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.