Standing onstage at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, surrounded by cast members and some of the crew, many of whom I've not seen in years, I feel an almost overwhelming sense of gratitude and nostalgia. We have gathered here at the New York Film Festival to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Princess Bride, a movie whose popularity and resonance now span generations. That fact alone boggles the mind-how such a quirky and modestly conceived film could achieve such a lofty position in the pantheon of popular culture. What really strikes me, though, as I look down the row at the faces of my fellow actors, is how quickly the time has passed. Has it really been twenty-five years? A quarter century? The passing of time is most critically noted by those who are missing, the great Peter Falk and that gentle mountain of a man, André the Giant. But to counter that sadness is the camaraderie of being back with those who are here tonight and who stood alongside me so many years ago: Rob Reiner, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, Wallace Shawn, Chris Sarandon, and Mandy Patinkin, not to mention Robin Wright, looking as lovely as she did the day I first laid eyes on her so many years ago. Then again, she has always set a rather ridiculously high standard for beauty, and that seems not to have changed. The only ones who couldn't make it were Christopher Guest and Fred Savage, who unfortunately were busy working on other projects. This is a night of red carpets and remembrance, of interviews and a screening filled with laughter and joy. It is also only the third time that I have seen the film in its entirety with an audience since its initial screening in 1987 at the Toronto Film Festival. That previous event, while successful, did not exactly produce the sort of response one would expect of a film destined to become a classic.
"Cary Elwes' book recounts the wacky antics of Billy Crystal, Rob Reiner and others behind 'The Princess Bride'... . [A] delightful remembrance of the three months he spent making the unsung movie that went on to become a family classic." New York Daily News "A tender, comical behind-the-scenes look at the 1987 classic." US Weekly "Filled with fun tidbits from the cast about making a movie that became an unlikely classic." Los Angeles Magazine "[A] fascinating memoir...Cary Elwes has proved that he is as adept with the mighty pen as he is with the powerful sword. ...A treasure trove of fascinating behind-the-scenes accounts. ... As You Wish is thoughtfully and seamlessly compiled." New Orleans Living Magazine "Even if you don't have a crush on Cary Elwes, you'll enjoy this vivid behind-the-scenes account of the making of The Princess Bride. His stories, especially those involving Andre the Giant, will leave you in stitches. Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, and others also recount their experiences. An amusing account of a group of performers who came together to make a heartfelt film that is loved by many." Library Journal "The movie The Princess Bride achieved a certain cinematic magic, which Elwes (Westley) captures in his warm and revealing behind-the-scenes account." Publishers Weekly "Designed to hit all fan-service sweet spots for folks familiar with the film, as it's stuffed with photos, recollections, and interviews with relevant parties. The book's dust jacket is even a Shepard Fairey print, for crying out loud. I never had a chance." The A.V. Club "Cary Elwes' memoir will make you want to watch The Princess Bride at least 100 more times." SheKnows.com "This is an entertaining tale of how 24-year-old Elwes learned how to ride a horse in the Rob Reiner adaptation of William Goldman's screenplay (and original, brilliant book)." Flavorwire.com
Cary Elwes is a celebrated English actor who starred in The Princess Bride before moving on to roles in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Glory, Days of Thunder, Twister, and Saw, among many other acclaimed performances. He will always be indebted to The Princess Bride, he says, for changing his life and giving him a career that has spanned decades.