The Princess Bride Script - Featured - StudioBinder

The Princess Bride script is a book written by William Goldman which was later adapted into a screenplay by Goldman and directed by Rob Reiner. Goldman’s The Princess Bride screenplay led to some of the most memorable quotes and some of the best characters.  

What can we learn from The Princess Bride script and scenes?

The Princess Bride Script

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The Princess Bride Script - Willaim Goldman - StudioBinder

WHO WROTE THE Princess Bride SCRIPT?

Written by William Goldman

William Goldman is considered one of the greatest screenwriters of all time. Goldman wrote The Princess Bride as a book originally, with Francois Truffaut, Robert Redford, and others possibly directing it. Some other scripts Goldman wrote include Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men, Marathon Man, Chaplin, The Ghost in the Darknessand Hearts in Atlantis.

The Princess Bride PLOT

Story beats in The Princess Bride script

Here is the story structure for the The Princess Bride screenplay:

Script Teardown

Script Structure of The Princess Bride

1. EXPOSITION (BEGINNING)

The Princess Bride script we first meet a young boy who is sick and soon visited by his grandfather. The grandfather brings his favorite childhood book to read, and we then enter the story world. In this world, we meet Buttercup and Westley, and come to learn that they are in ‘True Love’. Westley leaves to make money for marriage, but is murdered by pirates.

2. INCITING INCIDENT

Buttercup is riding in the forest and kidnapped by a small group of outlaws who put her on a boat and sail across the sea. Their plan is to murder her and frame her death on the country of Guilder, the enemy of her native Florin.

3. CLIMAX OF ACT ONE

The Princes Bride script, the end of Act One occurs immediately as the criminals finish their climb up the cliffs of insanity, and cut the rope behind them. 

4. OBSTACLES (RISING ACTION)

The Man in Black fights the Spanish swordsman, the Giant, and completes a battle of wits against Vizzini. He takes possession of Buttercup and reveals his true identity to her as Westley. They run into the fire swamp where they must evade obstacles such as the lightning sand, fire, and R.O.U.S.

5. MIDPOINT (BIG TWIST)

Buttercup and Westley make it through the fire swamp but are captured by Humperdinck and Count Rugen. Right before he is taken away, Westley realizes that Count Rugen has six fingers. Westley is knocked out and taken to The Pit of Despair. 

6. DISASTER & CRISIS

Westley is tortured by Count Rugen in The Pit of Despair. Buttercup has terrible dreams about her betrayal to Westley, and plans to kill herself if she’s forced to marry Humperdinck. He promises to send a message to Westley as a way to trick Buttercup into marrying him. 

7. CLIMAX OF ACT TWO

Prince Humperdinck is so jealous of Westley and Buttercup that he pushes The Machine to fifty, and ostensibly kills Westley. Inigo and Fezzik rescue Westley in the Pit of Despair. 

8. OBSTACLES (RISING ACTION)

Inigo and Fezzik take Westley to Miracle Max where they bring him back to life, but he is still very weak. It’s the day of the wedding, and the castle is guarded by a large group of men. The heroes storm the castle with some clever smoke and mirrors. Humperdinck rushes the marriage ceremony right as the heroes storm the castle. 

9. CLIMAX OF ACT THREE

Inigo is hit by a dagger, but he’s able to fight back and eventually kill Count Rugen. Humperdinck finds Westley and Buttercup together, but Westley scares Humperdinck into surrender and ties him to a chair. 

10. RESOLUTION
The heroes ride off on a set of four white horses, and we return to the modern world. The grandpa finishes the book and goes to leave, but not before his grandson asks for him to come back and read the book again. The grandpa replies, “As you wish.”

The Princess Bride Script Takeaway #1

The Princess Bride quotes

Firstly, The Princess Bride contains quotes that are easily some of the best and the most memorable lines. They’re often very simple but have so much meaning behind them that conjure love and hope.

Read quotes from The Princess Bride

Most importantly, The Princess Bride quotes are directly tied to the character's personality, a signal of really strong character development and screenwriting. Moreover, the quotes are tied to their motivations.

The Princess Bride quotes

Here is a list of the great The Princess Bride quotes:

“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

“Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”

“You mean you wish to surrender to me? Very well, I accept.”

“Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder today. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam…”

The Princess Bride - Mawage

“Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist.”

“Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning.”

“I want my father back, you son of a bitch!”

“Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.”

“Well, I'm not saying I'd like to build a summer home here, but the trees are actually quite lovely.”

“I would sooner destroy a stained glass window than an artist like yourself. However, since I can't have you follow me either…”

“I do not envy you the headache you will have when you awake. But for now, rest well and dream of large women.”

“Since the invention of the kiss, there have been five kisses rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind. The end.”

“Sonny, true love is the greatest thing in the world - except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomatoes are ripe. They're so perky, I love that.”

“Westley and I are joined by the bonds of love. And you cannot track that, not with a thousand bloodhounds, and you cannot break it, not with a thousand swords. And when I say you are a coward it is only because you are one of the slimiest weaklings ever to walk the Earth!”

“Oh no, it's just that they're terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.”

As! You! Wish!

“Do you hear that, Fezzik? That is the sound of ultimate suffering. My heart made that sound when Rugen slaughtered my father. The man in black makes it now.”

“Probably some local fisherman, out for a pleasure cruise, at night... in... eel-infested waters…”

“My way's not very sportsman-like.”

“No. To the pain.”

“DROP... YOUR... SWORD!”

“Inconceivable!”

“As you wish.”

The Princess Bride Script Takeaway #2

The Princess Bride Characters

Secondly, The Princess Bride characters are amalgamations of storybook characters and movie stars from Goldman’s early years. Westley is based around Errol Flynn, Burt Lancaster, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Read more about The Princess Bride characters

Obviously, Inigo Montoya is a great character that has very clear motivations, and his own personal demons with a drinking problem that isn’t belabored on screen. Characters like Fezzik is based on the actor who played the role, Andre the Giant. Many of the side characters, like Miracle Max, are great as well.

The Princess Bride characters

Villains in The Princess Bride are also really great⏤pompous, funny, and formidable but also cowards. That juxtaposition not only highlights the stakes, but it also makes the film accessible.

THE PRINCESS BRIDE SCRIPT TAKEAWAY #3

The Princess Bride As You Wish

Finally, there are a few concepts from The Princess Bride that made a real impact on the world, but there is one that stands out far more: 

“As you wish.”

Read more about The Princess Bride "As you wish"

Additionally, this line serves as one of the greatest callbacks of all time, because it is particularly memorable and has a hidden meaning. You’re not only agreeing to someone’s request to show your dedication, but also revealing your profound love for the other person.

The Princess Bride “As you wish.”

This is true when Westley says it to Buttercup, and when Peter Falk’s grandfather character says it to his grandson at the end of the book/film.

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The Princess Bride is a powerful and gripping film, even after all these years. If you want to read more great scripts, we have CasablancaMean Girls and Moonlight in our screenplay database. Great screenwriters read lots of scripts. Get started today!

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