The Princess Bride Movie Poster Image

The Princess Bride



Witty, winsome fairy tale for the whole family.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1987
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

The movie is intended to entertain rather than educate.

Positive messages

Despite some betrayal along the way, overall the movie's message is about the triumph of true love and the importance of loyalty, friendship, inventiveness, persistence, and family. Major themes also include perseverance, courage, integrity, and teamwork.

Positive role models

Characters prize true love and generally hold fast to their ideals where it's concerned. Some characters compromise their beliefs in the pursuit of their goals, but they don't win out in the end. Inigo is driven almost solely by a powerful quest for vengeance, but he has strong reasons. The grandfather and grandson have a touching relationship.

Violence & scariness

Action-style violence includes a torture machine, sword fights (one to the death), a death by poisoning, quicksand, fire pits, shrieking eels, and menacing ROUSes (rodents of unusual size). A character makes a reference to killing herself.

Sexy stuff

A few kisses, most notably a very sweet storybook kiss. Reference to Buttercup's "perfect breasts."


One use of "son of a bitch." Also "my God" and "Jesus" (as an exclamation).

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Inigo has a drinking problem (he's shown inebriated), and Fezzik nurses him back to health. Other characters sometimes drink from goblets of wine.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Princess Bride is a quirky, funny fairy tale with quite a bit of action-style violence, including a torture machine, sword fights (one to the death), a death by poisoning, quicksand, fire pits, ROUSes (rodents of unusual size), and giant shrieking eels that attack main characters. But the movie's skewed humor and its storybook feel lessen some of the impact of the violent scenes. There's also drinking -- in one scene a drunken character is revived in a barrel of water -- and some kissing, as well as a bit of language ("son of a bitch," "Jesus!" as an exclamation) and a reference to a character's "perfect breasts."

What's the story?

In THE PRINCESS BRIDE, the most beautiful woman in the world, Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn), gets engaged to the cruel Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) after she hears that her true love, Westley, was killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts. But before the wedding, she's kidnapped by a huge man with enormous strength (Andre the Giant), a master swordsman (Mandy Patinkin), and an evil genius (Wallace Shawn). A mysterious masked man (Cary Elwes) must defeat them all, and then escape with Buttercup through the treacherous Fire Swamp. When they're both captured by the prince and his six-fingered henchman, Count Rugen (Christopher Guest), they discover that not even death can get in the way of true love.

Is it any good?


This witty modern fairy tale by William Goldman (screenwriter of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President's Men) is resoundingly satisfying. Goldman's book is even better -- and lots of fun to read aloud (though the book's asides are more for adult readers). The motley cast of storybook characters is consistently hilarious, right down to the bit parts featuring the likes of Carol Kane and Billy Crystal as a bickering old witch and wizard, and Peter Cook as the Impressive Clergyman. 

Simply put, The Princess Bride is stuffed full of every thrilling element of a classic romantic adventure -- princes, villains and evil geniuses, giants and giant creatures, sword fights, revenge, kidnapping, and a rescue on white horses -- and it coats them all in delicious humor.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what makes for a really good adventure/love story like The Princess Bride. Is it sword fights? Scary creatures? Handsome leading men and ladies?

  • How does this movie poke fun at some of the standard fairy-tale elements?

  • In the end, why didn't the sick boy mind the kissing scene as much as he thought he would?

  • How do the characters in The Princess Bride demonstrate courage and perseverance? What about integrity and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 25, 1987
DVD/Streaming release date:September 4, 2001
Cast:Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright Penn
Director:Rob Reiner
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Adventures, Book characters, Pirates
Character strengths:Courage, Integrity, Perseverance, Teamwork
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

This review of The Princess Bride was written by

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byshelznh February 25, 2011

Classic movie but not as clean as CSM claims

I love this movie and always have. However I am not sure how Common Sense Media can say that language is not an issue. There are two expletives son of a b---- and, even worse is when the boy utters Jesus' name in a profane way. The torture scene is a little extreme in my opinion. Also there is a tad more than "just kissing" as far as sexy stuff goes including when Wesley refers to Buttercup's "perfect breasts". It is still a classic movie but I must say that I prefer the movie reviews at Plugged In Online as they seem to be much more acurate.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written bybestiame April 9, 2008

One of my favorites, but it depends on the kid

I have always loved this movie; I can't remember a time when I didn't. When I was a kid, I had a self-imposed tradition of watching it on Christmas Day in the afternoon when I was bored. Recently my stepdaughter (6.75 at the time) was sick in bed and my husband and I decided we'd watch it with her. What a mistake! I hope we didn't ruin it for her forever. I always thought, "what's not to like?" but she's not really used to movies with almost constant fighting, a lot of witty (but often fast-paced and subtle) dialog, and very little overt physical comedy. Most of the jokes went over her head, and she proclaimed it to be "scary" and "boring". The sort of magical parts (Miracle Max, Westley's return) aren't the fantastic and wondrous "Disney-style" magic, either. All in all, a great movie in my opinion, but not really for kids under 8 or 9 unless they have a decent sense of nuance.
Teen, 15 years old Written byMissE1000 March 30, 2011


Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare for one of THE BEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME!!!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages