Just a feel good read, talking all about one of my favorite movies. I did the audio version, and it was great fun not only having Cary Elwes read it himself, but for the parts that were “oral histories” from his fellow cast and crew members, many of them read as well (Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, Rob Reiner, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest).
I already knew quite a bit of behind the scenes information because I went through a period about 10-15 years ago where I tracked down all the behind the scenes features and interviews I could for my favorite movies. But there was lots of stuff in here I didn’t know, and hearing the whole thing from Cary’s point of view had its own charms.
Some of my favorite bits:
*The story about a giant fart Andre let out that made the crew non-functional with the giggles for hours afterwards, especially Cary.
*I knew Cary had broken his toe while filming, but I didn’t know that during the scene where the six-fingered man knocks out Westley, they couldn’t get it to look right with no contact, so Cary suggested that Christopher Guest tap him lightly on the head with the butt of the sword. The first take they tried, Cary was actually knocked unconscious and woke up in the emergency room. That’s the take they used in the film!
*Wallace Shawn was plagued with insecurity the whole time he was filming. He constantly thought he was about to be fired because his agent told him Danny DeVito was the first choice.
* When Billy Crystal and Carol Kane were there filming the storming the castle scene, Billy Crystal improvised so much and so successfully that all the actors kept breaking, and Rob Reiner had to leave the room because his laughter was ruining takes. Cary was exiled soon after and a dummy took his place on the table for the same reason. Mandy Patinkin bruised one of his ribs from holding in laughter.
My only real complaint about the book was that I wish there were more fun stories from the other actors, as most of them were from Cary’s POV, which is understandable since it’s his book. But what was there was really warm, sweet fun. I’m probably going to watch the movie tonight because I haven’t seen it in a couple of years and I really need to right now.