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Inconceivable!
July 5, 2014 6:45 AM   Subscribe

Imagine a world where Fezzik was played by Aaaarnold, and Buttercup turned out to be an alter ego of Monica, because that almost happened. Bonus: imagine a world where a reunion movie happened.
posted by Dashy (35 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
André the Giant seems like he would have been a wonderful person to know.
posted by oinopaponton at 6:57 AM on July 5 [11 favorites]


even more surprising than courtney cox is that whoopie goldberg was considered for buttercup.
posted by nadawi at 6:57 AM on July 5 [3 favorites]


"Six weeks before filming, Cary Elwes broke his toe riding André the Giant’s ATV."

Of course they were hanging out together riding ATV's, this comes as no surprise to me as I am perpetually 8 years old.

This is one of the few movies where the "making of" is as charming and fun as the movie itself - to the point where I think a comedy about the making of The Princess Bride would be a great idea.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:01 AM on July 5 [8 favorites]


Oh man, not only is The Princess Bride a near perfect light comic movie, the book is a near perfect light comdeic fable - its so tight and economical without losing warmth or personality. From a sheer storytelling POV it's damn near perfect.


Also my stage fighting friends tells me the fencing scene is one of the smartest, most complicated bits of stage fencing you'll see on screen,
posted by The Whelk at 7:03 AM on July 5 [8 favorites]


This just gives me more ammunition for the argument that this is one of the finest films of all time.
Thanks for this!
posted by the_royal_we at 7:09 AM on July 5 [1 favorite]


"40. André the Giant disliked the food provided on set so much, he took his week off to drive to France and bring back his favorite French foods. He shared with the rest of the cast."

This is a good story (skip to 6:35m)

Thanks, Dashy
posted by jammy at 7:21 AM on July 5


my stage fighting friends tells me the fencing scene is one of the smartest, most complicated bits of stage fencing you'll see on screen.

My own stage-fighting friend in college would drive us nuts when we all watched Princess Bride - he'd always want to stop and rewind just to watch certain bits of the fights. The fight on the cliff, and then there's this one moment right when Inigo first meets Count Rugen and manages to single-handedly take out six guys in only ten seconds and like five moves; I've seen the whole movie through about ten times, but I've sen those two bits an extra five times each because Ian kept apologetically reaching for the remote and saying "sorry, guys, just ONE more time?..."

The bit about Mark Knopfler wanting a Spinal Tap reference in the film lead to a charming bit in the liner notes for the soundtrack. First there's a lengthy explanation from Rob Reiner, saying that Mark Knopfler had agreed to do the soundtrack if Reiner worked in the hat he'd worn in Spinal Tap somewhere. And then he goes on to tell the whole lengthy story of tracking the hat down, figuring out where to put it, etc. but hurray because now we have the music.

And then Mark Knopfler's entire statement in the liner notes is: "Dear Rob: I was only kidding about the hat."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:23 AM on July 5 [12 favorites]


the argument that this is one of the finest films of all time

Concur. (Obviously.)
posted by inigo2 at 7:27 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]


9. Patinkin said that when he stabbed Count Rugen as Inigo, it felt like he was killing the cancer that killed his father, and “for a moment, he was alive. And my fairy tale came true.”

I've seen The Princess Bride about 20 times over the years (it's a family Thanksgiving tradition), and the climax of the fight between him and Rugen always gave me chills. I completely believe him.
posted by Reyturner at 7:37 AM on July 5 [14 favorites]


I am also completely unable to remember that that IS Mandy Patinkin in the movie. I know it intellectually but in my head he was just born jolly and bearded.

It's like when watching the first season of the Netflix House Of Cards and it slowly dawning on you that the underhanded scheming wife is PRINCESS FREAKING BUTTERCUP.
posted by The Whelk at 7:47 AM on July 5 [5 favorites]


There's just something eternally endearing about how everyone who was alive in the entertainment industry in the 1980's could agree on only one thing, and that one thing was that Andre the Giant was the nicest person ever.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:12 AM on July 5 [14 favorites]


11. Crystal filmed the role of Miracle Max over three days for 10 hours a day, and never made the same joke twice.

I would love to see those outtakes.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:48 AM on July 5 [11 favorites]


and then there's this one moment right when Inigo first meets Count Rugen and manages to single-handedly take out six guys in only ten seconds and like five moves

Four men, four seconds, five moves (starting at 0:21) -- parry one, stab two, reverse to stab one, slash three, stab four. Just phenomenal.
posted by Etrigan at 9:22 AM on July 5 [4 favorites]


The Princess Bride a near perfect light comic movie

I adore you, Whelkingtons, but wtf is the word 'near' doing in that sentence?

