- "The Princess Bride: The Untold Tales" - "The Art of Fencing" Featurette - "Fairy Tales and Folklore" Featurette - "True Love and High Adventure: The Official The Princess Bride DVD Game
The Dread Pirate Roberts/Buttercup Editions include all of the Special Edition features plus:
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround) Audio Track
"Dread Pirate Roberts: Greatest Legend of the Seven Seas" mockumentary
"Love is Like a Storybook Story" featurette
"Miraculous Make-up" featurette
Quotable "Battle of Wits" trivia game
Collective booklet: "Fezzik's Guide to Florin"
I prefer the Dread Pirate Robert's/Buttercup Edition, but there are three reasons why you might want to buy the new 20th edition:
1. You don't already own the movie (shame on you). 2. You collect all things Princess Bride. 3. The DVD cover art is fantastic!"
I do not think it means what you think it means
Mike Stone | 04/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember when I first saw this movie, around age 13, I had no idea who the Man in Black was through the entirety of the first act. Sure, it's apparent now, given the benefit of hindsight, but because of the actor's anonymity at the time I never made the obvious connection. On top of that, most of the rest of the cast was unknown to me as well (except for the one non-actor, Monsieur Roussimoff, a.k.a. Andre the Giant). The sweeping anonymity of the company allowed the film to do two things: first, the audience isn't distracted by the presence of the Big Star; and second, unknown actors allow for no preconceived notions of their characters. Which in turn allows the filmmakers to subvert character types, and insert some true surprises into the story.Which, to make a long point even longer, is the whole ethos of the filmWilliam Goldman's book "The Princess Bride", on which this film is based, intended to tell only the 'good parts' version of the story of Westley and Buttercup. That is, it would leave in the high drama and action and romance, while curbing the back-stories and superfluous exposition. William Goldman, in his role as adaptor of the book into a screenplay, remains fiercely loyal to this proposition. He's constructed a framing device, wherein a grandfather is reading to his sick grandson, which allows him to make meta-fictional comments on the seemingly typical fairy tale being told. In doing so, however, he subverts the fairy tale's typicalness, making it much more surprising and revelatory. At one point the grandson worriedly asks about the fate of the villain: "Who kills Humperdinck?" The grandfather calmly answers, "No one. He lives." Which is not only a true statement, for that is exactly what happens, but it doesn't even come close to ruining the end of the story. On the contrary, it increases the suspense, and makes what does happen quite astonishing.Rob Reiner, in only his third time out in the director's chair, does a wonderful job of translating Goldman's script to the screen. He utilizes elements, whether by choice or by budgetary restraints, that would at first appear incongruous, but work as a whole to keep the audience off-balance, and thus more receptive to the surprises the movie has in store for them.The acting is, stylistically, all over the place. It ranges from the unabashed over-the-top passion of Mandy Patinkin (Inigo Montoya), to the bumbling buffoonery of Wallace Shawn (Vizzini), to the gentle anti-acting of Andre the Giant (Fezzik), to the unsubtle Snidely Whiplash villainy of Chris Sarandon (Prince Humperdinck), to the Borscht Belt mugging of Billy Crystal (Miracle Max), to the icy malice of Christopher Guest (Count Rugen), and the stark realism of Robin Wright (Buttercup, the title character). No two actors take the same road, but they all somehow arrive at the same location. Cary Elwes, playing the hero, is the only one who falls easily into all these styles, as the situation demands it. He is menacing, suave, cool, funny, athletic, simple, sweet, fierce, etc., etc., etc. Elwes and Patinkin are the standouts for me -- their swordfight atop the Cliffs of Insanity is technically brilliant, literate, and extremely entertaining -- but the entire cast effective. Even the smaller roles (British comedians Mel Smith and Peter Cook each have brief but memorable one-joke cameos) make their mark.The film's musical score, composed by 'Dire Straits' frontman Mark Knoplfer, swings and sways from moment to moment. In one, he uses stark, bouncy lines to underscore a simple scene of Fezzik and Inigo trading rhymes. In the next, he layers synthesized strings to call up the gravity of the Man in Black's chase. My only problem with the music is the song written for the closing credits: it's weepy and melodramatic, without the sense of subversive fun that had prevailed up until that point.The sets and scenery switch back and forth between real and obviously fake. Filmed in and around the English countryside, most of the outdoor locations (the severe valley, the woods) breathe reality and beauty into the story. Others, such as the Fire Swamp, the Pit of Despair, and the plateau above the Cliffs of Insanity, have the phony feel of a Hollywood soundstage. Again, the film keeps the audience on their toes.So now that I am 27 instead of 13, and know back-to-front the filmmographies of all the actors involved, and have seen the film more than a dozen times, and can quote lines from it at the drop of a hat, do I find it any less appealing than on that first viewing? Of course not. Goldman and Reiner's film rewards multiple viewings, with its wit, its playfulness, and most importantly, its subversiveness. Will there ever be a time when I tire of watching it? A time like that is right now, as Vizzini might say, "inconceivable"."
Immensely entertaining post-modern take on the fairytale.
