When the Go Fug Yourself Book Club on Goodreads chose to read The Princess Bride for the April selection I decided to read Cary Elwes’ As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride as a companion piece. It was really a splendid choice since reading The Princess Bride was very much like reading the movie; everything was fresh for me as I dove into Mr. Elwes’ stories of his experiences with the movie.
I think it’s fair to say that to get the most possible enjoyment from this book watching the movie, probably several times, is a prerequisite. But, if you are that person and you always wondered what a set that included Andre the Giant, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, and Christopher Guest (not to mention all the rest) was like, then this is a book for you. It’s also a book for you if you are interested in the neuroses of actors as they grapple with the logistics of the work, or if you are really interested in the directing style of Rob Reiner. Or if you want to know where they filmed all your favorite scenes and handled the stunt work. (or how Cary broke his big toe during filming and got knocked out cold in a separate incident).
Even better than just being the story of the movie from Cary Elwes’ perspective (along with some help from his cowriter Joe Laydon) he was able to convince many of his costars and The Princess Bride’s author and screenwriter William Goldman, to contribute asides to the book intertwining them with his own narrative. The remembrances of stories over a quarter of a century old from a variety of standpoints were really a lot of fun. And now I have new things to look for the next time I watch this classic.