And so another pointless Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films reaches it’s conclusion.
Because it’s Christmas Eve and that’s how these things work.
But what it the cinematic offering behind door 24 of The Fourth Annual James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films?
Why, it’s only 1987’s The Princess Bride.
Which came out when I was eight and therefore should be a beloved movie from my childhood.
Somehow I missed it then and only became aware of its existence sometime in the early noughties. So it seems like a lot of unnecessary time was lost between the release of this movie and it becoming one of my favourite films of all time.
Because it is very much that.
I can’t convey in words how much I love this film.
It is utterly brilliant, vaguely genre-defying and eminently quotable.
If ever a movie was deserving of the label ‘cult classic’ then surely this is it. A relative box-office failure when it was released, it has subsequently become the staple of many a movie buff’s collection.
The cast is exceptional, the writing is second to none (the script is by William Goldman who adapted it from his own novel, which is also fantastic).
It also has Andre the Giant in it.
What more could you ask for from a movie?
Score for Christmasishness
Much as I love this movie, I had never thought of it as a Christmas film. But it really does have some quite compelling Christmas credentials. Most of the movie is set in a fantasy world, which has very little to do with Christmas. But we are brought that world through the telling of a story from a grandfather (Peter ‘Columbo’ Falk) to his grandson (Fred Savage) in the actual real world, and it is very much, and quite visibly, Christmas time in that real world. Surely, therefore, we have to give The Princess Bride its Christmas(ish) dues. Plus the book which contains the story is initially presented to the grandson in Christmas wrapping paper. So the whole story is Christmas present and what is more Christmas(ish) than that?