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The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride?  

5 members have voted

  1. 1. Does The Princess Bride go in the space capsule?

    • ✅ As you wish.
    • ❌ Inconceivable!

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Amy & Paul fight for 1987’s Rob Reiner meta-fairytale The Princess Bride! They discuss what makes Reiner’s films stand out, listen to Cary Elwes’ Marlon Brando impression, and ask if this is a perfect example of an ‘everything’ film. Plus: some Andre The Giant stories you won’t believe.

This is the final episode of the Couple Goals series; next week we kick off Underdogs, our series on true-life sports films, with Hoosiers! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. You can also listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall

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So I love this movie, have seen it many times, can practically recite it from memory, but . . . I voted no. Why?

I'm not sure it's actually essential viewing in order to understand anything about the medium of film or the broader culture. It's not one that influenced filmmaking in any major way (for Reiner movies, I think This Is Spinal Tap and When Harry Met Sally both had more influence over future films). As an artistic statement, it's more of a backwards meta-commentary on the genre itself than a movie that really says much about humanity at large. It's really good at that! But I'm not sure it needs to be on the rocket ship.

I'm also not sure how much importance it holds for generations beyond the one that seems to dominate the audience for this podcast: people in their early 40s or late 30s who are on the GenX-Millennial cusp. For us it seems like a hugely important childhood or young-adult touchstone. I'm not sure it's more than just a really entertaining movie to anyone else. I could be wrong about that, but given how much we criticized the AFI list for being so Boomer-centric I have to ask some of the same questions about my generation's favorites.

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I think this is the best film of this miniseries, and I was surprised to find myself voting yes. It really is a clever screenplay about stories from Goldman, and everything is executed right. I'd even rank this above his other screenplays for movies regarded as classics. Spinal Tap is sufficiently different that I don't feel like this needs to compete with that. This can take the place of any fantasy/swashbuckling movie.

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