the princess bride

The Princess Bride – Fictionphile Podcast #2

By Fictionphile staff


In this episode of the Fictionphile Podcast, the crew analyzes why The Princess Bride is a fairy tale work of art. Topics include the earworm-like quotability, the brilliant Billy Crystal and Carol Kane, and the perfect tone that the film strikes. The crew also discuss the film’s lack of diversity and who they’d cast in a modern-day remake.

For those experiencing hearing loss, and simply for your reference regardless, see the transcription below.

The Princess Bride: As You Wish

Jason [00:00:20] Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Fictionphile Podcast, where we explore the wide world of narrative entertainment, from movies to literature and everything in between. My name is Jason Boyd. I’m the editor of Fictionphile, and I’m joined remotely today by managing editor Corrine Asbell. Hey, Corrine.

Corrine [00:00:33] Hey.

Jason [00:00:37] So also somewhere in cyberspace, we have associate editor Dalton McCay. How are you doing?

Dalton [00:00:42] I’m doing great.

Jason [00:00:45] OK, can we do a different voice every single time I introduce you? That’d be great. Just never really…

Dalton [00:00:50] I’m really trying to do that. Trying to get a new take each time.

Jason [00:00:54] Good. Great. OK. So today we’ll be poring over a single work of fiction after we introduce this work of art, we’ll discuss what makes it enjoyable, what makes it a work of art in the first place, what makes it universally relatable, and finally, we’ll talk about what it could have done better. So now that we have our format… What piece of narrative entertainment are we talking about today?

Introducing the Work of Fiction

the princess bride poster

Corrine [00:01:17] So, we’ve got The Princess Bride on our agenda today. It was released in the United States on September 25th, 1987 by 20th Century Fox. It stars Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, and Robin Wright. The movie is directed by Rob Reiner and the screenplay was based on the book by William Goldman.

Dalton [00:01:37] When the lovely Buttercup is kidnapped by a ghastly gang intent on fomenting an international incident, they find they are pursued by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who just might be Wesley. Her one true love. Also, after everyone is nasty prince Humperdinck of Florian and for whom Buttercup is now betrothed, but who seems to care little for her continued survival. The stage is set for sword fights, monsters, and tortures. But will grandpop be allowed to finish telling the story with all these kissy bits?

Jason [00:02:09] Thank you, Dalton.

Dalton [00:02:10] I feel like I’m going to have to do that over now, like it’s…

Jason [00:02:14] It’s because I didn’t edit it well enough, so there’s some clunky weirdness, but you sounded great.

Dalton [00:02:19] OK, good.

Jason [00:02:21] So, alright, let’s… Let’s go over the critical opinion, because I’d like to just kind of get that out front, even though it doesn’t really matter. I mean, what matters is your enjoyment of it. And obviously, our opinion. But to start on IMDB. The Princess Bride currently has 8.1 stars out of 10. On Metacritic it has 77 out of 100 and Rotten Tomatoes critics put it at 97 percent. The audience is 94 percent. There you go. So now that we got a good overview of everything. Let’s see what makes The Princess Bride enjoyable. So that’s our first topic. Let’s start with Corrine. What makes The Princess Bride enjoyable?

What Makes The Princess Bride Enjoyable?

Corrine [00:03:04] Am I allowed to just say the entire movie? Do I have to really pick?

Dalton [00:03:10] Sure.

Jason [00:03:11] Since you’re going first, you get to just say the entire movie and then we’ll…

Dalton [00:03:16] Makes my part easier.

Corrine [00:03:19] Well, think about it, it’s got every single genre that you can think of included in it. I mean, it tells a memorable love story. It’s infinitely quotable. Even people who haven’t seen the movie. And side note, what’s wrong with you people? But even people who haven’t seen the movie are able to quote it. I mean, just… Every character is memorable. And you walk out after seeing it and you can just… I can’t say memorable again. I can’t think of another word. You just remember it so well. And it’s just one of those movies that you can watch over and over, even if you’re the weird one repeating the dialog along with the characters and your friends are looking at you strangely.

Jason [00:04:00] OK. Well, that’s usually me. Not really. Actually, I have a bad time remembering dialog.

Dalton [00:04:08] Use the brain like one hundred percent, right? Basically, every point that I had, she covered. The characters, the narrative, the actors. Every element of this film comes together cohesively. I do think the lighting, not the lighting, the writing… Yeah, the writing has a lot to do with its success. As she mentioned, it is so quotable. Every everything. Rodents of unusual size. I don’t think they exist.

Corrine [00:04:42] Yes.

