Top 10 Facts About The Princess Bride That Will Ruin Your Childhood
Trivia Top 10 Facts About The Princess Bride That Will Ruin Your Childhood



Top 10 Facts About The Princess Bride That Will Ruin Your Childhood

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Samantha McKeag
You've been rewatching it since childhood, but we bet you didn't know these facts about "The Princess Bride." Our countdown includes Iocaine Powder isn't real, the film was almost never made, there was originally a different ending, and more!

Top 10 Facts About The Princess Bride That Will Ruin Your Childhood

Welcome to MsMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Facts About The Princess Bride That Will Ruin Your Childhood

For this list, we’ll be looking at behind-the-scenes secrets that may change how you see your favourite childhood movie. For this – we apologize in advance.

Which entry surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments!

#10: The Time Period Is Hard to Pin Down

Since its release, fans have been trying to figure out when this mystical story took place. But to date, no one has. So, let’s look at the clues. When Buttercup says she could be referring to Francis Danby’s famous painting from 1824 “Sunset At Sea After A Storm”. Vizzini mentions that Australia was “entirely peopled with criminals”, and the First Fleet didn’t arrive until 1788, so that supports the idea that we’re sometime in the 19th century. But then if you consider the fashion, the weapons, and the Renaissance decor, you’re looking at mid-1500s. So...inconclusive. Really though, it doesn’t matter. The mystery just adds to the magic of it!

#9: The Machine Was a Recycled Prop

We hate to break it to you but this age-stealing, pain-inducing contraption wasn’t built with 1987’s “Princess Bride” in mind. It was actually constructed in 1983 for a totally different movie … That’s right! The archaic torture machine was originally intended for “Never Say Never Again.” It was designed by art director Richard Holland and originally featured bones along the sides and was powered by sand weights. Ultimately, Bond changed aesthetics and the giant wheel was snatched up for director Rob Reiner while Holland made some minor changes, like replacing the sand with water. Either way, it’s a clever invention and we’re glad it ended up in our favourite childhood movie!

#8: Iocaine Powder Isn’t Real

Sounds legit, right? Referred to as one of the deadliest poisons on the planet, this toxic powder is untraceable. Fortunately, one can build an immunity to it by increasing the amount ingested over a period of time. However, even though this sounds fairly plausible, it’s total fiction. Iocaine Powder does not exist, never has, never will. Of course, it doesn’t really matter; it just adds to the timelessness of the movie. As Cary Elwes, who played Westley, said in his book “As You Wish”: “Like a good wine without Iocaine powder, it seems to get better with age.”

#7: The Movie Wasn’t That Popular at First

These days, everyone loves a good spoof film. After “The Princess Bride”, Mr. Elwes would go on to star in Mel Brooks’ “Robin Hood: Men in Tights”. But although spoof movies became all the rage in the 90s, they were fairly uncommon in 1987, which made them difficult to market. Even worse, “The Princess Bride” shared the same opening weekend of the blockbuster hit “Fatal Attraction”. Even though it received 2-thumbs up from Siskel and Ebert, it was slow to take off. To say the least, the $200K it generated that weekend was abysmal compared to their original $16M budget. Luckily, viewership picked up and once released on home video, it became a favourite, spanning generations.

#6: Mel Smith Could Never Bear to Watch the Movie

Mel Smith, who played the keeper of the Pit of Despair, was so uncomfortable during filming that he’s never even watched the movie himself just to avoid reliving that painful period in his life. The albino character called for specific eye colour and in order to achieve this, Smith had to wear contacts. Unfortunately, neither he nor the rest of the cast and crew had any idea that he was severely allergic to the contact solution they used. Even still, the actor powered through his scenes and was still able to expertly produce the disturbing, but slightly adorable, the Albino we all know and…well, kind of love.

#5: The Film Was Almost Never Made

Can you imagine a world where “The Princess Bride” doesn’t exist? almost happened. It wasn’t just that the movie made peanuts on opening weekend; the screenplay was bounced around so many times that writer William Goldman had lost almost all hope. Initially, Twentieth-Century Fox bought the rights, but due to unforeseen circumstances, the script lay untouched. That is – until Reiner arrived on the scene. While brainstorming his next project in 1986, he remembered a book he’d read almost a decade earlier and knew he wanted to make it into a movie. Mind you, it wasn’t smooth sailing from there either, but Reiner was determined to get it made. And thank goodness for that!

#4: Arnold Schwarzenegger Almost Played Fezzik

From the beginning, writer William Goldman had known that the 7 foot 4 wrestler Andre Roussimoff, AKA Andre The Giant, would be the perfect Fezzik. Unfortunately, Andre was at the peak of his wrestling career and couldn’t do it. Goldman’s next choice was an up-and-coming Austrian bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Development stalled however, and by the time Reiner picked up the project years later, “The Predator” star was unavailable! Initially, Andre seemed to be too busy as well, but as fate would have it, he had to cancel his prior commitment - freeing him up to play Fezzik!

#3: Andre the Giant Was in Pain & Needed a Stunt Double

You know those scenes where Fezzik is being all...giant-y? Welllll…..a lot of the time it’s actually a stunt double. Andre the Giant had serious back problems due to acromegaly - a disorder that causes gigantism. He’d actually recently had surgery, and drank a lot to numb the pain. This also meant he had to be really careful on set. Having their Fezzik was all that mattered, so Reiner went back to the drawing-board. The epic piggyback fight? A stunt double from afar, with Westley standing on ramps for close-ups. And that moment when Fezzik catches Buttercup? She was on cables and he was standing against a board for support.

#2: There Was Originally a Different Ending

As it turns out, the famous last line “As You Wish” was not the original ending. The movie was supposed to end with the Grandson seeing the four heroes outside his window. So why did he change it? Well, the original ending would have been pretty epic, with its quartet of misfits on white horses. But the legendary director wanted to send a different message, making the movie more about the bond between the grandson and grandfather, created through the magic of storytelling. Still, we have to admit … it makes us sad knowing there’s a deleted scene we’ll probably never see!

#1: There Were a Lot of Injuries

There were more than a few injuries on set during filming … and for the silliest possible reasons! Cary Elwes broke his toe while goofing around on Andre’s ATV. Afraid of getting fired, Elwes tried - and failed - to hide it. Mandy Patinkin actually bruised a rib from the strain of holding in his laughter over Billy Crystal’s improv. Elwes was hurt again after asking Christopher Guest to actually hit him, which Guest did - giving Elwes a concussion. Guest received his own injury when Patinkin accidentally stabbed him in the thigh during their duel; Guest was reportedly convinced that Patinkin was lost in character, and threw out the choreography, just trying to survive! It’s a good thing Reiner didn’t believe in bad omens!