The Princess Bride has become a classic film, beloved by several generations of fans. But when it was first released in 1987, it was only moderately successful, despite positive reviews. The home video market helped make the film a success, and its great cast, quotable dialogue & effective mix of adventure, comedy & romance continue to delight viewers. Cary Elwes, one of the film’s stars, has penned a memoir about the making of the movie. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, is the story of the film from Elwes’ perspective, and it’s an enjoyable book. Elwes, who played Westley/The Man in Black, charts the production from director Rob Reiner’s struggle to get the movie made, through the casting, production & release of the film.
The book, co-written with Joe Layden, has an easygoing, relaxed style. It’s kind of like sitting down for a couple of pints with Elwes & chatting with him. You get an insider’s look at the day-to-day process of making a movie, and while it’s not overly technical, there’s a lot of great detail about the production. Some of the best stories involve Elwes & co-star Mandy Patinkin’s arduous training with swords, so they can perform the famous swordfight featured in the film. There are some wonderful stories about the cast & crew. Some of the most touching anecdotes involve Andre The Giant, who played the gentle giant, Fezzik, and Robin Wright, who portrayed Elwes’ love interest, the beautiful Buttercup, in the film. The book also features sidebars written by some of the cast & crew, including Rob Reiner, Wallace Shawn & Chris Sarandon.
If you’re a fan of the movie, this is a light, engaging read. Elwes also touches on the film’s journey from mild success to cult classic, and talks about the cast’s reunion for the film’s 25th anniversary. While many actors talk about how wonderful it was to make a certain project, and how everyone really got along, in this case you truly believe it. The cast & crew of The Princess Bride really felt they were working on something special, and Elwes & his co-stars still regard the experience as one of the best they’ve ever had. Take some time to journey back to the world of The Princess Bride, and join Cary Elwes & the gang for a delightful look at the filming of the movie version of William Goldman’s classic novel. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride is now available in stores & online.