Wednesday, November 21, 2018

My Classic Movie Essentials - Princess Bride + Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

This wasn't the movie I originally intended to talk about today but I was so saddened to hear of the death of William Goldman that I just had to focus on two of his movies that happen to be two of my favorite movies all time.  Goldman was a brilliant screenwriter and a master of dialogue.  I think these two movies show that incredibly well with both quotable lines and a timeless appeal.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) - 

Butch Cassidy - Paul Newman
Sundance Kid - Robert Redford
Etta Place - Katharine Ross

Plot: Two outlaws rob trains and escape to South America when the law gets too close.

What Makes It Essential:  Have there ever been two more charming outlaws than Paul Newman and Robert Redford?  Newman is so wonderfully glib and quick thinking and Redford's more stoic silence with occasional biting comment is the perfect compliment.  The dialogue is hilarious and there are so many moments that beg to be rewatched scattered throughout the film - Butch and Sundance standing on the edge of a cliff and their reunion with Woodcock while robbing trains comes to mind.  While it's technically a Western and an action movie it also has comedy, drama, friendship, and even a touch of romance.  And where else can you watch Paul Newman riding a bike while "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" plays?    

The Princess Bride (1987)

Westley/Dread Pirate Roberts - Cary Elwes
Buttercup - Robin Wright
Prince Humperdinck - Chris Sarandon
Inigo Montoya - Mandy Patinkin
Fezzik - Andre the Giant
Vizzini - Wallace Shawn
Miracle Max - Billy Crystal
Valerie - Carol King

Plot: Heartbroken by the loss at sea of her first low Buttercup agrees to marry a rather shady prince.  Kidnapping, sword fights, poisons and hazardous forests all cause much chaos and hilarity.

What Makes It Essential:  Pretty much everything.  The casting, the script, the cinematography - just everything.  I listened to Cary Elwes' book, As You Wish, earlier this year and I was pleased but not in the least bit surprised by how genuinely enthusiastic everyone connected with the film really is.  This was truly a labor of love and I think it shows in the finished product.  This is probably one of the most quotable movies of all time and one we reference here on a pretty regular basis.  I know there are people who don't love this movie but to be honest I just don't understand them!


  1. The Princess Bride is so awesome. and yes has to be one of the most quotable movies ever- so true! Love it.

  2. I've never watched either of these films! I must admit I've never been interested in seeing films like The Princess Bride! I'm more into a good horror, action or SF film!

  3. Two of my favorite movies from way, way back. I saw the Butch and Sundance movie when I was in junior high. Ah yes....such handsome men! The Princess Bride - well, we can quote so many parts of it and I think I've shared before that our daughter didn't know for number of years that many 'family' sayings came directly from that movie. 'Liar!!' - 'mostly dead' - 'as you wish...'. LOL

  4. Oh no. I hadn't heard. I love The Princess Bride. Thanks for the heads up and sharing your thoughts. 😢

  5. I loved both of these movies. They were great ones.