The Princess Bride (1987)

 

Screenplay Genre: Adventure / Comedy / Family / Fantasy

Movie Time: 98 minutes

1. INCITING INCIDENT

Buttercup (Robin Wright), who is betrothed to marry Prince Humperdinck because she believes her true love Westley (Cary Elwes) has been killed, is kidnapped by Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), and his two henchmen Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), and Fezzik (Andre the Giant), both of whom don't agree it is right to kill an innocent girl, but Vizzini is set on killing her on Guilder soil to instigate a war. (00:08:05)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

After a mysterious man in black pursues them up the Cliffs of Insanity, beats Inigo in a fencing duel, and chokes Fezzik unconscious, he catches up with Vizzini and his captive Buttercup and challenges Vizzini to a battle of wits. The man in black adds what appears to be poison into one goblet of wine and with a fevered application of logic, Vizzini chooses, drinks, and dies. As a result, the man in black saves Buttercup, explaining he put poison in both goblets because he had spent years building up a tolerance to the poison. (00:29:40)

3. FIRST CULMINATION (Midpoint)

Upon escaping from the Fire Swamp filled with lightning quicksand, flame geysers, and ROUSes (Rodents of Unusual Size), the man in black, who is Westley, and Buttercup are captured by Prince Humperdinck. But Buttercup makes a deal: marry the Prince in exchange for Westley's freedom. Humperdinck, however, tells Count Rugen (Christopher Guest) to throw Westley into the Pit of Despair. (00:48:06)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

Following Inigo and Fezzik's discovering of Westley's body in the Pit of Despair, they take the corpse to Miracle Max (Billy Crystal), who agrees to bring Westley back to life only because Inigo, knowing that Humperdinck had fired Max, promises that Westley will ruin Humperdinck's wedding. Delighted at the prospect of bringing harm to the Prince, Max concocts a chocolate-covered miracle pill. (1:10:03)

5. THIRD ACT TWIST

As Buttercup prepares to kill herself in her honeymoon suite, she turns to find Westley reclining on the bed and throws herself into his arms. After a moment of blissful reunion, Buttercup asks for forgiveness, confessing that she married Prince Humperdinck without meaning to. Westley asks if she said, "I do." She did not. Westley then illustrates that it wasn't a legal wedding. (1:27:20)


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