11 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Princess Bride’

Warning: This may trigger major nostalgia

It’s been 30 years since Mandy Patinkin delivered his iconic line: “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

More than three decades later, The Princess Bride continues to capture our hearts, in its timeless love story between Westly (Cary Elwes) and Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright). 

The fractured fairytale, which earned its loyal audience for its legendary pre-fight banter, sassy one-liners and of course, Cary Elwes.

Although, before the film became a permanent fixture in our VHS collection, the cult classic barely made it to production. 

Here are 11 facts that are sure to bring back major nostalgia for your most beloved utopian romance:  

Princess Bride

1. Elwes wasn’t the first choice for Westley

In fact, Oscar winner, Colin Firth was originally in the running to play Cary Elwes.

2. Wrestler André the Giant didn’t actually do any heavy lifting

Following a major back surgery, Andre the Giant (André René Roussimoff) could not lift any heavy objects, instead, the seven foot and 540-pound actor used a stunt double for the majority of his more physical scenes. 

3. One of the final scenes did not make the final cut

Before it was cut from the film, Fred Savage originally walked over to his window, after his grandfather had left and sees Fezzik, Inigo, Westley, and Buttercup all on riding on their white horses.

4. Patinkin was thinking of his late father when he delivered his most famous line

When Patinki uttered his Spanish vow, “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die,” he was sadly thinking of his father who has died of cancer a few years prior to reading the script.

5. Elwes filmed many scenes with a broken toe 

Six weeks into production, Elwes had an accident in an ATV (which was used to transport Andre on set, because he didn’t fit into the crew van), leaving him with a broken toe. Initially, Elwes tried to hide his injury from the director, but they ended up using trick photography to hide his limp in many of his scenes.

6. Andre the Giant really knew how to eat… and drink!

Turns out Andre could drink anyone under the table. When the cast would go out for dinner, Andre would order four appetizers and five entrees. While three bottles of cognac and 12 bottles of wine reportedly only made his a little tipsy. 


7.   It took months to film the legendary sword fights

While not heralded as an action film, the sword fights on the cliffs of insanity, which entails an epic three-minute sword battle, took months of practice and a whole week to shoot. 

8. A huge Hollywood star was originally supposed to play André the Giant

Before he became a household name, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was originally cast to play Andre the Giant, but by the time the film started production, Schwarzenegger’s career had already taken off and they could no longer afford him. 

9.  Westley and Buttercup’s love was real!

Elwes wrote in his book that, “It was as if I were looking at a young Grace Kelly, she was that beautiful,” adding “To be honest, I couldn’t concentrate on much of anything after that first encounter with Robin. She was the perfect Buttercup in my mind’s eye.” Turns out you just can’t fake that kind of chemistry!

Princess Bride

10. Elwes ended up in the emergency room whilst filming a scene

Whilst filming a fight scene with Rugen (played by Guest), Westley is supposed to get hit on the head with a sword handle. But as the scene didn’t look authentic enough, Elwes told Guest to actually hit him. His next memory was waking up in the emergency room, whilst stitches were being sewn into his skull!

11. The movie nearly didn’t get made

For more than a decade, The Princess Bride was put on hold due an unrelated series of production houses closing and producers getting fired before finally, Goldman bought back the rights to the book. We are forever indebted. 

Related stories