Feature THE PRINCESS BRIDE at Palace

Cary Elwes to tell behind-the-scene tales of his classic movie at Palace

By: Apr. 24, 2023
Feature THE PRINCESS BRIDE at Palace
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What makes a movie a classic?

Is it decided by the Oscars? Not necessarily. STAND BY ME, THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY, and REAR WINDOW are considered classics, but none of them have a naked golden dude to their name.

Do you measure by its box office revenue? If that is your measurement, then that would make WHITE CHICKS ($113 million) a far superior movie to CASABLANCA ($6.9 million), IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ($3.9 million), and SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION ($73.3 million) combined.

Is it the star power of the cast? Put Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Diane Keaton, or Susan Sarandon in a movie and it's like having a license to print money, right?

Wrong. How many people remember the 2013 box office flop, THE BIG WEDDING? That movie had all of the above mentioned stars plus Topher Grace, Amanda Seyfried, and Katherine Heigl, and it grossed $7.3 million and garnered a 7% rating on Rotten Tomato's tomatometer.

Perhaps the best way to judge a movie is if you blurt out a line from it, can a random person can tell you what movie it was from? Say "We're going to need a bigger boat," "Life is like a box of chocolates ..." or "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn," and most movie goers can tell you those are from JAWS, FORREST GUMP, and GONE WITH THE WIND even if they haven't seen it.

If that is true, then the Palace Theater will be showing one of the most classic movies of all time this week when it shows THE PRINCESS BRIDE 8 p.m. April 29. Actor Cary Elwes, who played Westley in the 1987 movie, will be on hand for a behind the scene stories and a Q&A session about the movie.

THE PRINCESS BRIDE won no Oscars, was a moderate box office success ($30.8 million on a $16 million production budget), and had only a few established TV stars (Billy Crystal, Peter Falk, and Andre the Giant) when it was released in 1987. However, it is listed as 50th in Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies" and 88th on the American Film Institute's list of the 100th greatest film love stories.

Additionally, the movie was ranked as the most quotable movie of all time by IMDb's Matt's Movie Watching World" and is listed in the top 10 of the most quotable movies compiled by Ryan Heffernan of Letterboxd.

Some movies have that one or two iconic lines, like "here's looking at you, kid" from CASABLANCA or "The first rule of fight club is you don't talk about fight club" from FIGHT CLUB. THE PRINCESS BRIDE is in the rare air of movies like CADDYSHACK, THE WIZARD OF OZ, or MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL that launch salvo after salvo of unforgettable words of wit and wisdom. Most of THE PRINCESS BRIDE viewers will recall the touchstones like "As you wish," "Inconceivable," "My name is Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die," and ""Mawwage. Mawwage is what bwings us together today." But there are more, so many more in THE PRINCESS BRIDE.

Below are 10 of my favorite obscure lines from THE PRINCESS BRIDE:

10. Montoya: "I do not mean to pry, but you don't by any chance happen to have six fingers on your right hand?"
Man in Black: "Do you always begin conversations this way?"

The first meeting between Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and Elwes sets the tone for the uneasy alliance between the two.

9. The Ancient Booer: "So bow down to her if you want, bow to her. Bow to the queen of slime, the queen of filth, the queen of putrescence! Boo! Boo! Rubbish! Filth! Slime! Muck! Boo! Boo! Boo!"

The unforgettable dream sequence when Buttercup (Robin Wright) is confronted by the Ancient Booer (Margery Mason) is made perfect by Mason's lingering pronunciation of putrescence. Sidebar: Is Wright the only actress to go from being a princess to a first lady and eventually the president (see HOUSE OF CARDS)?

8. Man in Black: "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."

Those watching those late night infomercials offering the latest in instant weight loss gummies would do well to remember that line.

7. Inigo Montoya: "You know, it's very strange. I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it's over, I don't know what to do with the rest of my life."

Perhaps the creators of CRIMINAL MINDS missed a real opportunity for a PRINCESS BRIDE Easter egg. This line would have been the perfect send off for Patinkin's character Jason Gideon.

6. Westley: "You mean you'll put down your rock and I'll put down my sword, and we'll try and kill each other like civilized people?"

Perhaps the oddest casting choice in THE PRINCESS BRIDE is Andre the Giant, as the mercenary thug and yet, somehow loveable Fezzik. Westley/The Man In Black delivers this line after Andre the Giant suggests they used hand to hand combat, in which he would still hold a sizeable advantage.

5. Westley: "I'll explain. And I'll use small words, so that you'll be sure to understand, you warthog-faced buffoon."

In the climatic confrontation between Westley and Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), Westley venomously dishes out the insults as he plays upon the Prince's darkest fears -- not of being killed but being left alive to deal with his disgrace.

4. Buttercup: "We'll never survive."
Westley: "Nonsense. You only say that because no one ever has."

Elwes' deadpan delivery of the lines in the Fire Swamp, including this one of cold comfort to Buttercup, always brings a smile to my face.

3. Vizzini: "Am I going mad or did the word 'think' escape your lips? You were not hired for your brains, you hippopotamic land mass!"

Although Wallace Shawn wasn't the original choice for Vizzini (Richard Dreyfuss and Danny DeVito were also considered for the role), it would be impossible to imagine THE PRINCESS BRIDE without him. His impish appearance and distinctive intonation add something to Vizzini, including this incredulous putdown of Fezzik, who towers over him.

2. Buttercup: "Because you've always been so kind to me, and I'll never see you again, because I'm killing myself as soon as we reach the honeymoon suite."

The King: "Won't that be nice? She kissed me!"

A great line for those of us who are used to being ignored.

On her wedding night, Buttercup kisses and then confesses her darkest secret to the delightfully age addled King (Willoughby Gray): her plan for suicide rather than being married to his son. Clearly clueless as to what she us saying, the King smiles benevolently and says wistfully, "Won't that be nice?"

  1. Westley: "Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while."

This line always stirs the romantic in me. Perhaps this is the movie line I would want on my tombstone.


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