The cult classic The Princess Bride will show at the Kentucky Theater Wednesday as this week's installment of the Summer Classics Series.
The film is now a pop-culture phenomenon, but that wasn't always the case. It used to be one of the biggest flops of the late 80s.
The Princess Bride opened in late 1987 and, like many great movies that go unnoticed, it fell victim to a terrible marketing scheme. The poster was boring and told nothing about the film, and the trailer looks like an example of what not to do in a trailer.
The production company was simply lost in how to market the film.
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During his early career director Rob Reiner, who had made a name for himself a few years prior with This is Spinal Tap, was known for making meta-films, or movies that are overly self aware.
As a result, Act 111 Communications (the film's production company) couldn't decide between marketing it as a kid's movie or a satirical comedy.
So in its limited release, the film was a dud. However, when the VHS revolution hit, the film was more widely viewed and took up residence in the hearts of many.
The Princess Bride's great cast consists of Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest and Andre the Giant. Not to mention Billy Crystal and Carol Kane who steal a scene with their small roles.
Mandy Patinkin's career was vaulted by his role in The Princess Bride as well after a few less-than-ideal movie choices, namely his turn as an apathetic husband in critical punching bag Maxie.
The Princess Bride is such a cult hit because it exists on two planes at the same time. It has all of the fantasy, action and romance of a harmless film for children. But it doesn't take itself seriously in the slightest.
This sentiment plays out in one of the film's most iconic scenes — the sword fight between Inigo Montoya (Patinkin) and Westley (Elwes) on "the Cliffs of Insanity."
Inigo's entire mission for the past 20 years has been to find and kill "the six-fingered man," his father's murderer.
He spends the early part of the fight scene explaining to Westley what happened to his father in a touching moment. And less than a second later the two share a quip and begin trying to kill one another.
It's this whip-quick satire that keeps the attention span of its audience and panders to its adult viewers.