Stardust Vs The Princess Bride

Posted on July 28, 2009. Filed under: Movies to see before you die | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

First of all, apologies for lack of posts.  The cruel system which dictates I work for a living means I’ve had less time than usual.  But I am still here, reading all your lovely comments and beginning all sorts of post which will one day make it to the web.  This one started as a quick scribble before work, but I’m determined to finish it….

In a format I’ve stolen from one of the favourites on my blogroll, I thought I’d do a comparison of two movies sharing a similar format, sparked by a recent discussion on the comments of this post.

Stardust and The Princess Bride are essentially doing the same thing.  They take the typical children’s fairytale and turn it on its head so that nothing is quite as you expect it.  Princess Bride definitely does this more knowingly, almost aiming directly at adults, while Stardust follws the growing trend of family films with parent-oriented humour (following on from Toy Story and Shrek)

Unlike the two Rosses, I’m not really going for an out and out which film is better debate here, especially since the fact that I’ve just watched Princess Bride means its much clearer in my mind….(but I have a feeling I might be leaning that way anyway.)  Instead I’m hoping to convince you to go and watch them especially if you may have dismissed them as kids films.  Stardust you’ve more than likely heard of, as with any Hollywood release it did the promo circuit, but Princess Bride had to work harder to earn its cult status.  (Although, if you ever watch those 100 Best *insert adjective* Movie countdowns, they always find some way to include it somewhere in the top 30.)

Are you talkin' to me?

The strength of both films is in their comedy.  Stardust has genius comic turns from Robert DeNiro and a cast of pretty much every British comic actor wandering past the studio at the time (Julian Rhind-Tutt, David Walliams, Ricky Gervais etc).  As I’ve mentioned, DeNiro’s performance (I’m not gonna ruin it) pretty much changed my life.  You’ll never look at him the same again 😉 , but The Princess Bride just has the edge I think, counting Peter Cook, Billy Crystal, Peter Falk, Mel Smith and Andre the Giant amongst its fantastic ensemble cast.  Princess Bride is endlessly quotable (“My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!”) and as has been demonstrated, contains some classic scenes.  In fact, I’d go as far as to argue that Stardust refernces its predecessor, with a remarkabley similar “mostly dead” scene at the end and yet another ferocious Pirate Captain who isn’t all he seems.  I say references rather than “steals from” because Stardust is almost a remake in everything but plot , which in itself isn’t too far away from Princess Bride (despite being based on a novel).  This isn’t a criticism though, more films like The Princess Bride should be made, and if they’re going to be done as well as Stardust then I’m all for it, even if they do borrow the odd idea.

Is this a kissing book?

The characters are what make these films great.  I’m not sure that Yvaine and Dunstan will become quite as iconic aStardusts Inigo and Fezzik, but making a film that stands up in comparison to The Princess Bride isn’t easy, so points to Matthew Vaughan and Co.  The older film is a classic, and is quite probably the better film (I’m reserving judgement until I watch Stardust again) but both should be on your “to watch” list (preferably on the same day :P)

The Princess Bride

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15 Responses to “Stardust Vs The Princess Bride”

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hehe. good on you Katie, you did warn us youd write this piece if we didnt, and you are as good as your word. if you want something done, sometimes you just gotta do it yourself. on behalf of myself and the other Ross, good stuff.

I did! It just took me a while to actually get it down, and I didn’t have anyone to argue with…
Thanks 🙂

we shall have to sign you up for a no holds barred three-tier battle – Ross v Katie v Ross
we could each pick our favourites from a trilogy or something
maybe Critters v Critters 2 v Critters 3!

Now that would be amazing! Except I haven’t seen critters, so it can’t be that :S but otherwise I’m all in.

Hmmm…I’m surprised Ross McG didn’t suggest you and him start a Ross V Katie site, as he does with everyone who ever shares an insight with him. Except its not always V Katie. Unless her name is Katie. Which in this case, it is.
Now I know you said you weren’t going to pit the two films against each other, but it is in our nature……and I must say Princess pwns Stardust. I quite enjoyed the latter (especially De Niro, as you mention) but found it on the whole rather forgetable. Princess however made Cary Elwes look good – a remarkable feat in itself.

ps I bagsie Critters 2

Aaw I feel less special now 😉

Well, I didn’t want to steal you’re entire format. But I have to agree with you Princess Bride is the better film. I’m not sure whether the reason I’ve forgottean a lot of Stardust is because I’ve only seen it once (ages ago) or because it is, as you say, forgettable. I’ve only seen Princess Bride twice and that seemed to stick….

I’m gonna have to go watch critters aren’t I?

I haven’t seen The Princess Bride for about ten years and my usual with Stardust, saw it at the cinema but not seen it again since. From memory I really enjoyed both films. It will be interesting to see how they age and how people look back at them.

Critters: pick your future star: Billy Zane in the first one, Leonardo DiCaprio in the third, I can’t think of anyone in the second and haven’t seen the fourth. Alternatively, how about you go for something everyone has seen like star wars. I would love to hear one of you defending the Ewoks!

The Princess Bride is my all-time favorite movie.So I have to side with TPB. However, Stardust is a a wonderful flick that made me like DeNiro again.

I haven’t seen “Stardust,” but now I can’t put it off any longer! If it’s even vaguely comparable to “The Princess Bride,” which I watch roughly once per year, “Stardust” is on my must-see list. I’ll be interested to see if “Stardust” has the staying power that “Princess Bride” has.

M. Carter at the Movies

unfortunately Fandango, Ross McD has already defended the Ewoks – http://rossvross.com/2009/02/04/the-empire-strikes-back-v-return-of-the-jedi/

M. Carter: I really hope it lives up to your expectations!!

Ross/Andy: And what exactly is wrong with the Ewoks? I love those cute little guys. In fact I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say I don’t actually mind Jar Jar Binks. (Please send your hare mail to….)

Stardust is the clear, hands-down winner. It doesn’t even matter which is funnier, Stardust has the obviously better story, more interesting and unique characters, better dialogue, better writing, better effects, etc. Whereas The Princess Bride was straight up farce with a bit of charm, Stardust is an amazing movie with a bit of farce.

Well Matt, you are the first person to take that side! Points for bravery!
I’m gonna argue with you on the “more interesting and unique characters” Inigo Montoya is a classic, as is Vizzini and there’s characters who only cameo for a few seconds who leave a lasting impression. I’m not sure every character in Stardust has the same impact. The only one who really stuck with me was Captain Shakespeare, and the two leads are just not as fun as Buttercup and Westley.

“hare mail” is that is that mail delivered by hares. The picture in my mind is almost as funny as my 12 moth crime spree!

damn I knew you’d get me back for that one day!!

(the moths are better)


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