Jason [00:04:43] No, it’s so… To me, I think that all of that is definitely true. And… But really to me, it’s that it doesn’t take itself seriously at all. It’s so self-effacing and… And I mean, you look at like the runtime. So I just double checked. It’s 1 hour and 38 minutes, and it feels snappy. It feels really fast. It goes. It just breezes by. And you almost just want to watch it again, like right away right after.

Dalton [00:05:18] Yeah.

Jason [00:05:19] And so it’s just… It’s breezy. It takes it so breezy, everything’s just breezy about it. And plus, I mean… to me the highlight is Billy Crystal. And that’s when you’re like 100 percent certain it’s a comedy because you’re like, this is kind of a you know, it’s lighthearted and stuff. But like, God, that’s just the funniest stuff in the world. Miracle Max, so fun. So it’s just the funniest thing. It’s it’s a hoot. I can’t remember who plays his wife. What’s…

Dalton [00:05:56] I don’t remember.

Jason [00:05:59] You have his wife–

Corrine [00:06:00] Barbara is played by Carol Kane.

[00:06:04] I mean, she’s great, too. So like just they have great chemistry and that’s me.

Dalton [00:06:10] They feed off each other like a real married couple.

Corrine [00:06:15] That said, as much as I love Billy Crystal and he’s a great comedian, he is…. I think without Carol Kane, it wouldn’t have been the same.

Jason [00:06:24] Yeah. Yeah. Everybody needs someone to play off of, you know, and that’s… No one’s funny on their own. Except Robin Williams. But yeah, let’s… Move on to our next topic then. Let’s explore what makes The Princess Bride a work of art. So I’ll kick this off since I love talking. All right. To me. To me, it’s a work of art because it’s a fairy tale, true to the spirit of fairy tales. But yet it’s not directly derivative. So what I mean by that is that. In literature or in any kind of higher literature, you can play true to a theme. You can play true to a genre. You can play into tropes. But what makes it artistic is when you venture apart from it, because then you’re… You’re kind of commenting on the genre itself. It becomes almost a meta critical… meta commentary. And so I’ve seen the… I’ve seen this referred to as a bent fairy tale. And I think “bent” is a really great description of it. It’s… It’s of this era, too, of pastiche, which is modern art, where you basically throw artistic elements together honoring the different elements. But it’s not satire. It’s actually just kind of like, hey, that goes together like peanut butter and chocolate. And it’s… It’s remixed. You get intextuality, which I love to talk about. You get just new things that happen, like just Billy Crystal playing a guy, a magic guy. Like, it’s just, you know… But it it ventures down this fairy tale trope, but yet has so much fun with it to the point that it’s becoming an artistic commentary. It’s very meta to me. I feel like it’s the kind of thing you can explore and reference whenever you’re talking about taking fantasy and making it something that’s not derivative. You can always just point to Princess Bride to me.

Corrine [00:08:39] Yeah, that’s a good point. Yeah, I have seen a lot of it talked about in various discussion boards and things like… Talking about what makes a good fantasy movie, but also what makes a good movie that kind of makes fun of itself but is still trying to take things seriously. So, yeah. That’s a really great point.

What Makes The Princess Bride a Work of Art?

Jason [00:09:01] Thanks. Yeah. So let’s see. Corrine, what do you… What do you think makes The Princess Bride a work of art?

Corrine [00:09:07] I must say the dialog. I know we touched on it earlier. All of us here talking about how quotable it is. But you just look at it like the pre-fight banter between Wesley or the man in black, as he’s still known at that time… Between him and Inigo. I mean, just the respect that they have, the fun that they’re having, talking about all the different fencing styles. But oh, they start laughing because. Oh, I’m not left-handed, actually.

Jason [00:09:32] That’s right.

Corrine [00:09:35] I definitely like the little rhyming that goes on between Inigo and Fezzik a lot, starting with, you know, the whole… Does anybody want a peanut? And then it brings back comes back around later on in the movie when Feezik and Inigo meet up and they bring the rhyming back again. It shows a little… Their little friendship thing. Yeah, honestly, my favorite part is probably not the character I’m supposed to like the most. It’s Vizzini. He’s got this delightful contemptuousness about him…. Arrogance. And he’s… He goes into that battle of wits with the man in black. He never thinks of something as simple as the iocane powder being in both drinks. Just the back and forth… The way his brain works. I… I know that’s got as much to do with the dialog as it does with Wallace Shawn, the actor who plays Vizzini, but I just love him.

