Monday, July 08, 2013

31 Day Film Challenge, Day 8: A Film That You Can Quote A Line From

Like a lot of other people doing the 31 Day Film Challenge, I can quote "a" line from most film's that I've seen.  I can quote several lines from all the good films I've seenSome films, like Casablanca and The Godfather and The Holy Grail, include dialogue that has embedded itself so deeply in the American consciousness that it's hard to believe that not everyone could quote a line from them. 

Here's looking at you, kid.

Leave the gun.  Take the cannoli.

Bring out your dead!

Still, for most people of my generation (and younger), there are films that we can quote almost in their entirety.  My pick for today, The Princess Bride (1987), is one of that sort.   I cannot possibly count how many times I've seen this film, but I don't think it's repetitive viewing alone that has caused its script to lodge itself in my brain and stay there.  The Princess Bride has one of the cleverest, wittiest and most economically-written scripts of any movie ever.  What is more, the actor-to-character pairings in the film are SO perfect that it is practically impossible not to mimic their precise accents and delivery of the film's most well-known lines.  I'll spare you the usual plot summary today, since it's hard to believe that anyone hasn't seen The Princess Bride, so let it suffice to say this is one of the 80's great "love and adventure" stories. 

Also, instead of posting the trailer for the film, today I'm including (below) one of my favorite scenes from the film: the Death of Vizzini.  This scene is absolutely brilliantly written.  After a flurry of dizzying logic and wordplay, Vizzini pulls a rudimentary "hey, look over there!" misdirection on his arch-enemy, Wesley.  The acting in this scene is pitch-perfect, a precise concentration of the two characters pitted against one another.  The pacing of this scene is superb, generating a slowly-intensifying suspense with nothing other than a battle of wits.  And the payoff moment, when Vizzini dies, could not possibly have been written any better.  It would be inconceivable to think it could.  INCONCEIVABLE!

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