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Small But Poignant Details Fans Noticed In 'The Princess Bride'

Updated August 25, 2020 2.8k votes 434 voters 15.4k views10 items

List RulesVote up the charming details that make you say, 'Conceivable!'

The Princess Bride - it's what brings us here together, today. You know it, you love it, you quote it every chance you get. It's a swashbuckling tale of romance and daring, supported by heartfelt performances and written by William Goldman - who originally crafted it as a bedtime tale for his young daughters (one requested a story about a princess, the other about a bride).

It's a film that wasn't a huge hit in theaters, but has grown more beloved with every passing year. Redditors are fond of sharing their favorite parts of the film, as well as new things they notice with each rewatch. Here are the most interesting, fun, and touching Princess Bride little details you may have missed.

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    Fred Savage Is The Audience, Peter Falk Is The Movie

    When asked why people like the film, a former Redditor pointed out this meta example:

    All you have to do is watch the very beginning of the movie to understand why everyone else loves it. In the beginning of the movie, Columbo (Grandpa) is selling his grandson on the book and why he will like it. It's at this moment that we the audience are also sold. Here is the dialogue.

    The Grandson: A book?

    Grandpa: That's right. When I was your age, television was called books. And this is a special book. It was the book my father used to read to me when I was sick, and I used to read it to your father. And today I'm gonna read it to you.

    The Grandson: Has it got any sports in it?

    Grandpa: Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles...

    The Grandson: Doesn't sound too bad. I'll try to stay awake.

    Grandpa: Oh, well, thank you very much, very nice of you. Your vote of confidence is overwhelming.

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    Mandy Patinkin Channels His Personal Loss Into Inigo Montoya

    When asked why people like the film, Redditor u/saywhaaaaaaa shared this:

    I guess Mandy Patinkin's father had recently died of cancer and he used that in the role, visualizing Count Rugen as the cancer that had killed his dad (and thinking that if he killed The Count he might somehow redeem or save his father). This kind of freaked out Christopher Guest, especially during the final duel. The bonus features on that DVD are pretty great.

    Come to think of it, that's another reason why it's a dude's movie. Behind-the-scenes, Mandy and Cary were practicing their swordfighting constantly and wanted their duel to stand up against the greats like Errol Flynn. It seems like the whole movie was like that, everyone was committed to the highest standard of quality even though it was a lighthearted movie overall.

    [Editor's Note: In a 2011 interview with EW, Patinkin said, "I had lost my own father — he died at 53 years old from pancreatic cancer in 1972. I didn’t think about it consciously, but I think that there was a part of me that thought, 'If I get that man in black, my father will come back.' I talked to my dad all the time during filming, and it was very healing for me."]

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    Westley Is Really Knocked Out By Count Rugen

    From Redditor u/Yobfesh:

    TIL in the movie The Princess Bride, when Count Rugen [Christopher Guest] knocks Westley [Cary Elwes] on the head, the tap came a little too hard and Elwes was knocked legitimately unconscious. He later awoke in the hospital. It's that take, with Elwes actually passing out, that appears in the film.

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    Westley And Inigo's Actors Trained Hard For Their Duel, And It Shows

    From Redditor u/pandaposse:

    The sword fighting scene is probably the greatest choreographed fencing duel in film. It's well-paced, incredibly disciplined, and the buildup of complexity is fun to watch.

    What makes it good is that the fight scene was not done by stuntmen - it really is Mandy Patinkin & Cary Elwes. They had to learn how to fence, and they had to learn how to fence with both left and right hands. Incredibly difficult, but they make the end product look effortless, which is the entire point.

    [Editor's Note: The Redditor here is correct about the work that went into the duel, and it's worth giving a little more detail to appreciate the extent of it. According to actor Cary Elwes' book on the film, he and Patinkin trained 8-10 hours per day for two and a half weeks with stuntman Peter Diamond and Olympic fencer Bob Anderson. On top of that, the duel was shot at the end of the production schedule to give the actors the maximum amount of time to prepare; and on top of that, Patinkin had been studying fencing for two months prior to when filming began.]

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