It's been 30 years since The Princess Bride hit screens, and since it is one of my all-time favorite films, I decided we should take a little dive into the history of the beloved classic.
Here's 15 facts you probably didn't know about The Princess Bride:
1. Buttercup's Cold
Wearing dresses all the time on-set turned out not to be the best way to keep warm, and Robin Wright got very cold. Fortunately, co-star Andre the Giant was able to keep her warm with his massive hands, which he just placed on her head to heat her up. Sounds toasty!
2. The Real Love On-Set
If the romance in this film seemed almost too real to anybody while watching, that's because it actually was. Cary Elwes and Robin Wright were crushing on each other and romantically involved during the filming, and while they didn't stay together afterwards, they remain close and adorable friends to this day.
3. Andre's Favorite Thing
Turns out there are some real downsides to being massively tall. Andre the Giant said that his favorite thing about making The Princess Bride was that nobody would look at him in a strange way because of his height, as he said often happened elsewhere. It's nice to think that the cast didn't treat him any differently and appreciated his qualities.
4. Billy Crystal Is Hilarious
Rob Reiner, the director of the film, found himself laughing so much at everything Billy Crystal did while on set that at one point he had to step away because he actually felt sick from laughing so hard.
5. Billy Crystal Is Really Hilarious!
But wait, it gets worse: Billy Crystal also injured Mandy Patinkin on-set by making him laugh so hard that he actually bruised a rib. It's ridiculous but entirely true!
6. The Real Pirate
You may have scoffed at the idea of the Dread Pirate Roberts in The Princess Bride, but you'll be shocked to discover that he was based off a real pirate called Bartholomew Roberts. He was a Welsh-born pirate captain and raided ships off the coasts of America and Africa in the 18th Century.
7. The Giant Wasn't All That Strong
Despite his character, Fezzik, being famed for his strength in The Princess Bride, by the time filming started, Andre the Giant had major back problems and needed help carrying things during the process.
8. The Six Fingered Man-Child
Despite Christopher Guest's role as Count Rugen, who was supposed to have been an adult when he maimed Inigo Montoya as a child, Guest is actually only four years older than Mandy Patinkin, the actor who played Montoya. Thus the whole idea of that timeline is pretty strange.
9. It Was Almost Never Made
William Goldman sold the rights for the book to be made into a film years before the release, and after various projects fell through, he came close to actually buying the rights back because he was worried about the book being ruined by a bad film. Fortunately it all came together and we got the excellent film we all know and love.
10. Rob Reiner Was (Sort Of) In The Film
While director Rob Reiner never actually appeared on-screen in the film, he did have a cameo of sorts doing the voice-over work for the Rodents of Unusual Size in the fire swamp. Exactly the elegant kind of cameo every director wants!
11. Inigo's Revenge Was Exact
A fascinating detail about the film is that while Inigo kills Count Rugen to exact his final revenge, he never does anything to Rugen more than Rugen had already done to him. As a child he received two cuts on his face, and during their final battle Rugen stabs him in the stomach and in both shoulders. When Inigo finally gains the upper hand, he merely replicates these five wounds on Rugen, which kill him.
12. Cary Elwes Loved Real Acting
At one point in The Princess Bride, Count Rugen knocks Westley out by hitting him with the hilt of his sword. The thing is, Cary Elwes wanted it to look real and told Christopher Guest to hit him for real. Guest did so, and the result was production had to stop for a day while Elwes was taken to the hospital with a concussion.
13. The Origin Of The Title
The title, originally chosen for the novel by William Goldman, was called The Princess Bride because Goldman originally wrote the story for his daughters, one of whom asked for a story about a princess and the other for a story about a bride. Inconceivable!
14. Cary and Robin Didn't Want It To End
It wasn't just that they had crushes on each other during filming, Elwes and Wright had developed such a great friendship with each other and everyone else involved that they purposefully messed up their final scene a number of times to delay the end of filming.
15. The Sword Fight Was Real
The most legendary scene in the film is, without a doubt, the cliff sword fight between Westley and Inigo. The gentlemanly way they duel is easily one of the best back-and-forth banters during a sword fight in film history. Adding to the marvel of it all, the fencing parts were all actually done by Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin after months of grueling fencing training. That's pretty impressive to pull off without any stunt double help.
Well that's it for today, time to go rewatch the movie in honor of 30 great years.
What part of The Princess Bride is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.