On this very Friday 25 years ago, The Princess Bride, a movie featuring the beautiful Robin pre-Penn Wright and the dashing Cary Elwes (whom hordes of teen girls would go on to have enormous crushes on), was released. There are many highly successful films adored in cult-like fashion that began with a humble book (The Hunger Games, for one). But as sweeping as William Goldman’s work is—there is comedy, romance, adventure, and fantasy!—it is all wrapped up in the joy of reading. As captured as we all are by the story of a terrible prince who will reign the imaginary country of Florin and insists on claiming the bride of his choice without her getting much say in the matter, that tale is framed by another: A father (said to be Goldman’s own) reading the book by Florinese “S. Morgenstern” to his son (Goldman). The movie—which was written by Goldman himself and directed by Rob Reiner—keeps generally to the novel’s original plot, though it’s hugely pared down, and this element survived adaptation, with Peter Falk playing a grandfather who reads the book to his sick grandson, played by an 11-year-old Fred Savage.
So, yes, The Princess Bride may not be Y.A., technically, and it may be better remembered as a movie, but even as film, it may be one of the greatest screen tributes to what makes reading so great. The book still has a huge young reader following and was named the #17 Best-Ever Teen Read in NPR’s recent ranking. In this writer’s opinion, the movie, while excellent, doesn’t remotely achieve the scope and span and breadth and depth and magic (and a lot more darkness and profundity, including revelations of and about Goldman himself) of the 512-page novel. (As a complete but worthy aside, this was its crazy, not-very-Y.A.-friendly ’70s-era cover.)
READ MORE: Click belowthe original article from Atlantic Wire, written by Jen Doll