Dear Uncle Ted,
What’s your favorite line from The Princess Bride?
– I.M., Arabella, Castile-La Mancha
Dear IM – You ask the impossible. People have been arguing this point for the last twenty-one years. This question is old enough to go into a bar and get into a drunken argument about itself. Asking me to choose one great bit out of this movie is like trying to pick a self-righteous jackass out of a Nader rally. I mean, we’ve got:
“She doesn’t get eaten by the eels at this time.”
“You can die too for all I care!”
“Why do you wear a mask? Were you burned by acid, or something like that?’
“Oh no, it’s just that they’re terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.”
“You just wiggled your finger. That’s wonderful!”
“I’ve always been a quick healer.”
I’ve always been a fan of:
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
“We are men of action. Lies do not become us.”
“Do you want me to send you back to where you were? Unemployed! In Greenland!”
“Go away or I’ll call the Brute Squad.”
“I’m on the Brute Squad.”
“You ARE the Brute Squad.”
But I have to agree with my friend Whiskey Eileen, who puts this up for consideration:
“We face each other as God intended. Sportsmanlike. No tricks, no weapons, skill against skill alone.”
“You mean, you’ll put down your rock and I’ll put down my sword, and we’ll try and kill each other like civilized people?”
And then, of course, immediately afterwards:
“It’s not my fault being the biggest and the strongest. I don’t even exercise.”
“Your true love lives! And you marry another. True Love saved her in the Fire Swamp, and she treated it like garbage. And that’s what she is, the Queen of Refuse. So bow down to her if you want, bow to her! Bow to the Queen of Slime, the Queen of Filth, the Queen of Putrescence. Boo. Boo. Rubbish. Filth. Slime. Muck. BOO. BOO. BOO!”
and, of COURSE:
“Drop. Your. Sword.”
But in a way, this argument is beside the point. Because you already know the answer, IM. And so does Whiskey Eileen. The fact is: Mandy Patinkin will die one day, and the first line from his obit will not read “Mandy Patinkin, esteemed film, television and stage actor and performer, succumbed to excessive awesomeness at the age of too soon.”
It will say – well – you don’t need to see it here, do you?
And in a way, I think what comes after Inigo finally gets to say it to the man he’s been meaning to say it to is even better:
“Offer me money.”
“Power too promise that!”
“All that I have and more. Please.”
“Offer me everything I ask for.”
“Anything you want.”
“I want my father back, you son of a bitch.”
I’m gonna add that to my Netflix queue right now, IM.
P.S. William Goldman is a PIMP. All the President’s Men, Butch Cassidy, Marathon Man AND The Princess Bride. P to the I to the M to the motherf*cking P.
P.P.S. R.I.P., Andre the Giant.
P.P.P.S. Oh, fine.