Grandpa comes over to tell his sick grandson a story. Not just any story - one of the most action-packed fantasy stories ever told. There’s fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, and of course miracles. After her true love was taken away at seas, Buttercup agreed to marry Prince Humperdink. He’s plotting to end her on their wedding night and blame a neighboring kingdom to start a war, so he has her taken. Imagine everyone’s surprise when a pirate comes for her, and it happens to be her long thought gone long lost true love.
The Princess Bride, along with films like The Wizard Of Oz, the original Ghostbusters, and films of this ilk is a pitch-perfect feel-good film. To watch it and not feel happy means you have to get your soul examined. Watching the movie just makes people happy. It’s not just one of the great movies of the past forty years, but it’s one of the greatest movies ever made. Think about it - do you know anyone who has seen the film and dislikes it?
The film made stars out Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn, Robin Wright, and of course, Cary Elwes. It also has a heap of quotable lines that each of its stars hears all the time. Patinkin hears Inigo’s famous speech at least once a day. After reading this list - go and rewatch the film for the umpteenth time and see all of these items!
Here are 20 Hidden Things Fans Completely Missed In The Princess Bride.
20 Grandpa Is The Latest Dread Pirate Roberts
Grandpa is very adamant to his grandson about how reading The Princess Bride is a big tradition in his family. Handed down from his father to him, and so forth until now - when the grandson is homesick and Grandpa reads him the story. The tradition of handing down the book is very reminiscent of the story of the Dread Pirate Roberts.
One fan theory which is fun to examine is that Grandpa happened to the most current version of Roberts and had the movie had one more scene, it would when Grandpa comes back the next day with Roberts’ mask for his grandson.
19 Mandy Patinkin Broke A Rib
As Inigo Montoya, Mandy Patinkin played a noble swordsman looking for vengeance against the six-finger man who eliminated his beloved father. Playing a master swordsman and doing your own stunts could possibly take a toll on your body.
Funnily enough, Patinkin’s only injury on set was broken rib. A broken rib he endured when doing his best to not break character and laugh while Billy Crystal was on-set playing Miracle Max. You can catch a glimpse of this during the line, “this is noble, sir.”
18 Patinkin’s Father passed away A Few Months Prior To Production
Patinkin’s role is memorable for the speech he delivers during his assault on Count Rugen, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya...” Inigo has been searching for the Six-Fingered Man for years and has trained for this very moment. Of course, Patinkin delivers the lines with the passion of a man finally getting his revenge.
He also is delivering them with the conviction of the real-life actor, who had lost his father before production began to cancer. To him, he wasn’t fighting Count Rugen, he was fighting a disease.
17 Andre The Giant Had No Strength Left
“You were supposed to be this colossus, you were this great legendary thing!” Vizzini barks at the giant Fezzik during the film. There was a very good reason that Andre The Giant was perfectly suited for the role of Fezzik, the kind and gentle giant - the character was written with him in mind.
But by the time production finally started, Andre was in pain from the effects of acromegaly, the gigantism disease that would help claim Andre’s life in 1993. The once mighty world famous and beloved wrestler couldn’t even lift Robin Wright. So that line was pretty much telling fans what they may have missed.
16 Swordsmanship Training
When the backstories of both Inigo and the Man In Black involve being a master swordsman, then the actors behind the roles better be, by at least Hollywood standards, master swordsman. Both Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin trained rigorously, and yes, they trained to fight with both hands as well!
Even the book’s author, William Goldman knew this part needed intense realism. While writing it, he researched old Fencing techniques such as Bonetti’s Defense, Capa Ferro, Thibault, and Agrippa, so that the dialogue between the two duelists was as genuine as the duel he had written for them.
15 the heavy lifting
What fans may have also missed is how some of the heavy lifting got done. Considering The Giant had undergone some major surgery, lifting anything that was remotely heavy was out of the question for him. It didn't matter that he was a legend. So, when he had to carry things in the film, be it people or object, he had some help.
When he was carrying Elwes, Elwes helped him out by walking on ramps that were hidden below the frame of the camera. They also used stunt doubles to help André out. If you go back and rewatch the films, see if you can spot a stunt double, or if they hid him cleverly!
14 This Is Spinal Tap
In case you didn’t know, The Princess Bride’s Director, Rob Reiner also made the rock mockumentary, This Is Spinal Tap. The film is loved by rock stars from all over the world. When Reiner asked Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler to write the music, the musician agreed so long as Reiner referenced Spinal Tap.
More than happy to oblige, Reiner was able to put the hat he wore in that film into the Grandson’s room in this one. Knopfler also got an unintentional one as well. Count Rugen has six fingers one hand, six fingers plus five and we go to the fabled level 11.
13 the line beneath the line
Reiner felt it was very important to capture the intense chemistry between the two main actors. As it turns out whenever Wesley was saying "As you wish," he was actually saying "I love you". Obviously, that is a very hidden detail that not even the truest fans would be able to spot during a film.
However, now that you know that, you can definitely go back and rewatch the movie, and think about that every time he says the line! It also definitely adds to their chemistry since both of them knew what the line met, even if fans didn't.
12 when buttercup was a man
Sometimes it is very hard to notice when someone is using a stunt double, and obviously, that is the whole idea behind having one in the first place. They are there to provide the actors with some safe space, as there are some things that the actors cannot do without potentially harming themselves.
Luckily, Buttercup had a stand-in, and it was a man who acted as her stunt double. They were filming on some rocky lands, and so a man had to play some of Buttercup's parts, as it was too dangerous for her to maneuver herself during the shot.
