The Princess Bride Essay, Research Paper
The Princess Bride
In the film, "The Princess Bride," directed by Rob Reiner, it all begins with a Grandfather telling the story to his less than enthusiastic Grandson. The story opens in the country of Florin with Buttercup treating her "Farm Boy" not so well, "his name was Wesley, but she never called him that. "Very soon she realizes he loves her and she loves him in return. He sets off for America "to make his fortune across the sea." She later finds out that he and his ship have been murdered by the Dread Pirate Roberts "who never leaves captives alive."
Scene: Humperdink castle, Prince Humperdink is announcing his bride-to-be and we find out it is the Princess Buttercup. She does not love him, but he "has the right to choose his bride."
Next Scene: Buttercup is riding her horse through the forest and comes across three strange looking men: one short, intelligent man (Vizzini), a Spaniard (Inigo), and a giant (Fezzik). They kidnap her and Vizzini reveals that he wants to start a war with the nearby country Guilder by murdering Buttercup and leaving her on the "Guilder frontier,” even though Inigo and Fezzik are not too happy with the idea they follow their orders. They sail away on a ship, but soon realize they are being followed by a ship that is gaining on them. He also follows them to the Cliffs of Insanity. When they reach the top, Vizzini has Inigo stay behind to kill the man following them (the Man-in-Black) because he (Inigo) is a master swordsman. When the Man-in-Black reaches the top of the cliffs, Inigo reveals he wants revenge on a man with six fingers who killed his father. Inigo and the Man-in-Black find they have a mutual respect for each other, but they must duel and the Man-in-Black wins, but does not kill Inigo.
Vizzini sees that the Man-in-Black is still following them, so he has Fezzik stay behind to kill him. They wrestle and again the Man-in-Black wins, but he does not kill Fezzik. Then he confronts Vizzini, they have a Battle of Wits, and of course the Man-in-Black wins again. From there, he grabs Buttercup and they run off.
Meanwhile, Prince Humperdink has been following them with his friend Count Rugen.
Back to the running of MIB (Man in Black) and Buttercup: Buttercup believes the MIB is the Dread Pirate Roberts who killed her Wesley, and when he admits he is, she pushes him down a large hill. As he falls, he reveals he is Wesley, so she tumbles down the hill after him. They are reunited at the bottom. They soon realize Humperdink is chasing them, so they are forced to go into the Fire Swamp "where no one has ever survived." They enter and Wesley reveals the reason for his absence and that he is the Dread Pirate Roberts. After some adventures in the Fire Swamp, they escape and find that Humperdink is waiting for them. Buttercup agrees to go with him, if he will free Wesley. He agrees but has left instructions with Count Rugen to throw him into "The Pit of Despair"; Wesley realizes Rugen is the six fingered man for whom Inigo was searching.
In the Pit of Despair, Wesley is tortured, and Buttercup has bad dreams; finally she goes to Humperdink and tells him she can not live without Wesley and that she will "be dead by morning" if she has to marry Humperdink. He agrees to search for Wesley (lying of course); Buttercup eventually realizes this is a lie and maddens Humperdink by calling him a "Coward," so he kills Wesley.
Fezzik and Inigo are re-united and Fezzik has learned about Rugen (the six fingered man). Inigo wants to kill him, but as he has "no gift for strategy" he tells Fezzik that he needs the MIB to help him. When they go to find him they learn he has been killed, and so they bring his body to Miracle Max (a miracle man). When Miracle Max realizes that he can get back at Humperdink, the man who fired him, by helping Wesley, he gives him a miracle pill to bring him back to life. He warns them to wait for full potency before giving it to him.
Fezzik and Inigo go to the castle wall and revive Wesley (the evening of Humperdink?s marriage to Buttercup), but they give him the pill too early and he is left with no strength. He is still able to work out a plan to get into the castle, and they get inside to find Rugen and guards facing them. Inigo utters his famous lines: "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father; prepare to die" (speaking to Rugen). Rugen runs away and Inigo chases after him.
Meanwhile Buttercup has been married to Humperdink and is depressed that Wesley has not come for her. She tells Humperdink?s father that she will kill herself once she has reached the honeymoon suite. Luckily, Wesley has found his way there and so they are again reunited, (but he still has no strength).
All the while, Rugen has thrown a knife at Inigo and he is struck in the stomach. Rugen waits to watch him die, but Inigo uses some inner strength and kills Rugen.
Back in the Honeymoon suite, Humperdink comes in to find Buttercup and Wesley there. Humperdink challenges: "To the death" but Wesley counters with "To the pain" telling him how he will leave Humperdink "wallowing in freakish misery forever," Humperdink gives up and they tie him to a chair.
Then Inigo, Wesley and Fezzik are all reunited and with Buttercup, they ride off on white horses into the sunset, and Buttercup and Wesley are finally together again.
The grandfather then ends the story in reply to his grandsons request to read it again tomorrow with, "as you wish,” which was found out to mean, "I love you."
This movie is such a fantastic movie because it includes humor, action, suspense, romance and comedy all in less than two hours. There are two types of people in this world: those who love "The Princess Bride" and those who have yet to see it. The acting is wonderful. The roles are typecast superbly, and the content has no political statements or current affair ties.
The lack of ties will set this movie comfortably for years to come among the favorite of families everywhere. (dehm, Phantome Noire.) On the website, About.com, Ben Miller writes up a college student?s "Must See Movie" list. The Princess Bride ranks number twenty-six on that list. Another reason I think this movie is so incredibly wonderful is because it shows that no matter what obstacles two people face in life "True Love" will always prevail.
Martin, Mick, and Marsha Porter. Video Movie Guide 1999. New York: Ballantine Books, 1998.
The Princess Bride. Dir. Rob Reiner. 20th Century Fox/Nelson Entertainment