D. Mok | Los Angeles, CA | 05/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Combining dead-on perfect casting, superb direction, an impeccable comedic script and sumptuous visuals, The Princess Bride is a marvellous piece of cinematic storytelling that, thanks to its brilliant combination of childlike wonder and adult sarcasm (that in itself being a great feat), is accessible to viewers of all ages.The enchanting Robin Wright is wonderful in the title role, with her expressive face and aura of melancholy. Her accent is so convincing that for years I actually thought she was English. (she's from California.) Cary Elwes' cocky, eccentric turn as Westley, the dashing swordsman with a smart mouth, is a stereotyped persona that remains with him to this day, but it works beautifully in this film. Mandy Patinkin and Wallace Shawn add their impeccable comic timing as alcoholic swordsman Inigo and the viciously arrogant Vizzini, and Andre the Giant is lovable as "rhyme-loving giant Fezzik". And The Princess Bride sports two great movie villains in Chris Sarandon's Prince Humperdinck and Christopher Guest's Count Rugen, both evil to the core but so charismatically played by the actors that they come off as truly worthy opponents to the chivalric Westley and Inigo. William Goldman is of course a demigod in the world of screenwriting, his lines sharp and his narrative tight and engrossing, while Rob Reiner's comic-book execution fits the tone of the story perfectly without sacrifice moments of tension, drama, or depth. High points: Goldman wrote in his screenplay "one of the two greatest swordfights in modern movies" and Reiner delivers with Westley's duel with Inigo; the encounter with Miracle Max and his wife Valerie (Billy Crystal and Carol Kane in delightful cameos); Fezzik's wrestling match with Westley; the nail-biting entrance of the R.O.U.S.; the hilarious meeting on the castle wall; Westley's showdown with Vizzini.This movie belongs in any collection."
Pass up this version, it's completely lacking in new feature
Vikinggal | San Diego, CA | 11/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a great lover of the Princess Bride, so when the 20th Anniversary Edition came out, I pre-ordered it and eagerly awaited it's arrival. Well, I got it on Saturday, popped it into the DVD player and fully expected to be dazzled by all of the new extras. There's one new featurette on the movie, which does not feature Cary Elwes. There's an intro to the new PB game that's out. And a featurette about how this compares to other fairy tales. The rest of the features that were so awesome in the special edition, like Cary Elwes' video diary? Nothing else is included. I was very disappointed, and wish I had not wasted my money. The movie is awesome, and if you do not own it, by all means, buy whichever version you please. But my own personal preference is for the Special Edition. It sounds like the Buttercup/Dread Pirate versions are cool too. Just wanted to warn you all so you don't make the same mistake. Thanks!"
Perfect DVD for an American Classic
tdsra | Houston, Texas USA | 09/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The MOVIE: at first glance, this is your basic fairy-tale-fantasy-love-story between Princess Buttercup and her dashing lover Wesley. Mix in some pirates, giants, swashbuckling Spaniards, evil geniuses, dungeons w/ torture devices and six-fingered men, and you have possibly the best non-animated family classic of the 1980s. It's also the favorite (and usually most-quoted) movie of many of my friends. In sum, words cannot do justice to this movie, so please rent it.The DVD: I absolutely refused to buy the first DVD release of this movie, as it was non-anamorphic (i.e., will not fit on widescreen TVs) and was sorely lacking in extras. This SPECIAL edition is well worth the wait. First of all, you have two high-quality featurettes from 1987, each roughly 10 minutes long. The first one is a look behind the making of the movie and includes on-location interviews of the actors between shots. The second featurettes is more of the same, although it focuses more on providing unique insight into the decisions behind the casting of every major character in the movie. Also included is a 5-minute video diary by Cary Elwes, which is basically Cary with a camcorder filming himself and other members of the production at various points (e.g., practicing with his fencing teacher, the crew eating meals, etc.). Cary and Robin Wright provide voice-over commentary. However, the true gem of this disc is the 30-minute "As You Wish" Documentary, in which all the principals (Cary, Robin, Rob Reiner, Billy Crystal, Fred Savage, William Goldman, Mandy Patinkin, etc.) look back from 2001 at the entire history of The Princess Bride, from the reasons as to why Goldman wrote the original book in 1973, to his decade-long attempt to get it put on film, to the choice of Rob Reiner and its subsequent filming, and to the legacy the movie has left in the 15 years since its release. In covering almost every aspect of The Princess Bride, this documentary is often funny, sometimes sentimental (especially when the actors reminisce on their memories of Andre the Giant), and always fascinating.Lastly, the DVD contains two audio commentaries, one by Rob Reiner and a separate one by William Goldman, with each providing their respective insight into the various parts of the story and its filming. (I will say, however, that Rob Reiner's commentary is much better than the sparse one he gave in the DVD for "When Harry Met Sally"). In sum, this is the consummate DVD for any true fan of the movie. I can't imagine too much more that could have been added to this DVD which would have made it too much better. A truly, can't-miss DVD. If you own the first release, you won't regret trading it in for this one."