Also my stage fighting friends tells me the fencing scene is one of the smartest, most complicated bits of stage fencing you'll see on screen,

That's because they were composed by one of the greatest screen fencers of all time, Erroll Flynn's stunt double, the guy in the Vader costume fighting Alec Guinness, the fight director for the LOTR movies, the one and only Bob Anderson, RIP. He is regarded as something of a god amongst fencers & stage fighters.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:31 AM on July 5 [8 favorites]


I love that Rob Reiner just wanted Mandy Patinkin, in whichever role he wanted to play.

Robin Wright is an amazing actor. I think I look for a little bit of Buttercup in every role she plays - including Claire.
posted by Dashy at 9:33 AM on July 5 [3 favorites]


fixed Anderson link.
posted by kenko at 9:34 AM on July 5


(thanks kenko, I edited to fix it. DERP.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:35 AM on July 5


Robin Wright is an amazing actor. I think I look for a little bit of Buttercup in every role she plays - including Claire.

Claire is who Buttercup would have grown up to be if she'd married Humperdinck and stayed alive.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:36 AM on July 5 [11 favorites]


Six weeks before filming, Cary Elwes broke his toe riding André the Giant’s ATV.

I feel like Andre the Giant's ATV would have been what the rest of us call a Jeep.
posted by Etrigan at 9:38 AM on July 5 [16 favorites]


9. Patinkin said that when he stabbed Count Rugen as Inigo, it felt like he was killing the cancer that killed his father, and “for a moment, he was alive. And my fairy tale came true.”

Last Sunday we lost my father to pancreatic/liver cancer. This was both expected (in May 2013, the doctors said he had about a year to live) and unexpected (up until two days before he passed, he was doing well enough that everyone believed he had several months left).

I believe that cancer will not be with us forever. I believe that we will one day defeat it, decidedly and permanently. I believe that I will be alive to see that day.

Until then, I'm saving up this "I want my father back, you son of a bitch."
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:22 AM on July 5 [17 favorites]


Also:

25. André the Giant grew up in the same village as Samuel Beckett. Beckett used to take him to school."

I disbelieved it but it appears to be true.

From The Mary Sue:
"When André was 12, he was already over 6 feet tall and weighed 240 pounds. He was too big to fit on the local school bus and his family didn’t have the money to buy a car that could deal with his weight if it drove him to and from school.

"Samuel Beckett, Nobel Prize winner (literature) and esteemed playwright, probably most noted for Waiting for Godot, bought some land in 1953 near a hamlet around forty miles northeast of Paris and built a cottage for himself with the help of some locals. One of the locals that helped him build the cottage was a Bulgarian-born farmer named Boris Rousimoff, who Beckett befriended and would sometimes play cards with. As you might’ve been able to guess, Rousimoff’s son was André the Giant, and when Beckett found out that Rousimoff was having trouble getting his son to school, Beckett offered to drive André to school in his truck — a vehicle that could fit André — to repay Rousimoff for helping to build Beckett’s cottage. Adorably, when André recounted the drives with Beckett, he revealed they rarely talked about anything other than cricket."
Inconceivable!
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:28 AM on July 5 [13 favorites]


I've seen The Princess Bride about 20 times over the years (it's a family Thanksgiving tradition), and the climax of the fight between him and Rugen always gave me chills. I completely believe him.

I took a couple of friends to see the film when it was playing at a second run theater in town, years ago, because they'd never seen it and I wanted them to like understand this film that had been so central to my childhood.

