As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes with Joe Layden – Book Review

What other book would be appropriate to review on the day after Christmas but one that covers the making of the movie “The Princess Bride”? A film that is beloved by millions, including myself and my family. I remember watching this movie for the first time on VHS. My initial thought was “How could I have missed this movie?” And from then on, I was entranced. As I am every time I watch it.  After all, how could William Goldman have gone wrong, with such characters as Westley (aka the Farm Boy), Buttercup, Inigo Montoya, Vizzini, Fezzik, Miracle Max and his wife Valerie; as well as Prince Humperdinck, Count Tyrone Rugen and many others.  When I read the book The Princess Bride to my kids I had to stop often due to fits of giggles.  And the same is true with the movie.  How they were ever able to get a printable “take” I truly do not know.

The most notable fact about this book is how generous Cary Elwes is with his fellow actors. From the stories both he and everyone involved in this project tell regarding the filming it’s understandable why this movie is the classic it is today. From William Goldman’s love of his book to Rob Reiner’s steadfast ability to remain true to the feelings and sentiments of the book, this movie was magic in the making. As is this book. I laughed so hard over some of the tales that were related in it, and found myself wondering how Rob Reiner was able to come up with the exact actors he needed for each part.

Not only were the actors perfect, but the stories show everyone involved with the movie in a flattering light. So often you only read the ugly stories told about actors that everything about this was such a refreshing change. It seemed that they all somehow felt that the movie they were making was magical and special. Thankfully for us, that is exactly what they made.

I won’t tell you the funny stories that Cary Elwes and the other actors related, but I will tell you if you’re a fan of the movie or the book, you should definitely read this book. It left me feeling that all was right with the world, and that I was right to love this movie because it was made with love and magic.

Here’s a few of my favorite quotes from the movie:


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