Rob Reiner’s friendly 1987 fairy-tale adventure delicately mines the irony inherent in its make-believe without ever undermining the effectiveness of the fantasy. The framing device is a grandfather (Peter Falk) reading a favorite book aloud to his skeptical grandson (Fred Savage). In the imaginary kingdom of Florin, the beautiful Buttercup (Robin Wright) is separated from the farmhand she loves (Cary Elwes), betrothed to the evil Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), and spirited away by the nefarious Vizzini (Wallace Shawn). The colorful characters and adventures are, at their best, like live-action equivalents of Disney animated features, with lots of other fond Hollywood memories thrown in: Andre the Giant seems a cross between Andy Devine and Lumpjaw the Bear, while Mandy Patinkin’s engaging Inigo Montoya conjures up Gene Kelly in The Pirate. Adapted by William Goldman from his own novel.
The Princess Bride
PG • 1 hour 38 min • 1987