Every now and then, the motion picture industry kicks some absolutely serious ass throughout an entire year with a venerable array of odds and ends that go down in cinematic history. One such year was 1987 — which delivered unto us movies to satisfy every genre lover: action (The Living Daylights), sci-fi (Predator), horror (Hellrasier), and even romance (Moonstruck). 1987 also gave us an unprecedented glimpse at to what can happen when someone successfully adapts a fantasy/adventure/comedy/romance novel many previously thought impossible to film. Never an easy task, indeed — especially back when movies didn't have overrated CGI effects to rely upon.
Nevertheless, Rob Reiner — the very same fellow whom most still referred to as "Meathead" at that point in time, and who had previously brought us This is Spinal Tap and Stand By Me — managed to take William Goldman's story The Princess Bride and turn it into cinematic gold. By effectively once-removing the audience from the fantasy world it takes place in, Reiner's The Princess Bride establishes a contemporary reality first, wherein a seasoned Peter Falk stops by to read the very same novel to his grandson (Fred Savage), who is sick in bed. Thus, we are able to visit and adjourn from Goldman's fictional land at the drop of a hat — or, as Goldman frequently does in his own screenplay, whenever Savage's character truly has to question what the heck is going on.
But it's the imaginary Renaissance-era nation Goldman invented back in '73 that fans of 1987's The Princess Bride perhaps savor the most. The story — for those of you who have been mostly dead in the Pit of Despair all these years — tells of the extraordinary adventure a beautiful young woman named Buttercup (Robin Wright) goes through. After learning her beloved beau (Cary Elwes) has been captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts, Buttercup lamentingly decides to marry Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon, looking just as fine as he did in Fright Night — though nowhere near as seductive). Then, on the eve of her wedding night, Buttercup is kidnapped by three completely madcap outlaws: a Spanish fencing master (Mandy Patinkin) with a grudge to bear against the six-fingered man who killed his father, a gentle giant with a knack for rhyming (Andre the Giant), and the nefarious Sicilian (Wallace Shawn) who masterminds the whole abduction.