As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I remember seeing "the Princess Bride" at the dollar movie at the end of 1987. I loved it completely and wondered why I'd never heard of it. Of course, I was smitten by Westley. I bought the book at the campus bookstore before I graduated the following year. The movie has since become a classic and my children quote it better than I ever did.
The actor playing Westley grew up and wrote a memoir on the making of this epic movie. I do not use epic lightly. Cary Elwes a little known actor who was just getting some solid experience in the business when he was approached by Rob Reiner to play Westley. He was ecstatic. Turns out, this was a very special and exact movie, a screenplay written by the author of the novel, years earlier for his daughters. How do you make a perfect movie for the perfect book? The right director, the right cast, and best supporting staff, and some magic thrown in by Miracle Max.
The movie is an anomaly; the perfect balance of satire and fairy tale. Every character given perfect lines (some ad libbed), yet a perfectly clean, seamless adventure, love story, fairy tale emerges. So, it seems, the making of this movie was also. A few wonderful secrets are given away like how they climbed The Cliffs of Insanity and the story of the broken toe, the secrets of the swamps, the fire, and best of all, the sword fights. Big spoiler here, the sword fights were real and hard earned.
This is really the story of what can happen on the set of a movie when there is mutual love and respect for one another and a true passion about the art.