Books or the Movies, Featuring The Princess Bride

A thrilling tale that is equally as funny and witty best characterizes The Princess Bride. The romantic comedies plot, filled with forbidden love, loss, revenge, and crazy twists, was an instant hit, and a Cinematic counterpart soon followed. The alternate experience is never quite the same as the original, and The Princess Bride is a perfect example of this. Although they generally have a similar plot, the movie leaves out some of the quest, and other ideas differ.

Prince Humperdink is a key example of contradicting ideas between the book and movie.

In the movie, Humperdink is acted by an regular, if not small, man. Conversely in the novel Humperdinck is described as a rotund 200-plus pound man. The Zoo of Death symbolizes Humperdinks array of insecurities as a man in the novel. However it is never seen in the Movie. Humperdink is shown as an avid hunter in both works, but definitely in one more then another. In the movie he’s shown mostly as a skilled tracker, but in the novel his obsession for the sport drove him to create the zoo of death, where we see that it’s more of a five layer killing machine, then a zoo.

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This omission in the movie leads to the loss of a complete step in Fezzik and Inigos journey. In the novel, the two battle through the multiple levels of the zoo and it’s terrifying animals to find Westley. In the movie they do not struggle to find Westley in the chamber.

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The difference in Humperdink resulted in the loss of multiple scenes and how we picture Humperdink

The two similar tales have a similar plot but some details differ. First, the movie uses eels, rather than the sharks in the novel. The book has Fezzik and Inigo go on a small quest to find ingredients for the revival pill for Westley. In the movie, Miracle Max is able to make it without the two leaving. The kiss that, “leaves the other great 5 kisses behind,” is found in different parts of the plot in the movie and book. Goldman uses this line to describe Westley and Buttercups kiss in the beginning before Westley leaves to seek his fortune. In the movie though, after Westley has rescued Buttercup from Humperdinck, they share a passionate kiss. That is when the grandfather uses the five kisses line. In the novel, when inigo is chasing the count and is locked out and he asks Fezzik to help him break down the door. Fezzik actually struggles, trying 3 times before finally succeeding. In the movie, he knocks the door down in one shot. The torture machine also differs. In the book the machine goes from 1 to 20 for the pain levels. In the movie however the machine goes up to 50. These differences were not extremely major, but adjusted some time tables and dffiered the plot of the two tales.

Another huge difference within the book and the movie is the backstories of characters and what the audience knows. The movie is actually surprisingly less detailed in this aspect then the book. In it, Fezzik, Inigo, and Vizzini are just together with no backing. Nothing is said about how the three found each other or really about anything regarding there specific individual backstories. For example, we know Inigo’s father is killed by the six fingered man, but we know nothing about when or how. Conversely, the book fills in the holes left in the movie about each characters past. Whether it be Count Rugen, Fezzik, or Miracle Max, knowing a character’s back story can make them more enjoyable and in some cases hilariously relatable. Although the books details allow for better understanding, the movie offers humor that just can’t be matched in text. Andre the giant is a perfect Fezzik and Billy Crystal as Miracle Max is, to put it simply, one of a kind. Watching on screen allows the audience to see the emotion and the delivery of lines from a brilliant cast. Humor just cannot be portrayed as clear in words than in picture.

Goldman’s, The Princess Bride is an extraordinary piece of literature that provides a richer more detailed land for the characters to be a part of. The movie was adjusted to be more appealing to Hollywood and fit the constraints of a two hour film. That sacrifice and the omitting of certain plot points, allows us to witness this thrilling tale with our eyes. Although the two differ, both offer a unique and similar take on your ordinary story.

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Books or the Movies, Featuring The Princess Bride. (2021, Sep 22). Retrieved from

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