10 Things From The Princess Bride That Haven’t Aged Well
The Princess Bride is such a classic movie that it’s almost inconceivable. However, some things in the film haven’t aged well. Here they are.
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Don’t get us wrong, we love The Princess Bride. There are many stellar performances and classic lines from the romantic, “As you wish,” (code for I love you), to the more humorous, “Have fun storming the castle.”
While it was created in the 1980s, it has reached cult classic status and is much beloved among fans. As such, it is hard to highlight the things that didn’t age well but here are our top 10.
10 “Current Day” Electronics in the Grandson’s Room
The Princess Bride starts out with a grandfather reading the book to his sick grandson. The grandson had been playing a “modern” video game and complained about listening to a book.
Since this was filmed in the 1980s, the “modern” video game would be considered a museum-piece by today’s youth. It wouldn’t make sense to them unless they were into retro games.
9 The Clothing in the “Current Day” Story
Also, demonstrative of the 1980s is the clothing our current day characters wear. While the grandfather wears typical timeless grandfather-style clothing, both the grandson and the mother’s clothes are very much located in the 1980s.
Additionally, the mother’s hairstyle is feathered with some all-around bang action going on. This hairstyle has yet to make a comeback and ages poorly.
8 Limited Female Characters
Aside from the main female character, Buttercup, we see very few other female characters. One of the characters is the mother of the grandson, whom we encounter very briefly in the movie and the queen is in a scene or two.
The only other woman is Valerie, Miracle Max’s wife. While Valerie does have agency, she is the one to get Miracle Max to revive a “mostly” dead Westley, she is still primarily characterized as a wife. The few female characters in the film are all mainly characterized by the roles they play, rather than having more depth.
7 The Choking Scene
Westley, masquerading as the Dread Pirate Roberts, has to fight Fezzik, the giant, in order to save Buttercup. Ultimately, in order to defeat Fezzik, he chokes Fezzik out.
Back-in-the-day, choking wasn’t considered to be that bad, but it is recognized as extremely dangerous today. It can lead to loss of memory, brain function, and even death.
Seeing choking shown in a film in such a frivolous way makes us shudder a bit, especially since it was shown in many films around that time period and thought not to be that harmful.
6 Editing Out the Kissing Scenes
When the grandfather reads the story to his grandson, the grandson doesn’t want to hear any of the kiss scenes until the last one.
This is presented as the grandson interrupting the story, that he doesn’t want to see them due to being young and thinking that kissing is gross. However, audiences nowadays wouldn’t like this aspect. Even kids the grandson’s age are used to kiss scenes on films and TV. It would feel more jarring to a modern audience.
5 Befriending Your Captors
Westley, taken hostage by the Dread Pirate Roberts, ends up befriending his captor. They become such close friends that the pirate tells him the secret of the Dread Pirate Roberts; that there has been more than one. When one retires, they choose another one to take their place. Westley becomes that person. So not only do they become friends but they become close friends, trusting each other with vulnerable secrets.
Buttercup befriends Fezzik (the giant) and Inigo (the Spaniard) by the end of the film, even though they were both hired by Prince Humperdinck to kill her so that the Prince could get public sympathy. Still no hard feelings, we’re all friends, right?
4 Westley Doesn’t Communicate That He Is Alive (The First Time)
After realizing that they are in love, Westley decides to set off to find a fortune in order for them to be able to marry. Neither are from wealthy families, though Buttercup’s has slightly more.
Buttercup finds out that the Dread Pirate Roberts attacked Westley’s ship, and there were no survivors. She mourns the loss of her love for five years. She later says, “I died that day.”
While we know that Westley was serving as the Dread Pirate Roberts apprentice and later as the Dread Pirate Roberts, couldn’t he have sent a carrier pigeon or some other means to let her know that he was alive? It’s not until she is to wed another man and gets kidnapped does he return to find her.
3 Buttercup Goes Back to Marry the Prince (Sort of)
Buttercup thinks that her true love, Westley, is safe from Humperdinck. She thinks that the Prince spared her love once she agreed to the wedding. Like Frozen’s seemingly charming Prince Hans, Humperdinck initially comes across as pleasant and civil on the outside, but he is anything but that. He has Westley tortured for “science” with a crazy device that takes years off a man’s life. When Buttercup confesses to Humperdinck that she can’t marry him and that he doesn’t measure up to Westley, Humperdinck kills Westley by cranking up the machine to 50 years.
Of course, Buttercup doesn’t know these gnarly details. She feels trapped into marrying the prince but then plans to commit suicide after the wedding. Both of these aspects wouldn’t bode well in modern-day but do display a Grimm fairy-tale-like narrative.
2 Buttercup’s Beauty Currency
Buttercup is desirable due to her beauty. This is the only reason the Prince wants to marry her. In the book, this goes more in-depth, stating the series of the most beautiful woman, and showing that at this time, Buttercup out-ranked other beauties. For the Prince, she has no other attributes. In addition, she doesn’t come from a royal family or even a family of means. The only reason he wants to marry her is how she looks and how she will make him look. Since he is royalty, even if Buttercup wanted to, she would not really be able to say no. This wouldn’t do well in a modern telling, but it is also a fairy-tale story.
Still, we would like more of Buttercup’s qualities to be brought up by the Prince and other characters. For instance, when she discovers the current Dread Pirate Roberts is actually Westley after she pushes him off a steep hill, without thinking she plunges herself down the hill to reach him. Both of these moments are pretty brave but not much is made of them.
1 Damsel in Distress
While Buttercup does have more gumption and grit than most similar fairy-tale heroines, she does depend on others to save her. When Westley is attacked by a Rodent of Unusual Size, she watches, horrified. Then the rodent comes towards her, she calls out to Westley.
The rodent goes for her dress, and at first, she seems concerned that it will tear her dress. Then, finally, she hits it over the head. Though, in the end, it is Westley who saves her. We want to give Buttercup credit for sticking up for herself when she does, but overall, she remains a damsel in distress.
After all this, we still love The Princess Bride and consider it a cult-classic worthy of revisiting and watching again.