Family Movie Night


By Karyn Bowman


There are precious few perfect movies.


These are movies that are exceptional in each scene from start to finish. You connect to the characters, remember spectacular dialogue, and think about the movie long after the closing credits have rolled by.


Some movies I think are perfect starts with Singin’ In The Rain and might end somewhere with The Invincibles. Moonstruck and Citizen Kane are on my list as well as Star Wars and Rebecca.


Another movie that makes my list is The Princess Bride  which is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its opening date.


Poster Image from

Directed by Rob Reiner and starring unknown Cary Elwes and Robin Wright, this movie is based on the children’s book by William Goldman about a princess about to marry a man she does not love.


What makes this movie even more enchanting is the framing of a grandfather reading the story to his sick grandson. Peter Falk plays a man loving enough to be willing to read a story to his grandson but tough enough to tell his grandson to zip it when the boy interrupts too much.


But that is not the only thing that has made this movie a classic.


It is the style and wit that the actors carry with the movie. The actors choose to be sincere when they could have gone into parody-mode ala Leslie Neilson. Instead we believe in Buttercup’s love for Wesley and his for her. Finding out who the six-finger man is never a true surprise but he is played in a very drole manner by Christopher Guest.


Who can forget the friendly and accommodating conversation between the Dread Pirate Roberts and Inigo Montoya before their pitch-perfect sword fight?


Then there are the unforgettable lines.




“Have fun storming the castle.”


“Rest well and dream of large women.”


“If only I had a holocaust cloak.”




“I would not say that if I were you.”


“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”


It is hard to pick a single perfect scene so lets not. Instead, let’s remember how delightful the introduction scene in the courtyard is for poor Buttercup. Let us dwell on the kidnapping scene and the attempted escape. My favorite scene might be the sword fight meant to mimic the best of Douglas Fairbanks Jr.


Let us remember the light touch of the late Peter Falk. Let us remember for a moment the late Andre the Giant’s ability to rhyme perfectly and easily.


Let us remember a movie that was perfect from every last cast member to the sterling dialogue and exciting sword duels.


When this movie first arrived at the theaters, it was a flop. No one went. But then the word got out as to what made this a great movie. People heard about it, saw it on VHS, talked about it to their friends and made it popular.


And they never forgot that this movie, beyond the swordplay and desire about revenge, is about true love.

Every movie tries for perfection, to follow the rules of their society that they have set, to make each scene ring true. Very few achieve that status. But when they do, it is the thing of legend.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.