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15 Inconceivable Jewish Facts About ‘The Princess Bride’

princess bride

Look up! Do you see pigs flying above? No? Are you sure? Because, in a first, the internet appears to agree on one important thing: The cult classic movie The Princess Bride should not — repeat, not — be rebooted. 

Why this idea ever came to mind is beyond my pay grade, but I do know the source: Sony Pictures Entertainment chief executive Tony Vinciquerra mentioned it in passing in an interview with Variety.

“We have so many people coming to us saying, ‘We want to remake this show or that show,” Vinciquerra said. “Very famous people, whose names I won’t use, but they want to redo The Princess Bride.” 

Needless to say, the internet was not having it.

As for the identities of these “very famous people?” Well, we also don’t know — but it’s certainly not Seth Rogen. When he was taken to task on Twitter about it, Rogen’s response was swift: “I would never dare,” he tweeted. 

Other celebs were quick to pan the potential project, too, including Jewish mom and actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who’s married to Christopher Guest — AKA the six-fingered man in The Princess Bride

And don’t let’s forget about Cary Elwes’ (yes, Westley!) brilliant response to the rumor — which may be the most clever use of an iconic line we’ve ever seen:

Anyway, since The Princess Bride is back in the news — and about to turn 32! — now is a truly excellent time to review all the Jewish facts about this iconic film, that, to reiterate, absolutely does not need to be meddled with. 

1. The plot of The Princess Bride isn’t explicitly Jewish, but the people behind the novel and movie adaption certainly are. First up is William Goldman, the late Jewish author of the 1973 fantasy novel by the same name. He grew up in Highland Park, Illinois, and was raised by observant Jewish parents. 

2. The story behind the name of Goldman’s book is adorable. Before venturing on a business trip, the Jewish dad promised his two daughters he’d write them a story. When he asked what the plot should be about, one said, “a princess,” and the other “a bride” — and thus, “The Princess Bride” was born. (Awww!)

3. Director Rob Reiner, of When Harry Met Sally, is Jewish!

4. Mark Knopfler, the composer for The Princess Bride, is also a proud Jew! In fact, his parents fled Hungary in 1939 because of rampant anti-Semitism. 

5. You know who else is Jewish? The late actor Peter Falk, famously known for playing the titular role in Columbo, narrates the movie. He plays the grandfather in the romantic comedy, who reads the book, The Princess Bride, to his sick grandson. 

6. Said “sick grandson” was played by child actor Fred Savage, who is also a Jew! Probably most famous for his starring role in the 80s/90s sitcom The Wonder Years, Savage is, of course, no loner an adolescent — he’s a 43-year-old dad of two. 

7. The short, Sicilian boss who kidnaps Princess Buttercup before her wedding to the evil Prince Humperdinck is played by Jewish actor Wallace Shawn. 

8. The character Inigo Montoya, who spends the entirety of the movie seeking revenge on the six-fingered man who murdered his father — thus birthing the iconic phrase, “Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!” — is played by Jewish actor Mandy Patinkin, now of Homeland fame. 

9. The character Miracle Max, who helps to revive the movie’s protagonist with magic, is played by Billy Crystal, a Jewish dad. 

10. Miracle Max’s wife, Valerie, is played by Carole Kane, yet another famous Jew. 

11. Reiner wanted Miracle Max to be written in the same voice as the 2,000 Year Old Man, a kvetchy character written by Mel Brooks and Reiner’s father, comedian Carl Reiner, who embodies Jewish stereotypes. This was fine with Crystal, who said “I had relatives like him.” 

12. When brainstorming makeup for Crystal’s character, Miracle Max, the Jewish actor brought two photos for the artist to draw inspiration from: his grandmother and Casey Stengel, a former Yankees manager. 

13. In the novel, Goldman writes that Morgenstern, the fictional author of the book The Princess Bride within the book The Princess Bride, was worried that Miracle Max and Valerie were “too Jewish.” Pish posh!

14. Miracle Max and Valerie as bickering Jewish grandparents were such a comedic hit that Crystal floated the idea of a spin-off. Hey, there’s a quality idea for you, Sony Pictures!

15. The Princess Bride saved someone’s life. Seriously! In an interview with Variety, Reiner recalled that, after a lunch one day with his producing partner, Andrew Scheinman, and another producer-friend, an extreme skier, who was totally eavesdropping on their conversation, approached the table and told them about the time she and a bunch of skiers were trapped by an avalanche. To keep everyone occupied and happy while they nearly froze to death, she said she reenacted the entirety of The Princess Bride, as she knew every single line. 

Is there anything more Jewish than preserving a life? Methinks not. 

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