3 Stars
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A high-spirited adventure that pits true love against inconceivable odds, The Princess Bride has charmed legions of fans with its irreverent gags, eccentric ensemble, and dazzling swordplay. A kid (Fred Savage), home sick from school, grudgingly allows his grandfather (Peter Falk) to read him a dusty storybook—which is how we meet the innocent Buttercup (Robin Wright, in her breakout role), about to marry the nefarious Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) though her heart belongs to Westley (Cary Elwes). The wedding plans are interrupted, however, by a mysterious pirate, a vengeful Spaniard, and a good-natured giant, in a tale full of swashbuckling, romance, and outrageously hilarious spoofery. Directed by Rob Reiner from an endlessly quotable script by Oscar winner William Goldman, The Princess Bride reigns as a fairy-tale classic.

FILM INFO

  • Rob Reiner
  • United States
  • 1987
  • 98 minutes
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #948

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • New 4K digital transfer, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 1996 featuring director Rob Reiner, screenwriter William Goldman, producer Andrew Scheinman, and actors Billy Crystal and Peter Falk
  • Edited 1987 audiobook reading of Goldman’s novel The Princess Bride by Reiner
  • New program about Goldman’s screenplay
  • New program about Goldman’s tapestry based on the film
  • Archival interviews with Reiner, Goldman, and actors Crystal, Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Fred Savage, and Robin Wright
  • New interview with art director Richard Holland
  • Programs about makeup, fencing, and fairy tales
  • On-set video diary filmed and narrated by Elwes
  • Five behind-the-scenes videos with commentaries from 1996 by Reiner, Scheinman, and Crystal
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by author Sloane Crosley and, for the Blu-ray edition, Goldman’s introduction to his Princess Bride script from the 1995 collection Four Screenplays, in a lavishly illustrated, clothbound book

New cover by Angela Rizza

  • October 30, 2018

Published by

Ronald Epstein

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Ronald Epstein

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The price link below will take you directly to the product on Amazon. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link.

 
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Mark Booth

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When I saw this announced earlier this morning, I immediately added it to my list of future purchases. We know the Criterion will do the film justice.

But then I found out that the new 4K digital transfer has been used to make a true 4K HDR version of the film available via both VUDU and iTunes. At iTunes it is 4K Dolby Vision and currently priced at $14.99.

As much as I love collecting Criterions, I'm now having a difficult time justifying spending more than $14.99 for a version that I know will look great, but almost certainly not as great looking as a true 4K Dolby Vision presentation.

That said, while watching Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation via my Apple TV 4K yesterday, I noticed some stuttering during a fast pan of the cityscape. It was quite obvious and somewhat objectionable. I rather doubt the 4K Blu-ray would exhibit the same problem.

I sure wish Criterion would start doing UHD releases. Or perhaps this will get a 4K Blu-ray release from the studio after it's been available on the Criterion standard Blu-ray for awhile?

Mark
 
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Bryan^H

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Damn. Another 4K transfer with no UHD release. I would have bought this on UHD the day its released.

No sale.
 

Mark Booth

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Turns out the 30th Anniversary Blu-ray version (released in September 2017) includes a digital HD copy that is redeemable in iTunes. That Blu-ray is currently available at Amazon for $7.99. Which means the 4K Dolby Vision version through Apple TV 4K is only $7.99 if you buy the 30th Anniversary Blu-ray and redeem the code directly in iTunes.

I've ordered the 30th Anniversary Blu-ray from Amazon. I'll report my findings.

Mark
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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There is no question in my mind that The Princess Bride deserves the Criterion treatment. It was never one of my favorites, but as a child of the late eighties, it was a favorite for so many of my friends that I feel like I can quote the movie from beginning to end through sheer osmosis. It's nice to see the Criterion audio commentary from the laserdisc release brought to high-definition.

But I'm always a little disappointed when Criterion announces a title that's already gotten a studio release on Blu-Ray. There are so many movies that haven't made it to high definition at all yet that I hate to see double dips. Hopefully the revenue from the higher profile double dips helps fund the more esoteric offerings.
 

