Thursday, June 08, 2017

Review: As You Wish - Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride

I don't expect actors to be great writers, but Cary Elwes (the man in black in The Princess Bride) collaborated with a ghost writer (Joe Layden) to recount his experience making the movie in As You Wish.

This account is all from Elwes' point of view, but includes many quotes from the other actors as well as the director and William Goldman in various sidebars, granting the reader various perspectives in the story and the role they played in making the movie.

Among the titbits I didn't know:

  • The budget was only $16M
  • The film was mostly shot in the Peak District of England.
  • Goldman had bought back the original film rights from the studio after they failed to make it, and had to be persuaded that Ron Reiner (the director) could actually make it.
  • Andre the Giant was in pain the entire time he filmed the movie.
  • Elwes had broken his toe in an accident just before filming the "rolling down the hillside" scene, and tried to hide it from his director.
I wish the story included more details of what went into film-making, but it was clearly written to provide fun anecdotes in mind rather than the nitty gritty details behind it.

Nevertheless, with a breezy, easy-to-read narrative, the book's sure to provide enjoyment to any fans of the movie.

Recommended.

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