Jason [00:10:30] And that’s an iconic scene. I love that scene just because it… It takes a classic scene– poisoning a drink–and comments on it. Again, just like it’s commenting on all types of genres within this fantasy genre. Yeah, that’s a great point.

Corrine [00:10:47] Yeah. And it just… The way they just go back and forth. I mean, it’s dizzying. But then I just love the conversation between the grandfather and the grandson, too, like it takes you out of the fantasy world just a little bit to remind you that this is… You know, a grandfather trying to make his sick grandson feel better. And then you just see the grandson and he’s like, this is a kissing book. But then as the story goes on, the more he cares. Like the part where he’s like, hey, wait, Wesley’s not dead. It’s just you get into it just as much as the grandson does. And I love that.

Dalton [00:11:27] Yeah, the grandson is kind of playing the part of the audience while you’re watching the film. Funny, funny story about the… The fencing and whatnot between those two. Cary Elwes and… I can’t think of who…

Jason [00:11:50] Mandy Patinkin.

Dalton [00:11:51] And Mandy Patinkin, that’s right. So both of them studied under Bob Anderson, who is the same person who choreographed the first three Star Wars movies.

Jason [00:12:07] Right.

Dalton [00:12:08] Master swordsman and… Those two… Both Mandy Patinkin and Cary Elwes were trained by him, and before they started filming, Carrie had had no training whatsoever. And the first day of filming… Anderson asked them both, have you had any sort of experience? And both of them said, no. But Cary soon found out that Mandy had actually been going to an Olympic fencers gym for like three months. And so he was like, OK, we’ll take this nice and slow. And then he was just… And Cary thought, that is so Inigo.

Jason [00:12:57] Yes.

Dalton [00:12:57] So Inigo to say, I have no skill. And then just pop out with this.

Jason [00:13:02] Right. Yeah. So true.

Dalton [00:13:06] But I I agree that… I agree with both of you. I kind of, when I wrote my little blurb on this, I combined both of your points into mine. Princess Bride combines so many elements from literature and fiction and it does so seamlessly. And we begin the film in a sick boy’s bedroom and end with the purest kiss of all time. You’re literally transported to another world through the narrative. And it’s a narrative within a narrative. And that’s hard to pull off. That’s hard to execute.

Jason [00:13:51] It’s extremely hard to execute. And I will talk about that a little more later. But yeah, it is. And for what it is, it’s very well done. I mean, it’s… You see that kind of thing in movies a lot now where they try to be non-linear and, you know, it just doesn’t work. It’s too much. But this is really well done for what it is. Yeah.

Dalton [00:14:19] And then sometimes they go the opposite way and they become too meta like meta comedy has become. So prevalent. And it makes me roll my eyes so hard. You might like to point to the… Point where characters are literally looking out at the audience and like giving a sly wink to things like, “Hey, remember this thing?” And it’s like. Right. Yes, we know.

Jason [00:14:48] Yeah, I mean, that’s Mel Brooks, where he likes to bring the boom mic into the shot every now and then, just to remind you that…

Dalton [00:14:55] Yeah.

Jason [00:14:57] Mel Brooks style. Yeah.

Corrine [00:14:59] But he does it so well.

Dalton [00:15:01] Yeah, he does.

What Makes The Princess Bride Universally Relatable?

Jason [00:15:03] But let’s see… OK, so now that we’ve covered that, let’s… Let’s try to move on. And great points everybody. But let’s move on to our next topic. What makes The Princess Bride universally relatable? Let’s go ahead and start with Dalton.

Dalton [00:15:19] So I think… Without a doubt, it’s gotta be the characters. The Princess Bride… the characters from this movie are kind of like the Ninja Turtle litmus test. Have you guys ever taken that? So basically the theory is that we tend to gravitate toward characters that are most like ourselves. So when you.. You guys seen the Ninja Turtles? OK. So when you think of the Ninja Turtles, who’s your favorite character? Corrine?

Corrine [00:15:51] Michelangelo.

Dalton [00:15:53] And what about you, Jason?

Jason [00:15:56] Michelangelo for me, too.

Dalton [00:15:58] Oh, wow. Well, that fits both of your personalities pretty well, right? My favorite was always Leonardo.

Jason [00:16:08] Mmhmm.

Corrine [00:16:09] Yeah, that fits you as well.

Dalton [00:16:11] Yeah, so like… There’s an archetype in this movie for everyone. There’s the dashing hero, the revenge seeker, perfectionist, the hopeless romantic, the rat, the sociopath, the gentle giant, literal and figurative. The intelligent, devious mastermind. Besides this, it makes use of a simple but effective structure that allows it to be viewed by a wide range of people like it. It doesn’t use flash 4WDs or flashbacks. It doesn’t try to. It doesn’t try to get. It doesn’t try to get too deep.

