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Trivia / The Princess Bride

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  • Actor-Shared Background: Christopher Guest, who plays Count Rugen, is a real-life nobleman of British ancestry.
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Passions: #88
  • Background Halo: In real life. Author William Goldman was set to meet actress Robin Wright, who was under consideration for the role of Buttercup. When she arrived at Goldman's house, director Rob Reiner opened the front door to reveal Wright silhouetted in the doorway, wearing a white summer dress with her long golden hair backlit by the sun. Goldman took one look and said "Well, that's what I wrote." She got the part.
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  • Completely Different Title: The film is named Prinsessen og de Skøre Riddere ("The Princess and the Crazy Knights") in Denmark, as a homage to Monty Python and the Holy Grail which is named Monty Python og de Skøre Riddere in Denmark.
  • Creator's Favorite: Mandy Patinkin has said that the role of Inigo Montoya is his personal favorite over the course of his entire career.
  • Creator In-Joke: In the (completely fictional and Played for Laughs) foreword to Buttercup's Baby, Goldman is incensed to learn that the notoriously protective Morgenstern estate has finally agreed to allow Buttercup's Baby to be Stephen King, not Goldman, on the grounds that King was a much bigger name. This section was written shortly after Goldman (in real life) had adapted the award-winning screenplay for King's novel Misery.
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  • Dyeing for Your Art: Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin went through intense sword training in preparation for their on-screen duel, working until they could perform both halves of the sequence perfectly. They practiced right up until the very last minute, with Elwes having to do part of his training with a broken toenote , and performed almost the entire sequence themselves, only being doubled (by the same stuntman, to boot) for the brief gymnastics routine.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • While shooting The Princess Bride, André the Giant was having trouble with his lines. To get him to focus, Mandy Patinkin gave him a slap. Needless to say, the entire cast and crew had a joint Oh, Crap! moment but it seemed Mandy knew what he was doing. André actually thanked him and was able to focus and get his lines right on the next take.
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    • An unintentional example occurs when Count Rugen knocks Westley out with the butt of his sword; Christopher Guest accidentally hit Cary Elwes hard enough to knock him out for real.
    • Rugen looking flummoxed and fearful during his duel with Inigo stems partially from acting, but also from Mandy Patinkin having accidentally stabbed Christopher Guest in the leg with a sword during rehearsal, and not wanting to get injured again. He promptly started taking fencing classes on his own and did away with most of his choreographed moves, instead just flailing his sword with defensive strikes instead.
    • An inadvertent example. Cary Elwes and Robin Wright quickly developed mutual crushes and this contributed to the amazing chemistry they share on screen. Both have expressed regret at missing the opportunity to act on those feelings.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • Mandy Patinkin (Inigo) is not Spanish, but Jewish-American.
    • Although never stated in the movie, in the book Fezzik is Turkish. André the Giant, who plays him, is actually French.
    • Nope, Wallace Shawn (Vizzini) is not Sicilian. Inconceivable, isn't it? Obviously, "Never go in against a Jewish-American posing as a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line!" would be too much to say.
  • Harpo Does Something Funny: Billy Crystal was basically told by Rob Reiner to do whatever during the "mostly dead" scene.
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  • Irony as She Is Cast: Andre the Giant was famously a heel Wrestling Monster, but plays a complete sweetheart who actually has to be told to fight dirty and laments it's "not very sportsmanlike."
  • Life Imitates Art:
    • With both sides regarding the work, in this case. As described under Girl-Show Ghetto, some of the later DVD covers play up the action and violence of the film, which mirrors the grandfather's pitch of the story to his grandson.
    • Count Rugen, anyone? Not too many fictional aristocrats-by-birth are played by aristocrats-by-birth.
    • During the climb up the Cliffs of Insanity in the original novel, Vizzini is described as having an intense fear of heights. So does Wallace Shawn, the actor who played Vizzini, which made filming the climb very difficult for him.
  • List of Films You Should See By the Age of 14: #32
  • Method Acting:
    • In 1972, Mandy Patinkin lost his father to pancreatic cancer (and long after the film ended, he was diagnosed with and successfully treated for prostate cancer). He channeled his grief into Inigo Montoya, who had also lost his father to a great evil.
      Mandy: And in my mind, I feel that when I "killed" that six-fingered man, I killed the cancer that killed my father. For a moment he was alive. And my fairy tale came true.
