17 reasons why The Princess Bride is still the best childhood movie 30 years on

The fairy-tale romance doesn’t always go to plan (Picture: Getty Images)

The Princess Bride inconceivably turns 30 this year and it remains the movie that taught every child born in the 1980s about the values of friendship, the nature of true love, and the great threat posed by Rodents Of Unusual Size.

In tribute to this masterpiece of fantasy cinema, here are 17 reasons why The Princess Bride is the ultimate 80s childhood movie:

It’s all in there

The film is a triumphant blend of action, suspense, comedy and romance, all in one unforgettable cinematic package.

Two for one

It works on two levels, being both a classic fairy-tale story and a loving pastiche of that genre.

It’s write on the money

The screenplay, which is unique, fresh and funny, was written by the author of the original novel, renowned Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman.

A fantasy cast

Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, Carol Kane, Peter Falk, Peter Cook and Andre the Giant… as casts go, it really does take some beating.

The scraps were good

The film had fantastic sword fights created by the legendary combat choreographer Bob Anderson.

In particular, the clash between Westley and Inigo Montoya stands out.

Killer lines

The greatest in-fight repartee of all time comes courtesy of Westley and Inigo.

Full of mutual admiration and respect, Inigo says: ‘You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you.’

Crystal’s contribution

Every minute of Billy Crystal’s Miracle Max character is a joy.

He comes to our heroes’ aid when it is needed most and teaches us all about a nice MLT – mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich.

And don’t forget: ‘You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.’

Falk’s forays

The film has one of the best ever movie grandpas in the shape of Peter Falk.

Captivating his young grandson with his storytelling, he makes the observation: ‘When I was your age, television was called books.’

Inigo once again

The contribution of Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya, sword fighter and adventurer extraordinaire who will not stop until he has his vengeance, is brilliant.

He also gets to deliver one of the all-time-great film lines: ‘Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.’

A big help

Andre the Giant’s Fezzik is both one of the kindest and most powerful companions of all time.

He’s one man you always want on your side if you’re ever in a scrape or simply just need to scale the cliffs of insanity.

After all, he IS the Brute squad.

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Banter to the fore

The Battle Of The Wits between Vizzini and Wesley is a memorable example of what can happen when deductive reasoning goes too far.

Remember ‘never get involved in a land war in Asia’?

Laughs a-plenty

Let’s not understate just how funny the film is, too, especially Inigo’s observation regarding Vizzini’s use of the word ‘inconceivable’.

‘You keep using that word,’ Inigo says. ‘I do not think it means what you think it means.’

Mel’s in there too

Plus there’s a great cameo from the late great Mel Smith as the assistant torturer who really likes the Pit Of Despair.

The Cook effect

And let’s not forget ‘mawwiage’.

However witty and clever the film may be in parts, Peter Cook officiating a wedding with a silly voice will always be hilarious.

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Sturdy stuff

Underneath it all, it’s a story about true love, but it manages to never be overly saccharine or mushy along the way.

It is, as the grandson found out, enjoyable even if you don’t like ‘kissing books’.

The love bomb

The film’s central lovebirds, Cary Elwes’s dashing Westley and Robin Wright’s beautiful Buttercup, are the ultimate fairy-tale couple.

‘This is true love,’ Westley says. ‘You think this happens every day?”

Three little words

Finally, it promoted the three most important words in the English language: ‘As you wish.’

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