“That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying “As you wish”, what he meant was, “I love you.” And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.”
One of the most beloved films of the past 30 years actually got its start as an “adult bedtime story” – with a much longer title!
“The Princess Bride” was published in 1973 – a fantasy romance novel by William Goldman. Much more on him later. The book is a magical fairy tale that blends comedy, adventure, fantasy, romance, and was presented as an abridgment (or “the good parts version”) of a longer work by S. Morgenstern, and Goldman’s “commentary” asides are constant throughout the book.
As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, “The Princess Bride.” But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad’s recitation, and only the “good parts” reached his ears.
So the Author decides to do Dad one better. Goldman writes a reconstructed “Good Parts Version” – and as you can see from this paperback edition, they do begin to sell the book as a more ribald “adult” fairy tale.
I found a great review that asked this question: “What’s it about?”
I loved the answer:
“Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.
In short, it’s about everything.”
‘‘I must court her now,’’ said the Prince. ‘‘Leave us alone for a minute.’’ He rode the white expertly down the hill.
Buttercup had never seen such a giant beast. Or such a rider.
‘‘I am your Prince and you will marry me,’’ Humperdinck said.
Buttercup whispered, ‘‘I am your servant and I refuse.’’
‘‘I am your Prince and you cannot refuse.’’
‘‘I am your loyal servant and I just did.’’
‘‘Refusal means death.’’
‘‘Kill me then.’’
It’s a wild adventure that is a joy to read, and the book is still in print to delight readers of all ages…and yes, the book contains this classic line:
“My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!”
The book was adapted into a 1987 film that was directed by Rob Reiner – and the screenplay written by Goldman himself.
Goldman once said:
“I’ve gotten more responses on The Princess Bride than on everything else I’ve done put together—all kinds of strange outpouring letters. Something in The Princess Bride affects people.”
Golden was much more than the Author of “The Princess Bride”. He was an Oscar-winning Screenwriter of such films as “Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid” and “Marathon Man”, based on his novel. He wrote many great memoirs of life in Hollywood as well:
Golden died in late 2018. Here is a look at his life and incredible work:
I’m sure you’ve seen the movie, but have you read the book?