The Princess Bride The Screenplay

Saturday, April 09, 2005 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

The Princess Bride by William Goldman based on his novel

Simon Morgenstern is both a pseudonym and a narrative device invented by Goldman to add another layer to his novel The Princess Bride. He presents his novel as being an abridged version of a work by the fictional Morgenstern, an author from the equally fictional country of Florin. The name is almost certainly a reference to Johann Carl Simon Morgenstern who coined the term Bildungsroman describing the genre of story.

The details of Goldman's life given in the introduction and commentary for The Princess Bride are also largely fictional. For instance, he says that his wife is a psychiatrist and that he was inspired to abridge Morgenstern's The Princess Bride for his only child, a son. (The Princess Bride actually originated as a bedtime story for Goldman's two daughters.) He not only treats Morgenstern and the countries of Florin and Guilder as real, but even claims that his own father was Florinese and had immigrated to America.

At one point in The Princess Bride, Goldman's commentary indicates that he had wanted to add a passage elaborating a scene skipped over by Morgenstern. He explains that his editors would not allow him to take such liberties with the "original" text, and encourages readers to write to his publisher to request a copy of this scene. Both the original publisher and its successor have responded to such requests with letters describing their supposed legal problems with the Morgenstern estate.

In the 15th Anniversary Edition of The Princess Bride, Goldman claimed that he wanted to adapt the sequel written by Morgenstern, Buttercup's Baby, but he was unable to do so because Morgenstern's estate wanted Stephen King to do the abridgment instead. He also continued the fictional details of his own life, claiming that his psychiatrist wife had divorced him, and his son had grown to have a son of his own.

Goldman also wrote The Silent Gondoliers under the Morgenstern name.

The Princess Bride Screenplay

Director ... Rob Reiner
Cary Elwes ... Westley
Mandy Patinkin... Inigo Montoya
Chris Sarandon... Prince Humperdinck
Christopher Guest... Count Tyrone Rugen
Wallace Shawn... Vizzini
André the Giant... Fezzik (as Andre the Giant)
Fred Savage... The Grandson
Robin Wright Penn... Buttercup / The Princess Bride (as Robin Wright)
Peter Falk... The Grandfather / Narrator
Peter Cook... The Impressive Clergyman
Mel Smith... The Albino
Carol Kane... Valerie
Billy Crystal... Miracle Max