The Princess Bride is frequently cited as every 27 through 45-year-old girl’s favorite movie, and it’s one of the few things that help me overcome my intense cooties because it’s great. Cary Elwes, who, unlike other Robin Hoods can speak with an English accent, has written (along with Joe Leydon and Rob Reiner) As You Wish, an oral-history-style book about The Princess Bride that hits shelves and Kindle tomorrow. I’m still debating whether to get the hardcover version, the Kindle, or to try to baster it directly into my butt, but in the meantime, Elwes revealed a few tidbits over the weekend on NPR’s Fresh Air.
On the initial reaction to the film when it was released in 1987
Fox pulled the trailer. They were actually stumped, the marketing department, God bless ’em, because they’d never come across a film that had so many genres in it. Was it a comedy? Was it an adventure film? Was it a kids film? Was it a fairy tale? Was it an adult movie? And of course, it was all of these things, you see. And they didn’t know how to pitch it. The film came and did some modest business — respectable, modest, but not the kind of money that they hoped.
It wasn’t until about almost a decade later when VHS came out that the film found its legs again — from a film that had been mostly dead, it was suddenly alive again. And then it became this huge hit.
This is neither here nor there, but whenever I see Cary Elwes name I wonder if Germans have been pronouncing it “Cary Elves.”
On the moment when it became clear that the film had found a fan base
I was in a restaurant in New York and I was ordering … a hamburger. And the waitress said, “How do you want that done?” And I said, “Medium rare.” And she said, “As you wish.” And I looked up at her and I went, “What did you just say!?” And she winked and walked off. And I thought, “Oh!” And so it was a wonderful, delightful rebirth, if you will.
I have to imagine that would be so much more gratifying than that guy who played Farva constantly getting called “chicken f*cker.” But hey, you can’t control your legacy. PACAWK!