The first workshop in the Introduction to Screenwriting series is now available as a downloadable pack under Resources

The Princess Bride screenplay

The complete screenplay of The Princess Bride with script notes.

The Script

The Princess Bride Screenplay (PDF).

Script notes

The story is a knowing and inventive reimagining of classic children's tales. The script is very funny, very clever, filled with imagination and action. Our hero is Westley, a young man in love, with a challenging backstory and a perilous quest. Where the film is elevated far above its many imitators, though, is in the characters. Where some attempts to reinvent fairy tales have ended up cynically exploiting the archetypes and failing to deliver any real development (Shrek, for example) in The Princess Bride we are buried in an avalanche of charming, quirky, imaginative characters.

It doesn't hurt that the finished film (Dir. Rob Reiner 1987) is a superb tour de force for the cast and crew with career-best work from Mandy Patinkin, Cary Elwes and Robin Wright, but the script definitely gave everyone plenty to grab onto.

Goldman is one of the most famous screenwriters in the business, and for good reason, not only is he the creator of some extraordinary scripts, he's also a bestselling author of books on the screenwriting trade. He's written in every genre and for every possible audience and his writing style allows the characters to shine from the page.

"A lot of people who are in the movie business don't really know much about movies, and they certainly don't know movie history. You have to even find a code when you're talking to these people - you can't use the references that you would use when talking to somebody who knows movie history. When you go in to pitch something, it depends what you invoke. You can't invoke anything really before 1980 with these people because they don't know what you're talking about. It's limiting. They get annoyed. They get offended that you are somehow trying to expose the fact that they don't know things, and make them feel inadequate. Which is of course not the point, or why you do it. "

Joe Dante