The Princess Bride

In the 1973 book and 1987 film The Princess Bride we meet two true lovers named Westley and Buttercup.    Westley was a farm boy working for Buttercup’s parents, and Buttercup was the most beautiful girl in the world at that time!   When she finally realized her love, and confessed it, Westley decided to leave in order to make his fortune.

Buttercup learned that his boat had been attacked by the dread pirate Roberts.    She was told no one had survived.   Five years went by, and she was numb to anything.    She had decided never to love again, after her initial mourning.   After those five years Prince Humperdinck happens upon Buttercup and decided to make her his Princess Bride!

The main action of the story takes place when the future Princess Buttercup is kidnapped by Vizzini, with the help of Fezzik and Inigo Montoya.   She nearly gets killed by sharks (in the book) and screaming eels in the movie!   Fezzik saved her then, and all four of them climbed the Cliffs of Insanity!   

They are followed up the Cliffs by the Dread Pirate Roberts (the Man in Black).    He then wins a sword fight against Inigo.   He also beat Fezzik at a battle of strength, and beat Vizzini  in a battle of wits.   Vizzini died by drinking iocane powder, that the Man in Black had made himself immune to!

After they fall down a hill Buttercup learns that not only is the Man in Black the Dread Pirate Roberts, he is in fact Westley!!!   They together make their way through the Fire Swamp, and then Buttercup is taken by Prince Humperdinck, who also kidnapped Westley.   Westley is almost killed by Humperdinck’s men, but is saved by Fezzik and Inigo, and they take him to Miracle Max (a miracle man played to perfection by Billy Crystal in the film)!   

Buttercup is forced down the aisle by the Prince, and nearly had to marry him!   She never actually said “I Do” and Westley points out that if she did not say yes she is not married!   Westley won a battle “to the pain” against Prince Humperdinck.   Meanwhile Inigo had his famous battle with the six fingered man who killed his father.   This is the oft quoted “My name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die!” scene.   

In the end they all escape on horses Fezzik has found.   Then of course there is the greatest kiss of all time between Buttercup and Westley!

This book and its film counterpart, tell the tale of a modern fairytale.   There is something for everyone, and it all centers on true love!

Note: The image at the top of this post is the Criterion Collection packaging of the film.   I found the image on

Further Reading/Watching

  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  • The Princess Bride (1987)
  • As You Wish by Carey Elwes