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43 Inconceivable Facts About “The Princess Bride” You Probably Never Knew

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1. The Princess Bride was almost made into a movie in the ’70s, and a then-unknown Arnold Schwarzenegger was seriously considered to play Fezzik.

2. By the time the movie was actually made, Schwarzenegger was too expensive to hire.

3. The Rodents of Unusual Size were men in rat suits.

4. One of the R.O.U.S. actors got into a fight with his wife and burned down the kennel they owned, so the film crew bailed him out of jail so he could film the Fire Swamp scene.

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5. Director Rob Reiner auditioned over 500 women for the role of Buttercup, including Courtney Cox, Meg Ryan, Uma Thurman, and Whoopie Goldberg.

6. Robin Wright is originally from Texas but barely needed any dialect coaching for Buttercup’s English accent. Her father is British.

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7. Rob Reiner offered Mandy Patinkin any role he wanted in The Princess Bride.

8. Patinkin chose Inigo partly because his own father died a few years before filming, and for motivation he would tell himself that if he caught the six-fingered man, his own father would come back.

9. Patinkin said that when he stabbed Count Rugen as Inigo, it felt like he was killing the cancer that killed his father, and “for a moment, he was alive. And my fairy tale came true.”

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10. Billy Crystal wanted Miracle Max to look like a cross between his own grandmother and former Yankees manager Casey Stengel.

11. Crystal filmed the role of Miracle Max over three days for 10 hours a day, and never made the same joke twice.

12. Rob Reiner would laugh so much at Crystal’s lines he would have to leave the room during filming.

13. The only injury Mandy Patinkin suffered on set was bruising the muscles on one side of his ribs from trying so hard not to laugh during Crystal’s filming days.

14. Billy Crystal’s 1998 film My Giant was loosely based on the time he spent with André The Giant on the set of The Princess Bride.

15. The first scene Wright filmed was her dress catching fire in the Fire Swamp. The fire is real, but the skirt was made of flame-retardant cloth.

16. William Goldman, who wrote the book and the screenplay for The Princess Bride, was on set at the time and screamed, “Her dress is on fire!” ruining the shot.

17. Goldman decided Rob Reiner was the right man to direct The Princess Bride only after he saw This Is Spinal Tap.

18. Mark Knopfler, of Dire Straits, wrote the music for The Princess Bride.

19. Knopfler only agreed to take the job when Reiner agreed to put a reference to Spinal Tap in the film.

20. You can see the hat Reiner wore during filming for Spinal Tap hanging in The Grandson’s room.

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21. Reiner once ran into mob boss John Gotti and six of his men outside a New York restaurant. One of them looked at him and said, “You killed my father, prepare to die!” then burst out laughing.

22. Reiner’s first choice to play Vizzini was Danny DeVito, but the role ultimately went to Wallace Shawn.

23. Shawn thought he was going to be fired after his first day on set because he couldn’t do a Sicilian accent.

24. Shawn was terrified of heights, and in the scene when Fezzik climbs the Cliffs of Insanity, André the Giant comforted Shawn by softly patting him and saying, “I’ll take care of you.”

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25. André the Giant grew up in the same village as Samuel Beckett. Beckett used to take him to school.

26. Reiner recorded all of Fezzik’s dialogue so André the Giant could learn his lines phonetically.

27. A body double was used for the scene when Westley jumps on Fezzik’s back because André the Giant had severe back issues.

28. The body double was a foot shorter than André the Giant.

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29. To keep from injuring the horse, André the Giant had to be lowered onto his horse with a pulley system for the final scene.

30. The scene when Buttercup pushes Westley down the steep hill and throws herself after him was performed by two stuntmen (one in a long blond wig).

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31. Peter Falk, who plays The Grandfather, originally thought he looked too young for the part. He was 60 years old at the time.

32. Falk insisted they try prosthetics to age him, but ultimately decided against them.

33. Neither Cary Elwes or Mandy Patinkin had any sword-fighting experience before filming. Both trained rigorously, and every frame of Inigo and Westley’s sword fight on The Cliffs of Insanity is actually the two actors.

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34. During fight rehearsal for Inigo’s big showdown with Count Rugen, Mandy Patinkin accidentally stabbed Christopher Guest in the thigh.

35. Before they filmed the scene, Guest told the fencing master, “I think he’s going to try to kill me. So all that stuff that I learned, I’m basically throwing out. I’m basically now going to defend myself.”

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36. The Princess Bride grossed only $30.8 million domestically, and didn’t become wildly popular until the VCR came out.

37. During cold filming days, André the Giant would put his hand on Robin Wright’s head — which reached past her eyes and covered the back of her neck — to keep her warm.

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38. Mandy Patinkin’s favorite line in the movie is when Inigo says, “I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it’s over, I don’t know what to do with the rest of my life.”

39. Some of the parapets and turrets on Humperdinck’s castle are fake. The movie didn’t have a large budget but Reiner wanted the castle to look “more majestic.”

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40. André the Giant disliked the food provided on set so much, he took his week off to drive to France and bring back his favorite French foods. He shared with the rest of the cast.

41. Six weeks before filming, Cary Elwes broke his toe riding André the Giant’s ATV. His careful walking is especially noticeable in the scene when he confronts Buttercup about her fiancé as the Dread Pirate Roberts.

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42. The final scene of the movie was originally going to be The Grandson looking out his window and seeing the four heroes, sitting on white horses, waving from below. Reiner decided against it and reshot the final scene.

43. Before Goldman wrote The Princess Bride, he asked his two daughters what he should write about. One said “a princess” and the other said “a bride,” and the title was born.

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