Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Comedy > Fairy Tale > The Princess Bride – 20th Anniversary Edition (MGM DVD)

The Princess Bride – 20TH Anniversary Edition (MGM DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Film: B+



Hello.  My name is Michael Dougherty.  You killed my hopes of a good release.  Prepare to cry.  Now available on DVD for the fourth time is The Princess Bride – 20TH Anniversary Edition [Granted now it is called ‘20th Anniversary Edition’].  It is hard to believe that anyone at this point has not seen this 1987 classic, but for the sake of this review I will give a brief synopsis.  The story is one of best if not the ultimate fractured fairytale that takes place in the jolly ol’ time of wizards, knights, kings, ogres, and much more.  The fairytale is being told by a grandfather (Peter Falk of Columbo) to his apprehensive grandson (Fred Savage of The Wonder Years).  The story follows the heartbroken Princess Buttercup as she is kidnapped days before her wedding to the evil Prince Humperdinck.


Why is she so heartbroken; well, her beloved Westley has just died at the hands of the notorious Dred Pirate and she is now betrothed to a man she does not love.  Upon being kidnapped by a trio of unusual criminals (a giant, a master swordsman, and a quite small man who thinks he is a genius); Princess Buttercup is kidnapped once again by the man who ‘killed’ her beloved Westley, the Dred Pirate.  There is something strangely familiar about this Dred Pirate, however, if only Buttercup could put her finger or maybe ear on it.  There is action, adventure, magic, love, hate, monsters, sword fights, death, life, and every other ingredient that turns a simple fairytale into a true classic.


This film is honestly one of the best fantasy films ever made.  Though most if not all of the cast was a bunch of unknowns at the time, this film cast them to an odd level stardom (some more so than others), but not in the typical sense.  Though the film received a moderately fair reception in the box office in 1987, the film truly gained its fan base over the years from home video release and TV airings that propelled it to cult classic status.


Every person owes it to themselves to see this classic at least once and trust me it will end up being more than once.


The technical features on this 20th Anniversary Edition are adequate but definitely not good enough for what this classic 1987 film deserves.  The picture is presented once again in a 1.85 X 1 Widescreen that is adequate but far from perfect.  The colors are slightly skewed and fuzzy at times, as well as demonstrating untouched light/dark issues.  The sound is adequate in its Dolby Digital 5.1 Surrounds, but truly lacks the BOOMS and Clangs an epic movie of this sort deserves.  The extras are equally disappointing promoting this film as having three all new featurettes and the original princess bride game, but that is just a ploy to cover up all the extras that are missing.  Extra features include the featurettes entitled The Princess Bride: The Untold featurette, The Art of Fencing featurette, and a Fairy Tales and Folklore featurette.


The first aforementioned Featurette is nice interviewing the original cast in a cool and concise manner, but lacks some depth that this reviewer expected.  The other two featurettes are ok, but forgettable.  The true problem with the extras on this 20th anniversary edition are that so, so many are missing.  Between the four other DVD releases and the 12” LaserDisc Criterion Edition releases there are almost a dozen special features that could have been included on this disappointing DVD release and were not.  Overall, the picture, sound, and extras were a royal disappointment.  Let’s hope the High Definition release of this film is up to par with what this classic deserves.


In the end, there is no doubt this is a great film; this being the fourth release of this film with nothing special on it, this reviewer says skip.  It is more than certain that this will come out shortly in high definition and hopefully much improved.  Though this release may not have gone AS YOU WISHED…here’s to better luck next time.



-   Michael P Dougherty II


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com