MOTW: Five Interesting Facts About "The Princess Bride"

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The Princess Bride is a 1987 American romantic comedy adventure film directed and co-produced by Rob Reiner. It is based on the 1973 novel of the same name by William Goldman, an American novelist, playwright and screenwriter. The story is presented in the film as a book being read by a grandfather (Peter Falk) to his sick grandson (Fred Savage), thus effectively preserving the novel's narrative style.
Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
November 19th, 2013

MOTW: Five Interesting Facts About "The Princess Bride"

"The Princess Bride," based on the novel of the same name by William Goldman, is so good that many critics have ranked the film as one of the best love stories of all time. Even the American Film Institute (AFI) put it on their all-time list, ranking it at number eighty-eight. It was released in 1987, but it has stood the test of time because the story is told in a charming way with fantastic performances. Director Rob Reiner remembers the filming of the movie fondly and has shared some very interesting facts about the film over the years. Here are five of the most intriguing tidbits about "The Princess Bride."

Billy Crystal Had Everyone in Stitches

Billy Crystal is primarily known as a comedian, so it should be no surprise that he had everyone on the set laughing hilariously at his portrayal of Miracle Max. Reiner has said in several interviews that he had to leave the room when Crystal was filming his scenes because his laughter was a distraction. In fact, Reiner laughed so hard that he occasionally became nauseated, and a sick director is bad news on a film set. The only logical solution was to leave the room for the Miracle Max scenes. Crystal inadvertently caused additional damage when Mandy Patinkin, who played the revenge-seeking Inigo Montoya, laughed so hard he broke a rib. Despite filming most of his own fight sequences in the film, Patinkin never injured himself until he watched Crystal filming as Miracle Max.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Was Almost Cast in the Film

André the Giant's performance as Fezzik is one of the funniest parts of the film, but it almost didn't happen. André's busy schedule didn't initially allow for him to take the role, so producers considered Schwarzenegger instead. As fate would have it, the future Governor of California's movie career took off, and his new fee was too much for the producers to fit into the budget. André's schedule opened up around the same time, and he was able to take on the role of Fezzik after all.

Peter Falk Balked at Playing a Grandfather

Some people become grandparents at a very young age, while others don't reach that magical milestone until much later in life. A man who is sixty years old is considered to be at a good age to be a grandfather, but Peter Falk didn't agree. He felt he was too young to play the grandfather of Fred Savage's character in the film, so he asked Reiner if he could wear prosthetics to make him look older. Falk was unhappy with the prosthetics because he felt they made him look like his skin had been burned, so he filmed his scenes without them. In the end, both he and Reiner felt that he looked old enough on camera to play a grandfather after all.

Inigo Montoya Is Still Mandy Patinkin's Favorite Part

Patinkin is a seasoned veteran of film, television, and the stage who is known around the world for his singing voice. As Inigo Montoya, he wasn't tasked with singing a song, but the role is still Patinkin's favorite from his long and storied career. Part of the reason is that he felt the part was cathartic for him, because he had recently lost his beloved father to cancer when filming began. In Patinkin's mind, when Inigo battled Count Rugen in the film for killing his father, he was slaying cancer for killing his real-life dad. It helped him deal with his loss in a way that he couldn't have done had he not taken the part.

André the Giant Learned His Lines Phonetically

André was born and raised in France, and as a result, he had a very thick accent when he tried to speak English. Even though he could speak a limited amount of English, he couldn't read it very well, so Reiner had to come up with a way for him to learn his lines. Since the director really wanted André in the part, he recorded all of the pro wrestler's lines onto tape in his own voice. André then listened to the recordings over and over, learning his lines phonetically. On some occasions, he didn't even understand what he was saying. Nevertheless, his performance is considered to be one of the best and most charming in the film, and Reiner didn't have to re-record a single one of his lines because André had studied the tapes so hard.