First: I hit my goal! 120 books!
I love The Princess Bride and I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen the movie so this was right up my alley. Cary Elwes, Wesley, put together his memories of shooting the beloved classic and intersperses his recollections with that of his cast mates. I listened to the audio-book and most of the actors read their own quotes which was magical.
Cary details some of the pre-production, his audition as well as the decades long process it took to bring Bill Goldman’s book to screen, but the action and anecdotes really pick up when he starts discussing all the behind the scenes details from the set.
Beginning in pre-production Elwes and Mandy Patinkin were heavily involved the training for “The Greatest Sword Fight Ever” since Reiner wanted all the swordplay to be done by the actors. His biggest priority was for a realistic duel that did not involve stunt doubles so the pair began training before filming began and the scene was one of the last to be shot to insure their technical proficiency. With only a few weeks before filming the duo got too good at swordplay that they were going too quickly and they had to add even more choreography to fill the time. This included the memorable acrobatics (which did use a stunt double).
Some of the other charming stories included in As You Wish: Elwes on set and off set injuries midway through filming. When screenplay writer Goldman ruined the first take of Buttercup’s dress catching on fire in the Fire Swamp when he walked in halfway through filming and screamed about the flames. Or how the little person inside the ROUS costume was detained by police for drunk driving the night before the big scene was to be shot.
But the Andre the Giant stories are the best though. Because, as it is constantly reiterated by Elwes and the rest of the cast, Andre the Giant was the best.
“Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautiful ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Pain. Death. Brave men. Cowardly men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles.”
It would help to be a fan of the movie before reading this one but if you are a fan you should enjoy it!