The Princess Bride

Movie review by
Common Sense Media Editors, Common Sense Media
The Princess Bride Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Witty, winsome fairy tale for the whole family.
  • PG
  • 1987
  • 98 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 103 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 147 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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. Buttercup isn't a very empowered female character for much of the movie.

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."

Language

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

Consumerism
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.

What 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."

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
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---- a... Continue reading
Adult Written byArbor Mom November 15, 2013

Troubling reference to abuse; warrants discussion with your family!

We like this movie EXCEPT for a troubling line in the middle. The hero, disguised as a pirate in a mask, argues with the heroine about why she gave up on her tr... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byMissE1000 March 30, 2011

Inconceivable!

Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare for one of THE BEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME!!!!
Kid, 10 years old May 16, 2015

Way too scary

I will say -- I get scared easily by movies. But I think that this movie has too much violence. Bad people put a good man into a torture machine, the princess i... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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?

  • Is Buttercup a role model? What else could she have done other than wait for Wesley to rescue her? Is their relationship healthy? Realistic?

  • 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

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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