Friday, November 04, 2011

Scene Stealer: The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride is one of my favourite movies. Sure it’s a sappy love story, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a swashbuckling adventure with laugh-out-loud moments, a great screenplay and a brilliant cast. All of the pieces fit so perfectly together to create a film with timeless appeal. Entertainment Weekly recently featured a cast reunion pictorial and it got me thinking about the film and its many memorable scenes. It was hard for me to choose one scene stealer from the film when I considered the fire swamp with its fearsome rodents of unusual size, the scenes with Andre the Giant, Vizzini’s incessant exclamation “inconceivable!”, and the zany, yet sweet miracle making couple portrayed fantastically by Billy Crystal and Carol Kane, but I finally settled on one. How could anyone forget this famous refrain from this great scene stealer in the film?

“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” These lines are uttered repeatedly by Spanish fencing virtuoso Inigo Montoya – played brilliantly by Mandy Patinkin – as he seeks to avenge his father’s death. His pursuit of the six-fingered man who killed his father has consumed him for years, and when he finally finds Rugen, he challenges him to a duel. The two engage in a violent sword fight where Montoya is stabbed and severely hurt. But the thirst for vengeance in him is fierce, and with intense loathing in his eyes, backed by a dramatic and powerful musical score that accompanies the scene to a tee, Montoya repeatedly recites his greeting of vengeance, and the suspense builds with every utterance and with every thrust of his sword.

Montoya prevails by killing Rugen and his quest for vengeance ends. The scene is a perfect conclusion to that substory in the film - you've been rooting for Montoya to get his man, and how he does so by inciting frustration and fear in Rugen, and the ultimate surrender of his nemesis with the simplest of refrains is simply brilliant, and it has become one of the most famous phrases from the highly quotable and memorable film.


  1. Ashamed to say I have not seen this yet. Couldn't believe from the above picture that this guy wasn't Kevin Kline!

  2. This is among on what I believe is one of the few movies that I can say is perfect. There's no flaw about the film and it has something for everyone.

  3. Phips7:39 pm

    i absolutely LOVE this movie...and Inigo is awesome. I just love every aspect of this film.

    God, I need to watch this again.

  4. After watching that terrible 3 Musketeers film, I was remarking how this film was superior in the swashbuckling aspects and in general for that matter. Enjoyed your post.

  5. I love this movie and I have probably seen it a dozen times over the years. I agree that there are a ton of great scenes in the movie. I could probably quote them for five minutes straight.

  6. @pturner1010 - It's a must-see that won't disappoint. I never spotted the resemblance before, but now that you mention it, that picture of Mandy Patinkin kind of does look a little like Kevin Kline.

    @thevoid99 - I concur. It continues to deliver even after multiple viewings. It's one of my all-time favourite films.

    @Phips - I absolutely love it too. Inigo is one of my favourite characters in the film. I also need to watch it again! - So the new Three Musketeers movie isn't worthwhile? I kind of got that impression from the trailer. Thanks - I won't waste my time or my money seeing that one in theatres.

    I agree with you - The Princess Bride is a great swashbuckler and a great comedy and a great love story - it succeeds as a multi-genre film. And thanks - I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

    @Chip Lary - Every time I find it on TV, I have to stop and watch it. I'm hoping that my nieces haven't seen the movie yet because I think it would make a great Christmas present.

    So true - so many memorable scenes; so many memorable quotes. "Inconceivable!"


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