The Princess Bride has been one of my favourite films since I was about 13.
It’s always in my top five, regardless of how I’m feeling that day, though I’ll admit it can be a changeable list!
It has a bit of a cult status as it was never on general cinema release in the UK, which is a crying shame. But, on the flip side, it has led to some special moments when I realise I’ve found a fellow fan; usually a fellow hopeful romantic, with a strong sense of adventure and a tongue-in-cheek sense of humour.
It’s just a corker from beginning to end, and, as the owner of special edition DVDs and a couple of books about it, I think it’s safe to say I’m a bit of a geek on the matter (though, in my slight defence, they were all gifts!).
I did get to see The Princess Bride in a cinema for the first time last summer, which was like seeing it for the very first time all over again.
Spookily it was being shown in the same week of the funeral of the person who first introduced us to the film – Brian, my mum’s partner during my teens.
One of my lasting memories of Brian is of tears of laughter pouring down his face at the Peter Cook scene (if you don’t know it, you hopefully soon will). It’s hard not to love a film when you see a reaction like that from someone, but my sister Jennie and I grew to love it for many more reasons of our own.
Last summer was perfect timing for me to see it on the big screen, and perfect timing is also how I’d describe every bit of dialogue, raised eyebrow and physical comedy genius throughout the film.
So, I’m delighted to report you too can get to see it this weekend in Leeds – AND on a big screen – you lucky, lucky people. Oh yes, and the best bit – it’s FREE!
The fabulous people at Sneaky Experience, in partnership with the lovely folk at Leeds Dock, are holding a special outdoor screening this Saturday (30 August) – and it’ll go ahead whatever the weather so dress appropriately!
If you haven’t seen the film I hope this might whet your appetite to go along, and apologies for any spoilers, but I just couldn’t resist including the quotes. “Have fun storming the castle.”
1. The Land of Make Believe – Bucks Fizz
Peter Falk as the Granddad arrives to read his poorly sick Grandson (a super cute – pre- The Wonder Years – Fred Savage) a fantastical tale set in a far away land. It’s got “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles..”. Is this is a kissing book? Well, I guess only time will tell…
2. Build Me Up Buttercup – The Foundations
The beautiful Buttercup gives Westley the farmboy a bit of a run around from the start, but we know she doesn’t really mean to. So, next time someone snaps “fetch me that pitcher” (as they will no doubt frequently do), have a good look into their eyes, as you may find they’re actually saying something a little bit more. The best way to respond, of course, is with “as you wish”…
3. Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds
Westley leaves Buttercup to seek his fortune. He promises he’ll be back for her. After all, “this is true love, you think this happens everyday?” She tries her best to believe him and wait, really she does…
4. Shakin’ All Over – Johnny Kidd and the Pirates
Is it just me, or is the thought of throwing yourself down a hill, followed by a rough and ready pirate, a tad more shake-making than being ‘rescued’ by a prince? That mask! Those trousers! Fancy a tumble?
5. Don’t Fence Me In – Ella Fitzgerald
Inigo is the first to meet with the man in black, and try and defeat him with the fencing skills he has been honing since that most desperate of days. They chat and learn a bit about each other before they try and turn each other into skewered kebabs – very gentile. It’s also in this scene that we learn the meaning behind those all-important words: “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya…”
6. Birdhouse In Your Soul – They Might Be Giants
This is of course to celebrate the brilliance that is Andre the Giant who plays Fezzik (also, handily, a giant). His way might not be very sportsman-like, but he sure gets some crackin’ one-liners. “Anybody want a peanut?”
7. Heal the Pain – George Michael
When it comes to torture, Prince Humperdinck and Count Rugen are pros – so much so that they believe that a person should be nursed back to strength (by Mel Smith) before the evilness commences. “Welcome to the pit of despair…”
8. Going to the Chapel – The Dixie Cups
There’s a wedding, oh yes, there’s a wedding. But is there a “mawage”? I guess you’ll have to watch to find out, and you might learn a thing or two about “twu wuv” along the way…
9. I Believe In Miracles – The Jackson Sisters
There’s also a bit of crisis – in the form of someone who’s “mostly dead” – so Inigo and Fezzik seek the help of Miracle Max for some otherworldly intervention. Will it work? “It would take a miracle.” But then I guess that’s what twu wuv is all about…
10. Kiss – Prince
It might not be a kissing book throughout, but, by golly, there’s one heck of a clinch at the end. I’m not spoiling it, as I’m not telling between whom! But I will say this: “Since the invention of the kiss, there have only been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind.”
Oof, I’ve come over all peculiar. I think I need a bit of lie down…
Follow @clancywalker for more marvellous musings
Follow @SneakyExp for more details on their pop-up cinema screenings