Jason [00:16:57] Yeah. And I think that’s one of the things where it totally takes the fairy tale setting on, and using those archetypes, some… A fairytale is not a fairy tale without archetypes. You can’t you can’t have a modern, fully fleshed out, flawed character kind of, you know… A feet of clay type of person in a fairy tale just doesn’t work. But because of that, they just had this unbelievable relateability to them. And my take is honestly along those lines, but it’s just on a theme… On a thematic level. You know, it deals with revenge, redemption, reuniting. These are things that… It’s almost too easy. It’s almost like the movie is being thrown a softball that it could easily knock out of the park. It’s like let’s just put separated lovers, adventure, revenge… You killed my father. Prepare to die… I mean, just all that kind of like… Let’s just put everything together. And who’s not going to find something relatable within that?

Dalton [00:18:14] Yeah. Check all the boxes. It will apply to everyone.

Jason [00:18:18] Right. I mean, it… credit to William Goldman just because to come up with an idea that makes it easy for yourself, you still came up with the idea. So you’re… You should get credit for making it easy for yourself. And of course, he… He executed it perfectly. So, yeah. That’s my take. But, um, let’s see. What do you think? What do you think makes it universally relatable?

Corrine [00:18:43] I mean, to me, at its core, what makes it most relatable is, well, in my opinion… I don’t really think the movie is a romance. Sure. You know, Wesley and Buttercup are two lead characters and this story revolves around them. But to me, it’s really about Inigo, Fezzik, and Wesley. And they’re all coming together to accomplish their goals that they have. I mean, they’re all completely different. Their backgrounds don’t have anything in common. Really, with the exception of Fezzik and Inigo working for Vinzinni. But that’s really not that much in common. But they’re able to form a bond and then they devise a plan to rescue Buttercup, let Inigo face a six finger man and get his justice. And mostly just to let it help his friends out and be kind of really awesome and really adorable. You think that’s his goal is to just… These are my friends. Let’s help them. Yeah, I just…

Jason [00:19:39] Yeah. It’s… It’s funny that, you know, you talk about… You talk about the Ninja Turtles litmus test. But then you have like the Harry Potter… What house do you belong to? And you can kind of separate everybody into that as well. Fezzik is a total Hufflepuff. He fits that mold so great. And it’s so cool to have him as the giant, just like you have the giant in harry Potter being, you know, gentle with the animals and everything. Yeah, that’s a great point. So would you call this a bromance?

Corrine [00:20:16] I kind of would.

Jason [00:20:18] More of a bromance than a romance.

Dalton [00:20:20] Well, let’s just… Let’s just say there’s multiple levels of romance in this.

Jason [00:20:24] Yeah.

Dalton [00:20:24] Well, there’s platonic love. There’s romantic love. There’s self-love.

Jason [00:20:33] Mm hmm. Mm hmm. That’s true.

Corrine [00:20:35] So it’s a movie about love, whether it’s romance or not. I like that

Dalton [00:20:39] But the real treasure is friendship.

What Could The Princess Bride Have Done Better?

Jason [00:20:43] Mm hmm. Now kiss. OK. All right. So we covered that. Let’s move on to the next topic. It’s gonna be what could The Princess Bride have done better? Corrine, let’s start with you.

Corrine [00:21:01] Now, my opinion on this is probably one that is going to be pretty unpopular with a lot of people. But Princess Buttercup was really useless.

Jason [00:21:12] She was just kind of a damsel.

Corrine [00:21:14] Yeah. She was a literal damsel and she had nothing to or other than she was a damsel. She just kind of existed in that world. She’s always having to be rescued. The only time she really tried to rescue herself is when she pushes the Man in Black, which is Wesley, down the hill. I mean, and she wasn’t really standing up for herself. She was standing up for Wesley, who she thought the Dread Pirate Roberts was making fun of, but she just kind of stood there like a lump of clay. You know, like the artist sat, the sculptor sat, the clay aside and forgot about it but had everything else ready. And maybe no one will notice. I don’t know. I think she could have had a more central role, maybe more active. Maybe rescued Wesley, rescued herself, managed to figure out that the popping noises in the fire swamp meant that there was going to be a fire spout and not keep getting caught on fire. I mean, if you think about it every time the pop, pop, pop… Wesley had to move her. She couldn’t even step aside herself. He literally picked her up and moved her. And then, you know, we’ve been talking about all the great lines and everything in this movie. She doesn’t get any of the good lines. And I think that’s just kind of a tragedy. She could have been a much better character, but she’s just kind of a lump.

