Sometimes the things you truly love are those that you find hardest to talk about. You just know that your words will not be able to do justice to the depth of your adoration. It is for this very reason that poetry was invented but even if I were W.B Yeats I would not know where to start with The Princess Bride.
Many of the films listed as my favourites on the welcome page of this blog have been covered by their own posts but the very one that gives the website its name has, until now, barely had a mention. I can’t do it justice, what you need to do is just watch it and if you’ve already done so then watch it again.
So to whet your appetite here is just two minutes of this wonderful, knowing, inconceivable fairytale:
The Princess Bride, 0:21:00 – 0:23:00
Spaniard and master swordsman Inigo Montoya (you killed my father, prepare to die) stands ready to duel with a masked man in black who has this whole Zorro thing going on. They parry a little measuring up one another’s skill before launching in to battle.
The sword fight itself is impressive but great as these guys are neither of them are Jedi. It is the lines they speak as they negotiate the rocks, blocking and lunging that truly sets this fray apart from any other. If only all conflict were this respectful and gentlemanly.
Inigo Montoya: You are using Bonetti’s Defense against me, ah?
Man in Black: I thought it fitting considering the rocky terrain.
Inigo Montoya: Naturally, you must expect me to attack with Capo Ferro?
Man in Black: Naturally, but I find that Thibault cancels out Capo Ferro. Don’t you?
Inigo Montoya: Unless the enemy has studied his Agrippa… which I have!
(More swordplay ensues.)
Inigo Montoya: You are wonderful.
Man in Black: Thank you; I’ve worked hard to become so.
Inigo Montoya: I admit it, you are better than I am.
Man in Black: Then why are you smiling?
Inigo Montoya: Because I know something you don’t know.
Man in Black: And what is that?
Inigo Montoya: I… am not left-handed.
Clearly at this point the fight swings in favour of the Spaniard and soon he has his opponent backed up against a crumbling wall, high on a cliff edge but the fat lady is not singing.
Man in Black: You are amazing.
Inigo Montoya: I ought to be, after 20 years.
Man in Black: Oh, there’s something I ought to tell you.
Inigo Montoya: Tell me.
Man in Black: I’m not left-handed either.
Cue dramatic passing of sword from one hand to the other with a delicious fanfare on the soundtrack.
No longer having the elevated position and losing his sword, the Spaniard escapes to level ground by swinging on a bar inexplicably embedded between two ruined walls. Throwing his blade ahead of him where it sticks in a tuft of grass, the man in black follows suit. He swings a full 360° around the bar releasing into a somersault and landing on the ground like a cat on the Chinese gymnastics team.
Inigo Montoya: Who are you?
Man in Black: No one of consequence.
Inigo Montoya: I must know.
Man in Black: Get used to disappointment.