NORTH BETHESDA, Md. — Prepare to die…of laughter.
This weekend, Strathmore presents “The Princess Bride: An Inconceivable Evening with Cary Elwes,” featuring a sold-out screening of the comedy/fantasy classic at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Afterward, Elwes will attend a special Q&A with Zachary Pincus-Roth, pop culture editor of The Washington Post. There will also be a meet-and-greet opportunity where Elwes will sign copies of his book “As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of ‘The Princess Bride.'”
If you miss the sold-out Strathmore event, don’t worry. You’ll get another crack at it next month as “The Princess Bride” returns to multiplexes nationwide on Oct. 15 and Oct. 18 as part of the Big Screen Classics series hosted by Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events.
“‘The Princess Bride’ is kind of a perfect movie,” TCM host Ben Mankiewicz told WTOP. “It’s just one of those movies that resonated with people. I saw it three weeks ago [and] probably hadn’t seen it in 25 years. Talk about holding up! I’m sitting there, I cried 19 times during the movie, you cheer and every time you think, ‘Oh, this is too stupid,’ it’s just perfect.”
Adapted by William Goldman from his own 1973 novel, the story follows a grandfather (Peter Falk) who reads a fairy tale to his skeptical grandson (Fred Savage). It tells of Westley (Elwes), who must rescue Princess Buttercup from Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) alongside Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), Count Rugen (Christopher Guest), Fezzik (Andre the Giant), Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), Miracle Max (Billy Crystal) and Max’s wife Valerie (Carol Kane).
The film was directed by Rob Reiner in the middle of a successful run of “This Is Spinal Tap” (1984), “Stand By Me” (1986), “The Princess Bride” (1987), “When Harry Met Sally” (1989), “Misery” (1990), “A Few Good Men” (1992) and “The American President” (1995). Apparently, Reiner laughed so hard watching Crystal on set that he had to excuse himself from filming.
“Almost all of that dialogue he has toward the end of the movie where they revive Westley, almost all of that was improvised,” Mankiewicz said. “Rob Reiner was laughing so hard that he got thrown off his own set. His guffawing belly laugh was getting picked up on the mic, so he had to excuse himself as they shot that scene of Billy Crystal doing Medieval Yiddish.”
The event celebrates the 30th anniversary of the film’s release on Oct. 9, 1987.
After the success of “Princess Bride,” Elwes went on to star in “Glory” (1989), “Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” (1992), “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” (1993), “Liar Liar” (1997) and “Saw” (2004).
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