Tuesday night, the New York Film Festival celebrated the 25th anniversary of The Princess Bride (and the release of a new Blu-ray tied to said anniversary) with a special screening of the film, followed by a Q&A with several members of the cast and crew. The movie was raucously received by the rowdy audience: they applauded their favorite lines, cheered the entrances of its many memorable characters like old friends arriving at a party, and generally ate it up with a spoon. After the closing credits, director Rob Reiner, screenwriter William Goldman, and co-stars Billy Crystal, Mandy Patinkin, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Carol Kane, and Chris Sarandon sat down for a Q&A with NYFF Associate Programming Director Scott Foundas. A few highlights from that chat after the jump.
The project came to Reiner partially because of his dad. According to Rob Reiner, a film adaptation of William Goldman’s book The Princess Bride had been considered by several directors before him, including Francois Truffaut, Norman Jewison, and Robert Redford. The book came to his attention via his father, legendary comedy writer and director Carl Reiner, whose play Something Different was included in Goldman’s 1969 book The Season: A Candid Look at at Broadway. The two men became friends, and “when he finished writing The Princess Bride, he sent it to my dad,” Reiner remembers. “So I read it, and I thought, oh my God — and I know you’ve all had that experience, when you’re reading something, and it’s what you wish you could write. It’s like somebody’s in your head, and voicing your feelings for you… I thought this was the most brilliant thing I’ve ever read in my life.” Years later, with This is Spinal Tap and The Sure Thing under his belt, Reiner sought out the project, courted Goldman, and the rest is movie history.