Essays On The Princess Bride

Norman Jewison, Robert Redford and even French auteur François Truffaut attempted to direct , yet they all failed to secure sufficient interest from studios or independent financiers.‘This is the kind of thing that would happen,’ explained Goldman.

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” And he said, “The love story.” And I said, “How can you sustain the love story with all that tomfoolery?

” And he said, “Difficult.” And I said, “How can you sustain the love story with the lead kidding it all the time?

The book in itself is a literary classic, and wonderful to read.

It is eclipsed these days, however, by its motion picture adaptation.

” And he said, “Yeah.” And I said, “It isn’t even happening – it’s a grandfather reading it to a kid – Rob, that’s impossible.” And he said, “Yup.” And that’s when I knew I wanted to do it with him – he wasn’t kidding himself, he knew it was a real reach.

But that’s what this business is all about, you’ve got to keep reaching.’[vii] Securing a production budget was a near-insurmountable task.The grandson rolls his eyes, but the grandfather insists. ” He says, “I think you’re on to something.”’[viii] It is a very bold creative choice, one that retains the sense of commentary from the original novel but does it in a distinctly cinematic fashion.They act like a Greek chorus for the remainder of the film – the grandson objecting to unwanted plot twists or finding the ‘kissing parts’ boring, and the grandfather patiently working through the constant interruptions. It also cleverly navigates its way around any problems with immersion: it could be potentially catastrophic for a film to tell a story while simultaneously telling the audience that said story is not real, but deftly manages to pull it off.Hollywood’s major studios all rejected the project.Fantasy films had seen a brief resurgence of popularity at the beginning of the decade, but had seemingly fallen out of favour with audiences.Let’s protect what we love about this book.”’[vi] One other person Reiner needed to convince was his regular producer Norman Lear.Lear and Reiner’s careers first intertwined when the former cast the latter in the hugely successful sitcom ‘We had a conversation about the project,’ said Lear, ‘and I said, “Tell me, what is the lifeline of this picture?Then I bought it back myself.’[iii] At one point the Moscow Film Bureau had somehow gained a copy of Goldman’s screenplay and offered to produce the film in Russia.While Goldman did not turn down the offer out of hand, in the end he and the Russian producers could not agree on a director. All of those things mixed together and I thought, you know, what I love about this is what I want to make a film about.’[v] Reiner travelled to New York with his partner Andy Schienman to personally pitch his take on the novel to William Goldman.Foreign and home video rights were independently sold, market by market, to get as much funding up-front as possible.The laborious process ultimately secured Reiner a budget of roughly US million dollars. The fantasy adventure of the novel is framed by a grandfather (Peter Falk) visiting a sick grandson (Fred Savage) and offering to read him his favourite book. ” I said, “Peter, maybe we do it without the prosthetics?


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