Monday, September 26, 2016

As You Wish

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of "The Princess Bride" by Cary Elwes  272 pp.

Cary Elwes starred as Westley, the dashing hero in the film adaptation of William Goldman's The Princess Bride.  Goldman wrote the screenplay, Norman Lear produced the film, and Rob Reiner directed it. In this book Elwes tells his own story of being hired and then performing in the film. There is much about the hours of lessons and practice involved in preparing the sword fight. Of course, there are many tales of scenes that were difficult to shoot because of the cast and crew getting the giggles. He also includes anecdotes and commentary from many of the others involved in it: Billy Crystal (Miracle Max), Robin Wright (Princess Buttercup), Christopher Guest (Count Rugen), Chris Sarandon (Prince Humperdinck), Carol Kane (Valerie), Wallace Shawn (Vizzini), Mandy Patinkin (Inigo Montoya), Fred Savage (the grandson), and Mel Smith (the albino). To me, the best parts of the book involve the late professional wrestler and actor, Andre the Giant, who played Fezzik, the giant. Everyone in the cast speaks of what a wonderful, if hard drinking, man he was. Besides being about the film, it is a terrific tribute to a true giant of a man.

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