The Princess Bride is a 1987 American film, based on the 1973 novel of the same name by William Goldman, combining comedy, adventure, romance, and fantasy. The film was directed by Rob Reiner from a screenplay by Goldman. The story is presented in the movie as a book being read by a grandfather (Peter Falk) to his sick grandson (Fred Savage), thus effectively preserving this novel's narrative style. This film is number 50 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies" and number 88 on The American Film Institute's (AFI) "AFI's 100 Years... 100 Passions" listing the 100 greatest film love stories of all time.
The film is an enactment of the following story read by a sick boy's grandfather (Falk) as the boy (Savage) sits in bed listening, framed and occasionally interrupted by scenes of the reading. A beautiful young woman named Buttercup (Robin Wright) lives on a farm in the fictional country of Florin. Whenever she orders the farmhand Westley (Cary Elwes) to do chores for her, he complies and answers "As you wish." Eventually she realizes he loves her and admits her love for him. Westley leaves to seek his fortune so they can marry, but his ship is attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts. Five years later, believing Westley is dead, Buttercup reluctantly agrees to marry Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), heir to the throne of Florin. Before the wedding, she is kidnapped by three outlaws: a short Sicilian boss named Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), a gigantic wrestler from Greenland named Fezzik (André the Giant), and a Spanish fencing master named Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), who seeks revenge against the six-fingered man who killed his father. The outlaws are pursued by Prince Humperdinck with a complement of soldiers, and also by a masked man in black. The man in black catches up to the outlaws at the top of the Cliffs of Insanity, where he defeats Inigo in a duel and knocks him unconscious, chokes Fezzik until he blacks out, and kills Vizzini in a battle of wits by tricking him into drinking poison. When he tells Buttercup he is Roberts, she becomes enraged at him for killing Westley and shoves him into a gorge, wishing death upon him, but she realizes he is Westley himself when he replies "As you wish!" She throws herself into the gorge after him, and they flee through the dangerous Fire Swamp. When they are captured on the other side by Humperdinck and his sadistic six-fingered vizier Count Rugen (Christopher Guest), Buttercup agrees to return with Humperdinck in exchange for Westley's release, but Humperdinck secretly orders Rugen to lock Westley in the castle torture chamber. When Buttercup expresses unhappiness at marrying Humperdinck, he promises to search for Westley, but his real plan is to start a war with the neighboring country of Guilder by killing Buttercup and framing them for her death. Buttercup taunts Humperdinck after learning that he never tried to find Westley. Enraged, Humperdinck tortures Westley almost to death. Meanwhile, Inigo and Fezzik meet when Humperdinck orders a gang of goons to arrest the thieves in a nearby forest, and Fezzik tells Inigo about Rugen. Inigo decides that they need Westley's help to get into the castle, and when he hears cries of anguish, he realizes they must be from Westley. Inigo and Fezzik find Westley and fear him dead, but they bring him to a wizard named Miracle Max (Billy Crystal), who explains that Westley is "only mostly dead" and revives him to a state of heavy paralysis. After Westley, Inigo, and Fezzik invade the castle, Humperdinck orders the wedding ceremony shortened and Inigo finds and kills Rugen in a duel, repeatedly reciting his greeting of vengeance: "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." Westley finds Buttercup, who is about to commit suicide, and assures her that her marriage is invalid because she never said "I do." Still partly paralyzed, he bluffs his way out of a duel with Humperdinck, then rides away with Buttercup, Inigo, and Fezzik. Back in the boy's bedroom, the boy asks his grandfather to read the story to him again the next day, to which the grandfather replies, "As you wish", which, as he explained earlier, means "I love you."