Jason [00:22:29] Yeah, and it’s… It’s sad that it feels like that. And, you know, this is no defense of misogyny in film… But it feels like it’s set up that there’s nowhere… There’s no way for her to be anything more because… There’s not like a escape that she tries to do herself that goes wrong or something where it was like, you know, she’s pretty much screwed. So it’s like, what is she gonna do? But it’s like, well, writing it that way just makes it easy for you to now have a passive character that’s female.

Corrine [00:23:09] Checks check box. Female character check.

Dalton [00:23:12] Well, she’s she’s the ring, right? The Princess Bride. She is the MacGuffin.

Jason [00:23:21] Yes. Yes.

Dalton [00:23:22] If… If the McGuffin has a personality, it can’t be easily transported. Again, not defending that position, but just saying that, you know, she’s the ring.

Jason [00:23:40] Yeah. Yeah. You’ve got a great point. Yeah, she’s. She’s the… She’s the prize, so to speak, which itself could be seen as a little… You know, that’s kind of gross but at the same… At the same time she’s supposed to be pure and unblemished. So it’s almost like well the more we show her on screen the more people might see blemishes. You know, it’s up to the story.

Corrine [00:24:07] Yeah, those are great points. And from a literary standpoint and the fact that she is just a plot device, you can’t really give her a personality. But I just wish, you know, because I’m all about the strong female role.

Jason [00:24:20] Sure.

Corrine [00:24:21] And just when, what we have maybe two females in this movie, really, that have lines. Valerie and Buttercup, and Valerie is a better character.

Dalton [00:24:34] And Buttercup is the mirror through which we view. The two… The two spectrums of masculinity that we find in this movie. So you have… You have Wesley, who represents like a sort of… The the right masculinity. He’s… He’s gentle, yet strong. He’s, you know, he’s a lover and a fighter. And then we’ve got Humperdink on the other end who’s self-obsessed and wants to possess her. And he, you know, he represents toxic masculinity. So, look… And seeing her reactions to both of them and her rejecting Humperdink and accepting Wesley is probably the most important aspect of her character.

Corrine [00:25:36] That’s a good point. I didn’t see it that way.

Jason [00:25:42] So let’s see now… What do you think it could have done better? The Princess Bride. What could The Princess Bride have done better?

Dalton [00:25:53] So my fiancee and I were actually talking about this while I was doing prep for the show. And I I was struggling like, I love this movie. I’ve seen it so many times. I watch it probably once every couple months just to get it back into my system. And I’ve seen it so many times. I didn’t really want to break it down and dissect it. It’s not that it can’t hold up under scrutiny. It’s just that I don’t want it to be scrutinized. It’s so delightful that to put it on a cold metal operating table and then cut it open seems like a sacrilege to me. But… Then I started kind of thinking about it and I was wondering if the film relies too much on. Nostalgia to make it to make it palatable.

Corrine [00:26:56] Mm could… I’m not… I’m not sure about that.

Dalton [00:27:01] Yeah, I mean, if you wanted to really, you know, pick something you could say. You know, it is… It’s got a… It’s almost like it’s got a handicap that like it has an advantage where it’s playing off of things that we’re already fond of.

Corrine [00:27:16] Correct. Yeah. I think that’s what I was getting at. Is it… It doesn’t try to innovate. It tries to strengthen biases and ideas that we already had.

Jason [00:27:34] Yeah, the only innovation it has is in that modern art way of cynicism, cynicism toward the thing that it’s doing, so it has that like cynicism, part fantasy, like it doesn’t take fantasy seriously, even though it’s stuck in a fantasy world. So it allows itself to comment on the genre of fantasy. So in that commentary, you have some innovation because it’s breaking from a mold, but it doesn’t do anything once it breaks from that mold. Possibly. I mean, yeah, that’s an argument you could make. Yeah, of course. I think it’s you know, it’s a wonderful movie, but if you’re… I see where you’re going with that.

Dalton [00:28:17] Thank you for helping me articulate that. I was having a lot of trouble.

Jason [00:28:21] You got it. But no, that was good. I mean, and then like you said, it is hard to dissect this thing just because it’s like a big, warm, glowing teddy bear. You know, it’s just like all good stuff. And you’re like, I don’t want to… Like it’s almost like it isn’t supposed to be broken down. Like, the fact that it doesn’t take it so seriously makes you feel silly for taking it seriously.

