Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' Tilda Swinton Joins Benedict Cumberbatch In 'Doctor Strange' Tilda Swinton Joins Benedict Cumberbatch In 'Doctor Strange' Watch: Jason Segel Plays David Foster Wallace Opposite Jesse Eisenberg In The First Trailer For ‘The End Of The Tour’ Watch: Jason Segel Plays David Foster Wallace Opposite Jesse Eisenberg In The First Trailer For ‘The End Of The Tour’ The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Lonely Island Movie Is Called 'Conner4real,’ Targets Justin Bieber & Katy Perry, Adds Sarah Silverman, Imogen Poots, & More Lonely Island Movie Is Called 'Conner4real,’ Targets Justin Bieber & Katy Perry, Adds Sarah Silverman, Imogen Poots, & More Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'The Princess Bride' On Its 25th Anniversary

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist September 25, 2012 at 12:01PM

The bargain bins of the world are littered with attempts to make films for the whole family. Making something that will please young kids, grandparents, and everyone in between (a four-quadrant hit, as studio types call it) is a tough nut to crack. But one of the most enduring family favorites of the last few decades is one that, against the odds, managed to thrill audiences, make them laugh, and make them swoon: Rob Reiner's "The Princess Bride."
3
The Princess Bride

The bargain bins of the world are littered with attempts to make films for the whole family. Making something that will please young kids, grandparents, and everyone in between (a four-quadrant hit, as studio types call it) is a tough nut to crack. But one of the most enduring family favorites of the last few decades is one that, against the odds, managed to thrill audiences, make them laugh, and make them swoon: Rob Reiner's "The Princess Bride."

Based on the novel by screenwriter William Goldman ("Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid," "All the President's Men"), it's a fairy tale (allegedly a rediscovered classic by one S. Morgenstern), which involves the long-thwarted love between Princess Buttercup and her childhood sweetheart Westley, taking in Cliffs of Insanity, Rodents of Unusual Size and one Spaniard's search for the man who killed his father.

The film took fourteen years to make it to the big screen, and the effort was worth it, as the film remains a total delight, genuinely romantic, quietly moving, exciting and consistently hilarious. The film was released in theaters on September 25, 1987 -- twenty-five years ago today -- and to mark the occasion, we've collected up five facts you may not be aware of about Reiner and Goldman's family classic. Read on below.  

The Princess Bride
1. François Truffaut and Robert Redford were among the directors who planned to adapt the book.
William Goldman wrote the novel "The Princess Bride" in the early 1970s after asking his daughters what they'd like him to write a story about, with one replying "a princess," the other "a bride." Published in 1973, it was a success, and swiftly came to the attention of Hollywood, with Goldman writing a screenplay that would, over the next fourteen years or so, gain a reputation as being one of the best unproduced scripts. The film kept failing to get the green light for various reasons, but not for lack of trying, with several big name directors attempting an adaptation at various points. Norman Jewison tried to make it for years, intending to make the framing device revolve around an immigrant family. Robert Redford wanted to both make his directorial debut on the film (before "Ordinary People") and play the lead role of Westley. "Excalibur" director John Boorman was another who sniffed around it, while most remarkably, French New Wave legend François Truffaut considered making the film at one stage (what we wouldn't give for that version...). But in the end, it fell to sitcom star-turned-fledgling filmmaker Rob Reiner, who'd recently broken through to film directing with "This Is Spinal Tap," "The Sure Thing" and "Stand By Me." And the project fell firmly within the family -- Reiner had been given the book originally by his father Carl, while producer Norman Lear had been behind Reiner's breakout show "All In the Family" and, as he had with all of Reiner's films until that point, personally financed the project.

The Princess Bride
2. Courtney Cox, Meg Ryan and Uma Thurman were among those who auditioned to play Buttercup, while Danny DeVito was the first choice to play Vizzini.
With a relatively meager $15 million budget, the cast ended up being a curious mix of Reiner's pals (Christopher Guest, Billy Crystal), British comics local to the film's shoot (Peter Cook, Mel Smith), those that Goldman had always had in mind (Andre The Giant, although there were back up possibilities -- several NFL players, and reportedly even Liam Neeson, also auditioned for the role), and relative unknowns. Casting the Errol Flynn-ish Cary Elwes as Westley was a relatively easy pick, but Buttercup, described in the script as "the most beautiful woman in the world," was a trickier one. Goldman considered Carrie Fisher early on, while Meg Ryan, Uma Thurman, Sean Young (an early favorite of Reiner's), Suzy Amis, Courtney Cox, Alexandra Paul and even Whoopi Goldberg all pursued the part. In the end, it was soap veteran Robin Wright who won the role. Meanwhile, Wallace Shawn was nervous on set, knowing that he was far from the first choice to play the cunning Vizzini -- Danny DeVito had originally been sought by Reiner, but had turned the role down. And as for his enormous pal Fezzig, Arnold Schwarzenegger had been considered in an earlier iteration on the project, but had told Goldman that Andre The Giant was a better choice.

This article is related to: 5 Things You Might Not Know About..., Rob Reiner, William Goldman, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Christopher Guest, Peter Falk, The Princess Bride, On This Day In Movie History


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates