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Kevin Krock, editor
DVD Review
The Princess Bride
(1987) | Approx. 98 Minutes | Rated PG | Reviewed by Tony Phoenix
Cover Art
Click to Buy
Ratings Summary
(Scored out of a maximum of five)
Audio Video
Goodies   Interface
Value
Advanced Home Theater - Not a princess, just a pauper

The Movie...

I was first introduced to The Princess Bride several years after it ran in the theaters. One evening, my parents were watching a widescreen broadcast on cable and I happened by the living room. Although the movie was already 1/3 over, I sat down and was quickly drawn into the story line. 

This fairy tale story of revolves around the true love of Westley, a simple farm boy, and Buttercup, the beautiful daughter of a farmer, who are torn apart by the scheming Prince Humperdinck and Count Rugen. The fanciful story is part fairy tale classic, part satire, and all fun. 

The movie appeals to kids with its simple tale and storybook look while the clever dialogue and dry humor will satisfy adults. Rob Reiner does a beautiful job in balancing love, hate, fights, revenge, war, murder, fantasy creatures. (Just what exactly is a Rodent of Unusual Size?)

The cast is an amazing mix of talent, with such names as Cary Ewes, Mandy Patenkin, Christopher Guest, Peter Falk, and Peter Cook. There is even an hysterically funny cameo by Billy Crystal as Miracle Max. 

The Goodies...

The one thing lacking from this DVD are the goodies. The simple offering of the trailer is just not enough. Interviews with the actors or with William Goldman, the Academy Award winning screenwriter (All the President's Men and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) would have been simple additions that would have greatly enhanced this DVD.

The Video, Audio and Interface...

The disk offers both the widescreen and full frame versions of the movie, appealing to both kids and adults. However, and original screen ratio of 1.85:1 means that the black bars are pretty small and are easily ignored. Even kids should enjoy the widescreen version.

The video quality is beautiful, faithfully reproducing the fantasy colors and sets. The digital compression is not visible at all.

The audio is clean and clear with good bass definition. The balance between the soundtrack and dialog is just right. The interface is minimally animated while maintaining easy navigation.

The Advanced Home Theater...

I understand that MGM / UA is hard at work on a new special edition of this title - with a Rob Renier commentary and special bonus section. They also have promised a new anamorphic transfer. In this case, if you're a fan of the movie, it's best to wait on this one.

- Al Lutz

The Final Evaluation...

This movie belongs in any collection. Its appeal crosses the entire spectrum of ages and interests. I never tire of watching it - in fact, I made sure to buy it the day it was released to replace my well-worn VHS copy. 

The lack of goodies, while disappointing, should not preclude you from upgrading. The improved quality of sound and image, when combined with the widescreen presentation is worth the upgrade price.

DVD FEATURES

Goodies

  • Theatrical Trailer

Technical Specifications

  • Region 1 Encoded
  • Single-Sided, Dual-Layer
  • 28 Chapters
  • English 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono 
  • English Subtitles
  • Spanish Subtitles
  • French Subtitles
  • Widescreen (1.85:1)
  • Full-Frame (1.33:1)
VHS FEATURES

Technical Specifications

  • English Surround
  • Full-frame (1.33:1)

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