In 1973, William Goldman released a little fairy tale by the name of The Princess Bride. It is a unique story, featuring a grandfather reading a tale to his grandson. The tale is a familiar one to audiences in the form of the 1987 film starring Robin Wright, Cary Elwes and many, many more. The story is timeless, as charming in 2009 as it was in 1973 when it was published, in 1982 when I read it for the first time and 1987 when I saw it in the theater for the first time.
Introducing another generation to the film elicited all the right reactions, reactions that aligned with the grandson who was having the story read to him. Santa may very well be delivering a copy of this book because the daughter wants to have it read to her now, too. Goldman’s book is genius, a mixture of abridged storytelling and delightful fairytale. It has something for everyone: true love, swashbuckling, heroes overcoming the odds and dark villains with deep histories.
The story entered our pop culture and our language with fantastic quotes, phrases and exchanges. It is almost impossible to pick out one line and say it is the best, but I will say “Have fun storming the castle!” is a familiar phrase around here.
Enjoy these quotes cherry picked from the most recent viewing:
Grandpa: That’s right. When I was your age, television was called books. And this is a special book. It was the book my father used to read to me when I was sick, and I used to read it to your father. And today I’m gonna read it to you.
Grandpa: That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying “As you wish”, what he meant was, “I love you.” And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.
Inigo: Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
Westley: Hear this now: I will always come for you.
Buttercup: But how can you be sure?
Westley: This is true love – you think this happens every day?
Vizzini: HE DIDN’T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE.
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
Inigo Montoya: More pursue than study lately. You see, I cannot find him… it’s been twenty years now and I’m starting to lose confidence. I just work for Vizzini to pay the bills. There’s not a lot of money in revenge.
Count Rugen: Ah. Are you coming down into the pit? Wesley’s got his strength back. I’m starting him on the machine tonight.
Prince Humperdinck: [sincerely] Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I’ve got my country’s 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I’m swamped.
Count Rugen: Get some rest. If you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything.
Westley: There’s a shortage of perfect breasts in this world. It would be a pity to damage yours.
Do you have a favorite line?