Dalton [00:28:42] Exactly.

Jason [00:28:42] So you’re sort of like, why am I taking this seriously? It’s supposed to be fun.

Dalton [00:28:45] You know, kind of like… Not to detour too much in this episode… But the new animal crossing game. There was an article online recently that was talking about how players actually have developed insecurities when visiting other people’s islands.

Corrine [00:29:11] Because they view their progress going to the game as inferior to other players progress.

Dalton [00:29:19] Yes. Yeah. Comparison is the thief of joy.

Jason [00:29:24] Yes, exactly. So for me, I want to I want to say what I think The Princess Bride could have done better… This is the kind of thing that I feel like I’m saying it a lot. You know, I’ve said it twice now. This is the second time we’ve done this. But I feel like I’m gonna be saying this a lot, which is where are the people of color again? I mean, there’s like no, you have… You have some… You have you know, Billy Crystal. So you had like some Jewish representation there. Then you have a bunch of blonde people and you have just like, you know, good looking white people. But there’s not… And the thing is, is that there’s room for ethnicity because it is a fairy tale. And it’s it’s not even a fairy tale set in old time England per say. It just kind of like it feels like it could have any color of people.

Corrine [00:30:19] Yeah, it’s hard to make that argument because Mel Brooks also did you know Robin Hood, men in tights, which we have plenty of diversity there.

Dalton [00:30:29] Right. Right. And Blazing Saddles.

Jason [00:30:34] Right. So it’s like, well, I mean, you know this… But then also on Twitter, like I was just doing research about what other people brought this up. The people of color thing. And when they have, they’ve been shot down heavily by, sadly, white people on Twitter, where it’s just like, how dare you talk about this? Because, of course, Princess Bride has come up along with many other movies about being remade. And so one individual… You know, I–and I’ll put the name in the show notes, but can’t remember it at the moment. But they mentioned, hey, if we’re gonna remake it, let’s think about putting some people of color, some diversity, in this movie because it’s got room for it. It’s a fantasy. Yeah. And they were just you know, they just shot her down. Poor. They’re just vicious. Yeah. I could not find any real support other than just a few like, you know, prayer claps and heart signs, you know.

Dalton [00:31:43] Yeah. OK, so let’s think about this. If we were going to recast the Princess Bride. Who do you think we would put in those those places?

Jason [00:31:56] Also, like Kerry Washington would make a great buttercup.

Corrine [00:32:00] I mean, Kerry Washington’s too great of an actor to just play Buttercup.

Jason [00:32:08] We would… We would improve Buttercup, too, because we’d have to… We’ve got to, you know… Bring it into the 21st century. You know, the 22nd… Whatever century we’re at. Sorry. We got to bring into the 2000s, OK?

Corrine [00:32:21] I’ll allow that. Yeah, I think. I would like to see… I just think it really… Because I’m going off like accents like Cary Elwes, that delicious accent. And, you know, he was such a good looking guy. I think Henry Golding, which you guys probably might not know who that is off top your head. He was the lead actor in Crazy Rich Asians. You probably can Google. He just had a ton of charisma, and I could just see him in that role.

Jason [00:32:54] Right. Yeah. Oscar Isaac for Inigo.

Dalton [00:32:59] Oh, yes.

Jason [00:33:03] You know, Fezzik is a giant… That’s the problem. That’s something that we haven’t really mentioned too much.

Dalton [00:33:11] Yeah, Adam Driver.

Jason [00:33:12] Because he’s got the big torso, but we haven’t mentioned that too much. Is that. I mean, how do you… Andre the Giant as Fezzik is just one of these perfect castings. And it’s… He’s got such charisma and he’s so gentle, he’s the definition of like a gentle giant in this. When they’re jumping down from the tower and he’s catching them… Like it’s… It’s just like he’s catching a baby bird, you know, he’s just such a gentle… Like everything about him is perfect. It’d be hard to recreate that. I would almost think that you would have to take that character and just make it a wild card and do something completely different with it. Yeah, I think I think you do an iconic personality.

Corrine [00:34:06] Yeah, I’d have to agree about that. And also just… I hate to be that person looking at his size. I can’t help but think of the scene… Like when Wesley, right after he gets brought back to life. And he goes drunk in the forest and so forth. And you know, comes up to him and Inigo like holds his tiny little hand up to his big ol’ hand. And you can just see like this man’s hand is three times the size.

Jason [00:34:37] Right.

Corrine [00:34:38] I mean he goes… And we would if you didn’t have someone that large, that would look like they should be a terrifying person, that kind of ruins it.

