AFI Movie Club: THE PRINCESS BRIDE – American Film Institute
The Princess Bride Film Still - Cary Elwes and Robin Wright



THE PRINCESS BRIDE – featuring classic lines like “Inconceivable!” and “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” – was named to AFI’s 100 Years…100 Passions list of the greatest love stories of all time. 

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Watch OUR SPECIAL GUEST announce the film:


DID YOU KNOW? The film is based on the novel “The Princess Bride” written by William Goldman in 1973. Goldman went on to adapt the novel for the screen, which allowed him to keep the film close to his original work. 

DID YOU KNOW? According to author/screenwriter William Goldman, he wrote the story of THE PRINCESS BRIDE for his two daughters. Goldman asked them what they wanted the story to be about; one said a princess and the other said a bride. Goldman combined both wishes into the beloved title. 

DID YOU KNOW? Most of THE PRINCESS BRIDE was shot on location in the county of Derbyshire and in Shepperton Studios – both located in England. According to director Rob Reiner, the film includes only one shot – one with actor Peter Falk – that was filmed in the United States.   

DID YOU KNOW?  After many had tried and failed to adapt “The Princess Bride” into a movie, director Rob Reiner was able to get the financing for the film from producer Norman Lear. Reiner had worked for Lear previously as an actor in ALL IN THE FAMILY, and Lear had funded Reiner’s theatrical directorial debut, THIS IS SPINAL TAP. 

DID YOU KNOW? Robin Wright had to take a leave of absence from the daytime soap opera SANTA BARBARA to be able to star in THE PRINCESS BRIDE.  

DID YOU KNOW?  Director Rob Reiner gave Billy Crystal – who played Miracle Max in THE PRINCESS BRIDE – free rein to ad-lib while filming. Reiner and Cary Elwes could not keep their composure during some scenes, and both had to leave the room to keep from ruining takes. Mandy Patinkin was able to hold it in but says he might have cracked a rib from doing so. 

DID YOU KNOW?  For the filming of their sword fight in THE PRINCESS BRIDE, actors Mandy Patinkin and Cary Elwes trained with stunt coordinator Peter Diamond and sword master Bob Anderson – both of whom worked on the original STAR WARS Trilogy.  

DID YOU KNOW?  When André the Giant auditioned for the part of Fezzik, director Rob Reiner was unable to understand him. Since André had the perfect physique for the part, Reiner recorded all of his lines for the film onto a tape recorder for him to study and practice phonetically.  

DID YOU KNOW? Cary Elwes was actually knocked out by Christopher Guest during the filming of THE PRINCESS BRIDE. When Elwes’ character Westley is struck by Guest’s Count Rugen, Elwes was rendered unconscious from the blow. The knockout blow was the take used in the film.  

DID YOU KNOW? The song “Storybook Love” from THE PRINCESS BRIDE was nominated for an Academy Award®.  

Learn more at the AFI Catalog

The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram now using #AFIMovieClub. Or post your responses in the comment section below.

-How does THE PRINCESS BRIDE use its framing story to influence the tone of its embedded story? 

-Where does THE PRINCESS BRIDE derive its comedy from throughout the story?  

-There are many iconic lines throughout THE PRINCESS BRIDE. What is your favorite, and why? 

-At what point does it become apparent that THE PRINCESS BRIDE is a film that strays from conventional adventure-romance models? 

-How does THE PRINCESS BRIDE subvert other genre and gender expectations – such as Fred Savage’s early refusal to hear a story about romance? 

-Why does Humperdinck decide not to fight Westley near the end of the movie? Is he demonstrating a lack of courage or just good sense? 

-Was Inigo’s goal to kill Count Rugen motivated more by anger or by love for his father? 

-As the grandfather is leaving at the end of the movie he says, “As you wish” to his grandson. Was there something more to the grandfather’s statement that what was said? If so, what is he saying? 

-How would you rate THE PRINCESS BRIDE?   

In this exclusive AFI Archive video, Rob Reiner recalls meeting an unexpected fan of THE PRINCESS BRIDE:

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