Thursday, October 30th 2014
Author: Cary Elwes
Publisher: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: October 2014
Genre: Non Fiction/Memoir
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Many of us grew up loving The Princess Bride, a film that came out when I was still accepting recommendations from my parents. I remember my father reading the TV guide in his lounge chair, exclaiming, “Oh, good. The Princess Bride is on. You’ll love this.” and changing the channel to probably HBO (as I think that was the only movie channel we had at the time) and thus changing my life forever. (He also recommended I watch Back To The Future, one of my all time favorites as well so I may even venture so far to say that I do trust my father’s judgement)
After watching this most remarkable film, I begged my father to buy the VHS. And when I had that in my grubby little hands, I watched it until the VHS almost worn out. Then, there it was on the book shelf, with a photograph of Cary Elwes and Robin Wright on the cover. I read that as soon as I got home. So you could say that I am a fan of the film, of the book. And now I am a fan of this charming book by none other than Wesley, I mean Cary Elwes.
Elwes’s backstage stories are full of humor and warmth. He recollects tales of him and Andre the Giant drinking after the film wrapped. He talks about getting hurt on the set. He remembers seeing Robin Wright for the first time and meeting Rob Reiner in Europe and talking to him about the part. There is so much talking about the fencing scene between him and Mandy Patinkin, I can’t wait to run home and watch the film again! There are so many wonderful memories and scattered through the book are little blurbs from all of our favorite actors plus Rob Reiner and a few others. The best part? Elwes himself narrates the book and others read their own blurbs, adding such depth and color to the story and bringing you back to the scenes of The Princess Bride.
Want to know how long it took them to film the fencing scene? How did they get Andre the Giant onto that horse? What was Wallace Shawn afraid of on set? And which actor got hurt on the set, his injury still visible on film today?
They even touch upon how the studio didn’t know how to market a film that crossed over so many genres. And how the film’s main momentum picked up in VHS sales later on. (I liked hearing this too because I feel like I am one of those people who contributed to this.)
Besides the stories that captivated me, the best thing that stood out was Elwes’s warmth and sincerity when he spoke about his experience. Indeed, all of the voices look back on this beloved movie with fond memories and it’s clear in their voices that they realize they were a part of Hollywood magic that is rarely duplicated.
If you’re a fan of The Princess Bride, this behind the scenes memoir is not to be missed. If you like hearing Hollywood stories and Hollywood magic, this is something you should pick up. One thing I’m sad about? Elwes was signing this book in my local book store but I was out of town for it! Apparently he lives in Los Angeles though so maybe I will still see him around. And if I do, and you’re reading this Mr. Elwes, please forgive me when I ask you to say your most memorable line – As You Wish.
Rating 9 Ridiculously Awesome like Cookies and Ice Cream