Jason [00:34:46] Mm hmm. Yeah, that would be the hardest one. But that’s fun. Actually, you know, guys… Leave a comment on the show. In the show notes on, you know, in the comments on iTunes. Feel free to send us–@ Dalton. But just. Yeah, just let us know. Let us know who you would cast in a remake of Princess Bride that would hopefully make it more diverse. But, you know, no pressure on that. But just when it feels natural. Yeah. Okay. Let’s…

Dalton [00:35:22] It just came to me. Our good friend, Dwayne The Rock Johnson as Fezzik.

Jason [00:35:30] That’s a pretty… That’s pretty good. Yeah. Because he’s got the personality that you have to have. Someone who is larger than life, literally and figuratively.

Corrine [00:35:40] I like that idea, but I feel like he’s too obvious too.

Jason [00:35:45] He is in every movie. That does, I suppose, make it obvious.

Dalton [00:35:49] He’s a giant. It’s got to say… But I was just sitting there thinking, like, what wrestlers do we know?

Jason [00:35:57] Yeah. Go back to the wrestlers. Not of bad idea. I think it might be a good idea to go back to that well.

Dalton [00:36:03] I was kind of thinking Dave Batisa, and I’m like, that doesn’t really help too much with diversity.

Corrine [00:36:09] Correct.

Dalton [00:36:11] So, yeah, that’s it. The Rock. It has to be. Yeah.

Final Thoughts About The Princess Bride?

Jason [00:36:16] So let’s see what. Let’s let’s bring it all together. Let’s let’s talk about our final thoughts. So last chance to just bring up anything. Final thoughts about The Princess Bride. I would like to start because I have a bone to pick, and I think this will maybe upset a few people, especially on this podcast. But I think the grandfather-grandson meta narrative kind of ruins the film’s timelessness because first of all, it puts it in a time. It keeps it from being a fairy tale of its own, that can just stand independent. The book itself that William Goldman wrote was just the fairy tale. It had no father, grandfather, grandson or anything like that. I feel like the Hollywood machine was a bit… Had their hands in this where they could not foresee an audience accepting such a fairy tale because it was gonna be a different, bent fairy tale. So they thought, well, let’s just cook it up and make it kind of like the grandfather’s retelling is maybe what makes this a little kooky, you know? And so they just thought that would be a good device. To me, that’s what I feel. But that’s just a hunch. I haven’t done research on that. Look, to me, it just… It just takes us out of it. To me, every time. Every time we go back to Fred Savage’s face, I’m like, why are we doing this? Why are we back in the sick kid’s room? Like, I want to just know what the story is. Well, go ahead. Rant done. 

Corrine [00:38:12] Actually, William Goldman, who wrote the novel also wrote screenplay. He was the one who wrote this in there, he actually went to a whole bunch of work on this because he’s got this character doesn’t even have a name, but it’s supposed to be him. He’s turned himself into the grandfather. And you look at him, he just had enough of his details from his life to make this hand to muddy the line between reality and fiction. But he also then went and just gave this whole elaborate backstory, like the grandfather has a bad relationship with his psychiatrist wife who’s been telling his son he’s overweight. And he just doesn’t connect with him. And it’s just he he poured so much into this story that. It’s not a Hollywood thing. It’s what Goldman thought would be the best way to make it make sense.

Jason [00:39:07] Maybe… But maybe… But I know how Hollywood, you know… You put in a script and then you’re gonna get notes. And so what you see as the final product is… I want to see his rough draft that he took to the first meeting. You know, and just see if there was a lot of grandfather stuff. But even so, you know, I just disagree with it. Even if it was the great William Goldman’s gut instinct that this would be the way to make it work, I just I just feel like it’s the one thing I could definitely lose and still think just as fondly of the movie. But it’s good for what it is. It’s well done. Like I said earlier, it’s you know, that kind of meta narrative is always tricky. People have tried to do it and imitate it so many times and it’s just awful. But this does it well, mainly because of the tone. The tone’s great. Doesn’t take itself seriously? It matches the tone of the fairy tale, but yet grounds us a little bit more. To me, it’s got these kind of good qualities. I just think that that’s something that, you know, I don’t know… Just I’m wondering what everybody else thinks. So, guys, again, go ahead and @ me. TheFictionPhile on Twitter. So let’s… Let’s see… Corrine, what do you think? Final thought.

Corrine [00:40:31] I actually have something else I want to add to your thought here.

Jason [00:40:35] Oh, go for it.

