Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1987. Act III Communications, Buttercup Films Ltd., The Princess Bride Ltd.. Screenplay by William Goldman, based on his book. Cinematography by Adrian Biddle. Produced by Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman. Music by Mark Knopfler. Production Design by Norman Garwood. Costume Design by Phyllis Dalton. Film Editing by Robert Leighton.
This magical film is a rare charmer, one that actually lives inside of a storybook. A young boy (Fred Savage) is home from school with a bad cold, not the least bit pleased when his grandfather (Peter Falk) shows up and announces that he’s going to read him a story. Books are a thing of the past according to the youngster, but once his aging patriarch starts to read aloud, Savage finds himself unable to stop until the end of the wondrous tale, one about a beautiful maiden (Robin Wright) and the servant boy (Cary Elwes) with whom she falls in love. The lovers are separated, each sent their own way on a long journey full of adventure and romance, evil kings and creatures of fantasy, until being reunited and walking into the proverbial sunset. The supporting cast all turn in terrific performances, especially Chris Sarandon as the whiney Prince Humperdink and Wallace Shawn as the hilarious Vizzini, while the special effects department do a whiz of a job with the excellent makeup effects. A treat for the young and young at heart alike, this one is told with enough wry humour to please adults that won’t alienate the kids either; if you’re lucky enough to have enjoyed it as both, you’ll be amazed at how well it has aged.
The Criterion Collection: #948
Academy Award Nomination: Best Original Song (“Storybook Love”)
Toronto International Film Festival: 1987