But the print was in terrible shape and the theater sound system was awful. So everything looked washed out and crap, and you couldn't really hear the dialogue nearly well enough which is miserable for a film that's made up so much of rapid-fire witty understated patter, and there were breaks in the film where a second or two would just disappear because of a bad splice. It was really frustrating, wanting to apologize throughout the film for how it's better than what they were getting from the presentation.

And then the film got to the confrontation with Rugen, and there at least there's yelling and dynamism and you could—bad print and bad sound and all—still get into the scene as it plays out. And Inigo gets Rugen up against the wall, and gets as far as "offer me money!" "Yes."

And then, blip, a break and a splice and picture mismatched to sound across the splice and Inigo is just suddenly stabbing Rugen and saying "—n of a bitch" and OH COME THE FUCK ON.
posted by cortex at 12:25 PM on July 5 [5 favorites]


"Your honor, we find Mr. Cortex not guilty of arson."
posted by Etrigan at 12:43 PM on July 5 [17 favorites]


Unfortunately, I cannot find a quote. (I halfway hope someone else can list the exact dialog I mean.) But it took me the longest time to realize the bit about "it doesn't feel right left handed" or "It goes too fast if I use my right hand" or something like that was really double entendre. It's amazing how slow I can sometimes be about things like that.
posted by Michele in California at 2:43 PM on July 5


No more rhyming now, I mean it.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:14 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


I tend to be more than a bit skeptical of the stories about so-and-so originally being cast (or considered) for a well-known part--said stories usually being given prominence in Buzzfeed-type listicles--ever since I found out that the thing about Ronald Reagan originally being considered for Rick Blaine in Casablanca wasn't true.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:20 PM on July 5


I have deep, deep love for the book since my dad read it to me as a bedtime story at about age 10 — so I got Dad's "good parts" version of Goldman's "good parts version" of "Morgenstern's version". The movie surprised me by how clear and good and true to the original it was.

What was Roger Ebert's metric for a great film? "Five great scenes, no bad ones", I think? This one scores, no question.
posted by Lexica at 7:44 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]


No more rhyming now, I mean it.

Oh, man. In highschool, I was the Enormous Kid in drama club, with a nimbus of flyaway frizzy curls as well. I was Charles in Pippin, all you need to know.

So, in various classes with other members of Drama Club, they'd make a point to sit next to me, and drop in a phrase with a very bad spanish accent, the last syllable accented.

And I'd have to reply, or be beaten like a mule that's rented.

(Not really. They were drama club nerds. I was enormous... I was the tallest and heaviest kid on our football team my Junior year, and I was the equipment manager(to get out of gym and build sets for the drama club). But you get the gist.)

Also, I once did "Everybody... MOVE!" and it worked.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:52 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


What was Roger Ebert's metric for a great film? "Five great scenes, no bad ones", I think? This one scores, no question.

Howard Hawks, and it was only three great scenes.
posted by Etrigan at 7:53 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]


BlaLaLa: No more rhyming now, I mean it.

Anybody want a peanut?
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:54 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]


3. The Rodents of Unusual Size were men in rat suits.

Really, Buzzfeed? This is something anybody never knew? What the hell else would they have been?

"You... you mean they weren't actual giant rats? Gasp!"
posted by rifflesby at 10:32 PM on July 5


Rifflesby, to this moment I thought they were giant puppets with sticks. Um. I will show myself out now.
posted by viggorlijah at 10:41 PM on July 5


OH

Okay, puppets, I could see that. C'mon back in, viggorlijah. :)
posted by rifflesby at 10:46 PM on July 5


I confess I also thought they were puppets.

Love the movie, love the book, though I when I re-read it last year I found myself unexpectedly whacked over the head by a homophobic slur in one of the modern-day sections. (A slur the Goldman character uses to describe his son, whom he considers 'soft', which makes it even uglier.) Although I'm generally against editing novels for modern sensibilities, because I think they're a record of the time they were written in, it's such a throwaway line that I came away wishing they'd taken it out of the newer editions.

Otherwise, though: still fantastic. The novel holds up incredibly well.
posted by Georgina at 3:08 AM on July 6


Yeah, with that being the era of Labyrinth and Dark Crystal, I always just assumed that was some Henson Creature Shop puppeteering.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 10:18 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


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