From Page To Screen (35) The Princess Bride

For this weeks From Page To Screen, I have decided to cover The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

First let's discuss the book. Below is the cover.

Now for a bit of back story in case some of you aren't familiar with the Novel. The Princess Bride is written by the Author William Goldman. The book was released originally in 1973 by Harcourt Brace (Bloomsbury in the UK). The Princess Bride is presented as an abridgment of a book by S. Morgenstern called The Princess Bride. The book, in fact, is entirely made up by William Goldman and does not actually exist. Instead it is cleverly used as a literary device throughout the actual book.

Let's take a look at some of the characters now, shall we.

Buttercup- Hailed as the most beautiful woman in the world and destined to become Queen,Buttercup is the feisty and passionate heroine of the story. Buttercup has only two loves in the world her horse and Westley. When she believes Westley has died, Buttercup marries Humperdink not out of love or duty but because it is better than death.

Westley- Farm Boy of Buttercup and also in love with her Westley leaves to seek his fortune so he can prove his worth to her. Westley is described as the ideal man. He is brave, multi-talented and devilishly handsome. Every action he makes in the book is based on his love for Buttercup.

In case some of you aren't familiar with the movie, here is a bit of back story. The Princess Bride was directed by Rob Reiner and was released September 25,1987 by 20th Century Fox. While theatrically The Princess Bride did modestly well grossing over $30 million it wasn't until the movie went to VHS and later DVD that it became the classic it is known as today. The Princess Bride is also described by many critics and filmmakers alike as The Wizard of OZ for the 80's generation.

Major Differences Between The Book and The Film
In the book Goldman is the Narrator reading the story to his child. Over the course of a month he reads the story twice.In the Film, the Grandfather is the narrator and he reads the book only once over the course of one day.
In the book Inigo Montoya's father refuse to sell his sword to the six fingered man because he insults its quality.In the Film, Inigo Montoya's father refuses to sell the sword because he does not offer enough money.
In the book Prince Humperdinck prepares to marry a princess from Gilder but when it is revealed she is bald he refuses.In the Film this is omitted.
In the book Prince Humperdinck keeps what he calls a Zoo of Death beneath his castle. It has five levels and each day he selects one animal to be killedIn the Film the Zoo of Death is omitted and instead Buttercup just mentions that he is a great hunter.
In the book when Buttercup is captured by Fezzik and Vizzini she jumps into shark infested waters and nearly eaten.In the Film, Buttercup jumps into Eel infested waters. Fezzik knocks an attacking eel over the head and rescues Buttercup.
In the book Vizzini doesn't want the man in black to see that they have captured Buttercup. He instructs Inigo to kill him and then leaves taking the princess with him.In the Film, Vizzini believes the man in black has already spotted them. Vizzini instructs Inigo to wait and if he doesn't fall, to kill him with the sword. Inigo tells him he will use his left hand to make things interesting.
In the book as the man in black scales the cliffs on Insanity, Inigo checks to see if he has six fingers on his right hand.In the Film, Inigo asks the man in black if he has six fingers after helping him make it to the top.
In the book the story of Inigo Montoya's father is told in voiceover.In the Film Inigo Montoya tells the story of his father to the man in black after asking about his fingers.
In the book Prince Humperdinck agrees to spare Westley. He then tells Count Rugen to put him in the fifth level of the Zoo of Death.In the Film, instead of telling Rugen to place him in the Zoo of Death he tells him to throw him in the pit of despair.
In the book Westley is kept in the Zoo of Death for over a month. He is tortured many times by Count Rugen including his hands being set on fire and also by being covered in spiders before the machine is finished.In the Film, Westley spends only a few days in the Pit of Despair and is only tortured by the machine.
In the book Miracle Max creates the miracle to bring Westley back from the dead. It is only supposed to last for one hour. Unfortunately Miracle Max makes a mistake and the potion will now only work 40 minutes, after that he will almost certainly die again.In the Film Max makes pills to revive Westley's life. No time limit is mentioned however, it does take awhile before he is revived completely.
In the book the story ends with Inigo, Fezzik, Westley and Buttercup riding off into the sunset on horseback. It is left up to the reader to decide whether they exceeded staying free from capture. In the Film, the grandfather ends the story and indicates that there is more kissing and the grandson won't want to hear it. But he does, so the story ends with Buttercup and Westley kissing. It is one of the five greatest kisses of all time.

The above mentioned are the major differences I noticed when the book was translated From Page To Screen. Which however do I prefer? This is a very simple answer. Hands down this weeks win goes to the movie. Why? The cast, it is perfection. Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya, Carrie Elwes as Westley and Peter Falk as the narrator the list goes on and on they were all brilliant!! This film was, still is and will forever remain perfect I tell you. Now that being said, I do love the book, it is great. In the book you do get more back story and some scenes are extended which is always nice. I definitely suggest reading it if you haven't done so already and same goes for the film.

Want to see for yourself? Check out the Movie trailer below!

Well that about wraps up this weeks From Page To Screen. Have a recommendation for an upcoming From Page To Screen, let me know in the comments below! Have you read the book or watched the film? Which did you like better? Why? What is your favorite quote from The Princess Bride?

Leave your answers in the comments below, I love to read your responses.Like what you see? Please share!


  1. I must admit, this is one of those few books that I loved the movie more :) You're totally right--the cast is just perfection!

  2. I looove The Princess Bride. It is one of my all time favorite movies. I'm a little afraid to read the book because I love the movie so much. :/

  3. I totally thought Goldman had taken this from a real book until high school when my friend corrected me. I still would be interested in reading that unabridged version of Morgenstern's version.

  4. The Princess Bride is my absolute favorite movie. I didn't even know there was a book until years later, and I liked it well enough when I finally got around to reading it. Like you, I prefer the movie, but that might be because I saw it first. ;) I agree, the casting was perfection for this movie. Even my 5yo daughter loves this movie! :D


Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping by Blood Sweat and Books and taking the time to leave a comment! If you find my posts enjoyable please share, it means so much when you do.

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Party Games by R.L. Stine

Happy New Year Giveaway Hop. Hello,2013!

Fairy Tale Giveaway Hop