A kindly grandfather (Peter Falk) sits down with his ill grandson and reads him a tale that has been passed down from father to son for generations. Reluctantly, the child (9-year-old Fred Savage) consents – as long as there is “no kissing.” As the grandfather reads, the story comes alive, a classic tale of love and adventure as the beautiful Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn), engaged to the odious Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), is kidnapped and held against her will in order to start a war.
It is up to her first love, Westley (Cary Elwes), who has become the Dread Pirate Roberts, to rescue her. On the way he teams up with a thief (Wallace Shawn) and his hired helpers, an accomplished swordsman (Mandy Patinkin) and a giant (Andre the Giant), who become Westley's devoted companions.
Almost stealing the show are comedian Billy Crystal as the ancient Miracle Max and his screeching wife, Valerie, played hilariously by Carol Kane.
Young viewers will parrot some of the classic lines for days – Elwes’ gentle “As you wish” to Buttercup’s every request; Shawn’s over-used “Inconceivable!” and Patinkin’s vengeful "You killed my father. Prepare to die." Even better than Crystal’s Max is Elwes’ memorable, time-stalling speech, “To the pain …”
This is one of those films you will watch over and over – chuckling as young Savage finally objects when Falk acts like he might skip over the parts with that have kissing.
~ Rob Kerby
95 - Ratatouille»