Page To Screen: The Princess Bride embraced the tricky style and tone of its source

In Page To Screen, we compare a movie to the book that spawned it. The analysis goes into deep detail about specific plot points—in other words, you’ve been warned.

William Goldman’s The Princess Bride (1973) and Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride (1987)

“Unadaptable” is a word that gets attached to a lot of books, and usually for good reason. For most books—pretty much all, really—the quality is derived from the skill of the writing more than the twists of the story. Just because a director replicates every narrative beat of a literary masterpiece, that doesn’t mean the result is a cinematic one.

Those who are only familiar with The Princess Bride through Rob Reiner’s beloved family film may be surprised to learn that translating the source material was difficult, even though author William Goldman was adapting his own work. Goldman (whose adaptation …

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