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Movie Crushes: The Princess Bride

April 20, 2010

You can’t hurt me. Westley and I are joined by the bonds of love. And you cannot track that, not with a thousand bloodhounds, and you cannot break it, not with a thousand swords.

It was interesting growing up in Africa where there were only two TV channels, neither of which worked predictably. But my parents stocked up on return trips home by (illegally) videotaping movies and TV shows for my brother and I to watch on those rare days when we wouldn’t be outdoors chasing cows, climbing trees or building mud villages. In fact, our parents preferred that we play outside, so they restricted us to one movie or TV show per week. That day was Monday, and my brother and I looked forward to it every week, even though we had trees, lakes and a million species of animals, birds and insects to explore. Still, we sat down every week, and eagerly savoured our decision. Would we watch Flipper again? Or maybe The Shaggy Dog? How about Cinderella?

What both my brother and I agreed on, time and again, was the movie The Princess Bride, a film that captured our imaginations in bright, inexplainable ways and infused itself into our play time. A tomboyish girl, I pretended I was “Westley,” while my brother chose the name “Peter” (I believe, after the older brother in Chronicles of Narnia). We copied the sword fight scene. We played hide and seek in a make-believe “swamp” (really just a fish pond and a few banana trees). We both imagined ourselves the explorers of a new and wonderful fantasy world, part Narnia, part Princess Bride wonderland.

However, as a pre-teen girl, with the echos of puberty making their way ever closer to me, I saw Westley differently. He became my Prince Charming, and I dreamed of being swept into a romance with a man who would do my bidding with humble, hungry eyes and an obedient “As you wish.” Nothing could make my stirring little heart happier than kissing those lips, hearing that voice and knowing that Westley loved me and not Buttercup. I was crushing on Westley big time, but can you blame me?

Fun (random) fact about Princess Bride: Because the VHS tape on which my parents had recorded our copy of The Princess Bride was already partially filled with video, we never saw the final 10 minutes of the movie! We would always watch the movie until the point where Westley faces off with the Prince Humperdink, but we never knew how the movie ended. It was the ultimate cliffhanger for over ten years, until we moved to Canada and, a few years later, at a friend’s sleepover where we watched the movie under a pile of blankets, I finally witnessed the glorious happy ending and, heart bursting with happy relief after a decade of cliffhangers, cried a little tear.

I still don’t know if my brother has ever seen the full movie, so I think I know what I’m getting him for his birthday this year …

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2010 4:28 am

    I love, love, love this movie – it’s one of my all-time favourites! As brilliant as the film is though, the book by William Goldman is even better.

    • Zoë Blue permalink
      April 20, 2010 4:32 am

      AGREED! I remember when I finally got around to reading the book, I never put it down. And I laughed so hard I could hardly read, I was crying with laughter. WELL worth a read.

      However, the book is definitely darker than the movie, and I can’t help but wonder if there needs to be a warning for 13 year old girls before they start reading about violent animal deaths … just a thought, William Goldman.

  2. April 20, 2010 7:06 am

    oh agreed! The book is not for young girls! But it is (was) oh so good!

    • Zoë Blue permalink
      April 20, 2010 9:09 am

      Even the movie made me look the other way (the R.O.U.S. attacking Westley was pretty gristly, but the thing I ultimately hated was that death machine), but yes, the book is a delight!

  3. April 20, 2010 7:51 am

    she kinda looks like you!

    • Zoë Blue permalink
      April 20, 2010 9:11 am

      Oh Matt, if you had told me this was I was 13, I might have swooned a little.

      On a related topic, I wonder if anyone’s ever gone as Westley and Buttercup for Halloween. Where will YOU be this October? ;)

  4. April 20, 2010 8:23 am

    I think I mentioned that my license plate is a Princess Bride reference…

    Lisa the Uber-Movie Dork

    • Zoë Blue permalink
      April 20, 2010 9:13 am

      I’m a total dork too. But I think it’s universally acknowledged that people who like “The Princess Bride” are just COOL. And people with Princess Bride license plates? Even COOLER. I crown you, Lisa, the Queen of Cool.

  5. April 20, 2010 9:39 am

    OMG I love this movie. :) I would totally go as anyone from it for Hallowe’en.. if I had someone to partner up with. :) Mmmm… now I must get this film on DVD.

    • Zoë Blue permalink
      April 20, 2010 9:49 am

      Oh really? In that case … where will YOU be this October? ;)

      This was one of my absolute favourite birthday gifts a few years ago. When my friends gave me this DVD I nearly had to reach for my smelling salts.

  6. April 20, 2010 3:27 pm

    Haha! Love this movie like everyone else! But it broke my heart when I discovered that Westley was gay. Or at least the actor who played him. I crushed on him for years.

    On a side note, my clarinet teacher dated Inigo Montoya when they were in college. Before he got the part. So cool!

    • Zoë Blue permalink
      April 24, 2010 5:28 pm

      Oh Kelly, your clarinet teacher is AWESOME. :) I feel like anyone who was that close to Inigo Montoya automatically gets 10 Cool Points. :)

      Is he really gay? His Wikipedia page looks like he’s been married for a while. But who knows, is he closeted? If so… *sad face* I really have a thing for red-headed guys who wear pirate pants.

  7. April 20, 2010 7:39 pm

    someone else flirting with my Zoe!! grrrr…

  8. July 10, 2010 2:32 pm

    OMG! That’s amazing–never knowing how a movie ends yet it’s a part of your childhood fabric. That’s a BOOK in the making. Can you work on that, please? Rock it, sister!

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