Mandy Patinkin Chris Sarandon Christopher Guest Robin Wright Peter Falk
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  1. Priscilla Macdonald says:

    I would like to know who wrote this review just so I know who not to listen to about anything in life. Variety to save face you need to have someone write a true review and if the person who wrote the original one is still working there they need to be fired immediately or if they are retired you need to pull their pension!! When a movie has nearly 100% rating then you know you have done dare goofed on giving it a bad review. For shame Variety, for shame.

  2. Dave Melges says:

    Wow. I actually got here by clicking through from the ONLY negative review this movie ever got. (there were two, at one time, but the other reviewer apparently wised up and took it down off the web)

    The reason I’m commenting, is it occurred to me that when you review a movie 20 years later, it seems like you should have a sense of responsibility… you may not have when a movie first comes out.

    When a movie has been out 20 years, been reviewed positively by the entire human race, beloved, honored, respected, adored, worshiped, repeat-watched and heavily quoted for the entire two decades, the only review that will be of any real value is one that respects the audience.

    You just told pretty much every person on the face of the Earth that they’re idiots and you’re the only one smart enough to spot a bad movie in The Princess Bride.

    If you don’t like it…if you want to criticize it, there’s nothing wrong with that….but you’re not providing any variation on a useful service to anyone, because you’re wrong. To them. To us. To everyone.

    Congratulations, you’re the most-wrong reviewer of all time.

  3. Linda says:

    You know you got a review wrong when it’s trending on Netflix almost 30 years later. It’s okay. We all make mistakes.

  4. Iago says:

    Never in all the reviews of movies has there ever been a more obvious cry for attention by submitting a negative critique of one of the greatest films ever produced.

  5. paige says:

    how does it feel to be WRONG

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