11 Westley And Buttercup Weren’t Exactly Acting
As Westley and Buttercup embrace, Grandpa reads the last lines of the novel. “Since the invention of the kiss, there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the purest. This one left them all behind.”
Maybe that’s because actors Cary Elwes and Robin Wright were warm for each other’s forms throughout the filming of the movie. Although they kept their feelings for one another at bay thanks to their professionalism, the DID request plenty of takes and retakes of the greatest kiss ever. So yes, their relationship was hidden in some sense.
10 How The Giant Learned His Lines
Andre The Giant and his giant French accent were fairly hard to understand, unless he was speaking slowly in his wrestling interviews. But Fezzik needed to speak at a fairly normal pace, not to mention be witty and charming.
To help him get ready for the role, Rob Reiner recorded Andre’s lines for the big man to listen to on his own and practice before shooting began. He recited the lines on tape exactly the way he wanted the WWE Hall Of Famer to say them and the result became one of the best in the movie.
9 Wallace Shawn Was Scared Of Danny DeVito
Between quotable lines like “the Cliffs of Insanity,” “Inconceivable,” and “never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line,” it is actually inconceivable to think of anyone playing Vizzini besides Wallace Shawn.
But at one point, Danny DeVito was thought of to play the diminutive Vizzini. Shawn was highly aware of this and was always on edge, pondering how DeVito would play it and worried that he would have been replaced at any moment for the Taxi star. So that is why his character can sometimes resemble DeVito, it is a small hidden gem dedicated to another favorite star.
8 Billy Crystal And Carol Kane Improvised An Entire Relationship
To help some actors prepare for their roles, they often time come up with backstories for their characters, in terms of what they were doing before we see them in the film. Billy Crystal and Carol Kane as Miracle Max and his wife, Valerie had come up with a huge backstory for their characters.
Considering how much of a riot Crystal was on set and how many twists and turns that the duo added to amuse themselves, Reiner should get these two together for a mini-series!
7 the rats
Though some people might laugh at it now, the rats in The Princess Bride were definitely scary enough when they first came out. Even now, they might get a jump scare out of you. However, the rats were not made of complete CGI like they would have been if the movie had been made today. No, they were real people in at suits.
The men in the suits figured out how they wanted to play the rats, so they made their own movements to figure out how the rats would move, giving them their own personality. They ran around and made noises and did everything themselves!
6 Christopher Guest Was hurt
As Count Rugen, Christopher Guest also trained extensively for his sword fighting duel with Mandy Patinkin’s Inigo Montoya. But he never really got to use those skills. As the filming for the duel began Patinkin, who was vehemently trying to avenge his own father’s passing through this film inadvertently stabbed Guest in the thigh.
Instead of working with Patinkin, Guest said to the fencing instructor, “I think he’s going to try to end me. So, all of that stuff I learned, I’m basically throwing out. I’m basically now going to defend myself. So this duel you see on screen was really hiding something bigger! They were really fighting!
5 Count Rugen Really Knocked Out Westley
After escaping the Fire Swamp, Buttercup and Westley are found by Humperdink, Rugen, and their soldiers. Buttercup pleas for her beloved’s life, to which Humperdink acquiesces. Once Humperdink and Buttercup leave, Westley and Rugen know full well that Humperdink wasn’t genuine and Rugen smashes Westley with a rock after the pirate notes the six fingers on Rugen’s hand.
The take that was chosen for the film is the one where Christopher Guest, as Cary Elwes request hit him for real and inadvertently knocked him out cold. So no, it's not just something they filmed for the screen.
4 Inigo Returns Every Wound Rugen Gave Him
Before and during the film, Rugen bests and wounds Inigo several times – the two scars on his face, a forearm, his shoulder, and a knife wound in the stomach. Not to mention eliminating his father years prior.
In a twist of fate, Inigo; ever honorable returns every wound that Rugen handed him. Nothing more or less. He nails him as well in the forearm, shoulder, cheeks, and stomach, before ending him while he pleads for his life, asking for his father back.
3 The Torture Device Makes Zero Sense
Newsflash - The Princess Bride is a fantasy film. If you really want to get into it, it’s really just the story about the story of a Grandpa visiting his sick grandson. It’s a movie, a fantasy movie where anything could happen. But that torture device of Count Rugen’s makes absolutely no sense as to how it works to siphon off years of Westley’s life.
The device is convoluted and so is Rugen’s explanation of it, which barely has any explanation at all. But apparently, rushing water attached to a wooden wheel connected to vine ropes and suction cups can take years of a victim’s life.
2 Where’s The Pit Of Despair?
Count Rugen is holding Westley in his torture chamber in a hidden and hollowed out tree. When Inigo and Fezzik arrive to find the Pit Of Despair and save Westley, they’re having a hard time finding the secret knot in the Thieves Forrest that houses the entrances. Inigo can only find it after begging the soul of his father to guide his sword to the entrances.
Even after Rugen goes in it, even after Inigo’s said finds it; like any well-hidden dungeon, it’s hard for even the viewers to find.
1 A Farm Boy Returns Knowing Everything
It is never stated how smart the guy before he leaves Buttercup, but Westley is just a farm boy. For all intents and purposes, farmboys wouldn’t be as smart as Westley seems to be, even before he sets off. During these times anyway, he was a commoner.
Spending five years with a pirate completely changed him though. In only five years times, he returns knowing more fencing than a guy who has trained his entire life. He comes back pretty much an expert at how to topple an entire kingdom. That can’t all be just because of true love.
Did you miss any of these details in The Princess Bride? Let us know in the comments!