July 20, 2007

Favorite Book Friday

For fans of The Princess Bride book and/or movie, a little something funny . . .

In William Goldman’s book, Which Lie Did I Tell?, he says this:

The Princess Bride is the only novel of mine that I really like.

The movie has become a classic.

In writing about the filming of the movie, William Goldman says this:

I don’t like being on the set for any number of reasons:

1) it’s just amazingly boring if you have nothing to do, and I have nothing to do because

2) my work is done, not to mention

3) I make the actors nervous, a serious problem but not as serious as

4) I *&@# up shots.

The worst thing I’ve ever done was on The Princess Bride. During the Fire Swamp sequence.

For those of you who don’t know, and how dare you not, Buttercup and Westley are being pursued by her fiancĂ©, Prince Humperdinck. They are forced to go through the Fire Swamp, not easy – no one has ever come out of it alive.

One of the dangers in the Fire Swamp is the flame spurts.

These unexpected streaks of flame happen there and when I wrote the novel, well, Buttercup and Westley are making their way through the place, and suddenly flames – her dress is on fire.

Westley saves her.

Okay. Pinewood Studios. The glorious Norman Garwood Fire Swamp set. This is my dream come true, watching this baby happen, and you can bet I am tense, but for me, kind of almost happy.

Okay. Roll of drums, please.

Rob Reiner says “Action” and now here comes Cary Elwes as Westley leading my beloved Robin Wright as Buttercup into the Fire Swamp and they are making their way through the place –

--and suddenly flames—

--and I scream out loud, “Her dress is on fire!”

The shot is obviously ruined. Rob says “Cut,” Robin’s dress is made flame-free, the actors go back to their positions. And Andy Scheinman, Rob’s partner, sidles over to me and says quietly, “Bill, try and remember this time—her dress is supposed to be on fire.”

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