Robert Crawford

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This is what, the fourth Blu-ray release of this particular film. We had the original BD release then a 25th Anniversary followed by a 30th Anniversary just last year that is available in 4K/UHD on Vudu and iTunes. I have to agree with Adam, Mark and Bryan about this particular title. I think I'm going to buy the 30th Anniversary release and redeem my digital copy on iTunes and call it a day.
 

Tino

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Turns out the 30th Anniversary Blu-ray version (released in September 2017) includes a digital HD copy that is redeemable in iTunes. That Blu-ray is currently available at Amazon for $7.99. Which means the 4K Dolby Vision version through Apple TV 4K is only $7.99 if you buy the 30th Anniversary Blu-ray and redeem the code directly in iTunes.

I've ordered the 30th Anniversary Blu-ray from Amazon. I'll report my findings.

Mark
This is exactly what I did months ago. $7.99 for a 4K digital copy blues Blu Ray is a steal.
 

Robert Crawford

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This is exactly what I did months ago. $7.99 for a 4K digital copy blues Blu Ray is a steal.
The disc on the 30th Anniversary is the same as the 25th Anniversary. The 4K digital copy is something different on the 30th Anniversary while this Criterion release is a different disc derived from the same transfer as the 4k digital copy.
 

Mark Booth

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BTW, in another forum, someone posted that it is generally agreed that a streaming 4K image is generally considered about on par with a standard HD Blu-ray image. I didn't respond there, but that's a load of hogwash. Yes, I've had a few instances of stuttering in the image during fast pans while watching 4K content via my Apple TV 4K. Possibly a result of compression? But, other than that, the 4K content I've watched via Apple TV 4K has been superlative! Particularly the Dolby Vision content.

Granted, some movies just don't benefit much from a 4K HDR release. But those that do are just as beautiful from the Apple TV 4K as they are from the 4K Blu-ray.

Mark
 

GlennH

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I think we're reaching the tipping point for Criterion. When enthusiasts who are their target audience start passing on what should be a no-brainer release like this it's time for them to jump in the UHD game. Getting a new Criterion should never feel like one is settling for something less than the best available.
 
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Arthur Powell

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I'm not a fan of Criterion putting out editions of films that have already been well covered on the blu-ray format - The Breakfast Club, Being There, Silence of the Lambs, Dr. Strangelove, Some Like It Hot, The Princess Bride, etc. The exception to that would be if Criterion can really bring something new and novel to the public like in the case of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. If the reason for the release is a marginal to somewhat better master or new extras, I'd just rather see Criterion use its time and resources on something that isn't available on blu. That said, I've heard the argument that these type of releases help the company stay in business, and I can respect that logic (the late David Shepard remarked that another edition of The Phantom of the Opera typically would pay for the silent films that didn't sell all that well). I also can't say that I've been entirely shut out this year - King of Jazz, Young Mr. Lincoln, Heaven Can Wait, My Man Godfrey, etc. I wish that I could include a Harold Lloyd title and The Wedding March to that list, but that's a topic for another discussion.

As for The Princess Bride, I've only seen it once some twenty years ago and that was in my sixth grade English class. Perhaps I should revisit this title since I really don't have much more than a few fleeting memories of it.
 

Mark Booth

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My 30th Anniversary copy is getting delivered today. A friend is buying the Blu-ray from me for $5. So, $2.99 out of pocket (plus sales tax) to get the 4K digital copy in iTunes. Deal!

Mark
 

Mark Booth

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No UHD no purchase.
This week I decided to raise the maximum price I'd spend for a 4K Blu-ray catalog title from $9.99 to $14.99. I went a bit nuts during Amazon's Prime Day sale and have 19 titles arriving. I even stretched the budget for a couple of titles, spending a bit more than $14.99 but justified it because I got 8 titles for $10 each and a few other titles below $13. The average for the 19 is $12.52 each.

I'm sure I'll buy more Criterion titles in the future but, in all likelihood, they will only be titles that I don't already own. I'm not going to upgrade an existing HD DVD or Blu-ray with another standard HD Blu-ray. If the film is getting a 4K restoration then I want the title on 4K Blu-ray. Criterion needs to jump on the 4K bandwagon, and soon.

Mark