    • Also provided Enforced Method Acting for Christopher Guest as Count Rugen. Guest had come onto the film under the assumption that that he'd only need to learn the sword fighting routines as needed, but Mandy Patinkin got so deep into character while shooting the climax that he actually stabbed Guest in the leg. For many of the shots, the fear on Count Rugen's face is Guest's genuine fear that Patinkin would, once again, get carried away and hurt him again. Guest also went and took fencing lessons on his own just in case he'd have to actually defend himself against Patinkin.
  • No Dub for You: The film was released in Japan, but it didn't get an actual dub.
  • No Stunt Double: Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin performed all of their own sword-fighting after many hours of training. According to Rob Reiner, the only stunt performed by Patinkin's stunt double was one flip during the "Chatty Duelists" scene.
  • Quote Source (in the order in which they appear in the film):
  • Referenced by...:
    • The Millenial King has a little border town on the divide between Florin and Guilder become a huge empire. Miracle Max is still out of work, and prince Humperdinck is still a douche. The King gets better, though.
    • The Darths & Droids party played a fantasy campaign between Episode 1 and Episode 2 based on Princess Bride. Pete played Vizzini, and was intensely honked off about how the DM bullshitted the poisoned drink bet scene, as well as by the other players paying to resurrect not Pete's character, but the NPC who killed him.
  • Romance on the Set: Although they didn't pursue their feelings, Robin Wright and Cary Elwes were smitten with each other during filming, naturally helping their chemistry in the movie. Elwes said that he "couldn't concentrate on much of anything after that first encounter with Robin." In retrospectives, both have wondered wistfully about what might have been if they'd actually entered into a relationship.
  • Screwed by the Network: The film was produced independently by Norman Lear before Fox stepped in to help distribute it late in the game. Unfortunately, the marketing people didn't know what to make of the movie and it was released into theaters with zero promotion.
    Rob Reiner: They had faith but they didn't know how to market it. We had no trailer, no TV spots, no one-sheet!
  • Self-Adaptation: William Goldman had experience writing for film, and so rewrote The Princess Bride himself, removing many of the (admittedly unfilmable) metatextual elements of his own accord and shifting the focus towards the fairy-tale parody angle, retaining the editor's notes about the story being read to him as a child as a different Framing Device.
  • Throw It In!: In his memoir As You Wish, Cary Elwes revealed that when Humperdink's men are taking him to the Pit of Despair, Christopher Guest wasn't actually hitting him with the butt of his sword, and because Cary couldn't feel an impact, he kept blowing the timing and needing more takes. Finally, he told Guest to just "tap" him on the head once...and the next thing he knew, he's at the local hospital being stitched up. His getting knocked out is the take used in the film.
  • Trope Namers: The Princess Bride is the Trope Namer (or Former Namer) for:
  • Vindicated by Cable: As mentioned on Screwed by the Network, the film bombed largely due to poor marketing, but strong performance on VHS (later DVD) and cable helped cement it in popular culture. This phenomenon was detailed in Cary Elwes' As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Christopher Reeve was considered for the role of Westley before the casting of Cary Elwes.
    • Carrie Fisher was the initial candidate for the part of Buttercup before Robin Wright was cast.
      • Courteney Cox, Meg Ryan, and Uma Thurman also auditioned for Buttercup before the casting of Wright. Thurman was turned down due to the fact that she was considered "too exotic" for the character.
    • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lou Ferrigno, Richard Kiel, Liam Neeson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carel Struycken read for the role of Fezzik before the casting of André the Giant. Neeson was declined due to the fact that Rob Reiner considered him "too short" for the part, despite Neeson being 6'4".
    • Danny DeVito was the first choice for the role of Vizzini before Wallace Shawn was cast.
    • A sequel to the novel, entitled Buttercup's Baby, was teased by William Goldman for many years, with the first chapter (and a characteristically metafictional backstory) being included in the 30th Anniversary Edition of the novel, but the furthest he ever got after that was briefly admitting in an interview that he'd been having trouble coming up with ideas. Some have debated whether he was really serious about it, or if it was simply his latest addition to his ongoing prank on the reader about the supposed existence of Florin and S. Morgenstern, but either way, no sequel book was finished by the time Goldman died in 2018.
    • A charity script reading by the surviving cast in 2020 used a slightly earlier script, revealing some alterations in the final version. Perhaps most notably, Fezzik was going to keep cracking rhyming jokes at the Ciffs of Insanity, which was likely removed because it would wreck the tension.


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