Corrine [00:40:36] You were talking about you’d love to see the rough draft.

Jason [00:40:40] Yeah.

Corrine [00:40:40] I just want to say that all this back story and all these things that he came up with were actually included in the draft. But it got cut because there wasn’t enough room for it all in the movie. And so that’s…. That’s all I had to say about that.

Jason [00:40:57] There we go.

Dalton [00:40:58] Actually, that’s why they had to cut all the kissing scenes.

Corrine [00:41:02] Yeah.

Jason [00:41:02] There we go. All right. Well… Well played.

Corrine [00:41:07] I love this movie and I will fight for it. Obviously, you can @ me anywhere. You can find me if you want to tell me why I shouldn’t love this movie, and I will tell you why you’re wrong. But this is the… and every time like they show it at Midnight Madness somewhere or on any of the big screens, I’m there and going to watch it. No matter how many times I’ve seen it… It’s flawed. It’s… Of course it is. There’s nothing that’s not flawed. That’s made and produced today or in the past. But the movie is just so amazing to me that I can ignore all of its flaws and just enjoy it for what it is… A fairy tale that doesn’t take itself seriously. Like you mentioned earlier.

Jason [00:41:52] Yeah. Well put. Well put. And Dalton, what would you say? What’s your final thoughts about The Princess Bride?

Dalton [00:42:00] Oh, man. I highly enjoy this movie for numerous and varied reasons. It’s… It’s so chill, you can watch it any day of the week at any time and it’s gonna be just as good. I mean, it’s… It’s like pizza because even bad pizza’s still pretty good.

Jason [00:42:26] Hot, cold, warm, actually.

Dalton [00:42:29] Yeah. In May and August. Who cares? Right. But… And I mean, it’s something that me and my fiancee share quite a bit. In like the reveling of this movie, I mean. I think it’s our bridal shower theme or something or whatever that’s called. I’m not… I’m not in it. But she is. She wants the theme… And the theme of it is going to be “as you wish.”

Jason [00:43:03] So the bride is going to be having a Princess Bride theme. That’s cute.

Dalton [00:43:08] Correct. Yeah. So it’s gonna be nice. Looking forward to it. And like there’s just so many good feelings that I have wrapped up in this movie that it’s well, as I said before, it’s really hard to pick it apart.

Jason [00:43:25] Yeah, that’s fair. All right, everybody. Well, before we move on, let’s… How could everybody find you who is listening? Because I’m sure they want to hear more from you. Where can they find you on the interwebs?

Corrine [00:43:42] You can find me on Instagram and Facebook at nonlineargirl. And on Twitter at n0nlineargirl with a zero.

Jason [00:43:52] Fantastic. Cool. And Dalton, where can people stalk you… Or not?

Dalton [00:43:59] Oh, man. Don’t say that. Please don’t stalk. Don’t do it.

Jason [00:44:04] Love… Who can lovingly follow Dalton?

Dalton [00:44:07] You can follow me on Instagram or Facebook at Sword_Gaijin or TheSwordGaijin. You’ll… Look for it. You’ll see it.

Where Can I Find The Princess Bride Streaming?

Jason [00:44:18] Excellent, excellent. And of course, you can find Fictionphile at fictionphilemag–MAG as in magazine–on Twitter or Instagram. Or Fictionphile on Facebook is really where it’s hopping. So check out that. Corrine, let’s move on to where can I find The Princess Bride streaming?

Corrine [00:44:41] Well, unfortunately, I checked all of the major streaming services, subscription services, and none of them have The Princess Bride in their catalog. But it is available to rent digitally on Amazon or you can purchase it digitally from your favorite video service like Apple TV, Google Play. Or you could just go on Amazon and buy the Bluray and have it to watch it whenever you want.

Jason [00:45:06] Yeah. There you go. You could click through one of our affiliate links on Fictionphile and get us some sweet, sweet taste of that.

Corrine [00:45:16] Oh, you bet.

In Closing

Jason [00:45:17] On that point, we might get a commission. Yeah. Look, you know, every little bit helps. Well, thank you, Corrine. Thank you, Dalton. Wonderful, as always. So that’s it, everybody, for this installment of the Fictionphile podcast. I want to invite you to for more scintillating analysis like you heard today. And don’t forget to rate us if you liked today’s episode and subscribe to make sure you don’t miss the next episode. Until then, I want to thank you for spending a little story time with us today. And for Dalton McKay and Corrine Asbell, this is Jason Boyd and the Fictionphile family wishing you a happily ever after.

Dalton [00:45:56] As you wish.


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