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Section Header
The Princess Bride
Composed, Co-Performed, and Produced by:
Mark Knopfler

Co-Performed by:
Guy Fletcher

Warner Brothers Records

Release Date:
January 1st, 1987

Also See:
Wag the Dog

Audio Clips:
1. Once Upon a Time... (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

4. Morning Ride (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (243K)
Real Audio (151K)

5. The Friends' Song (0:31):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (250K)
Real Audio (155K)

8. Guide my Sword (0:29):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (235K)
Real Audio (146K)

Regular U.S. release.

  The song "Storybook Love" was nominated for an Academy Award. The score was nominated for a Grammy Award.

The Princess Bride
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Our Price: $11.99
Used Price: $0.68

Sales Rank: 25896

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Buy it... if you, like many in your generation, hold the film dear to your heart and fondly remember Mark Knopfler's romantic acoustic guitar music in its dreamy environment.

Avoid it... if you, like many others in your generation, hold the film with extreme disdain and remember Knopfler's shallow synthetic action music to be extremely obnoxious in its campy environment.

The Princess Bride: (Mark Knopfler) For an entire generation of teens and pre-teens, The Princess Bride was the ultimate slumber party flick. Seen countless times by anyone in that age bracket during the late 1980's, the Rob Reiner film lives on in the history of motion pictures as one of the wackiest and most potentially mind-numbing success stories in the romantic comedy genre. With a decent cast, the film wasn't ashamed of its own campy low-budget feel, catering to teen logic and leaving parents shaking their heads and searching for something more intelligent with which to distract themselves. Several lines from the film, with the endlessly repeating "You killed my father; prepare to die..." quote leading the pack, would be imitated by comedians for several years to follow. A haphazard methodology of shifting between the fairy tale and its contemporary storytelling environment was a distinct reason for the film's uniqueness. As the generation that appreciated it the most grew up, however, the film lost some of its pop culture appeal, and while it served its film well at the time, the same can be said of the score for The Princess Bride. Reiner (who defined the film as an "oddball") recognized immediately that the story was ridiculous and hearty enough to require a musical departure from the norm. Having enjoyed Mark Knopfler's scores for Dire Straits and Local Hero, Reiner claims that he was his only choice for the assignment for The Princess Bride. Known for his electronic and guitar-dominated works, Knopfler's music would be a perfect fit for the project, infusing a younger sounding, synthesized warmth to a similarly directed film. Little did Knopfler know at the time that The Princess Bride would end up being his best known composition for a film, the career defining piece that young girls everywhere would snatch up and sing along to (for two decades, surprisingly). The reception for The Princess Bride from the established film score community was one more of distant amusement than anything else, though that stands as testimony to the target audience of the film rather than the personality of the score. Knopfler's style, across all of his film scores, is such a distinctive extension of the instrumental backing of his pop songs that it's nearly impossible to compare it to any other film score, despite the fact that a handful have attempted to imitate it through the years.

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The reason for the distance between traditional film score collectors and Knopfler's The Princess Bride is the same as their reason for laughing off the film when they still saw it on the shelves of video rental stores years later. The music is such a dedicated slice taken right from the center of the corny Princess Bride cake that you can't help but remember the ridiculous circumstances of the film (and the age at which you saw it). Performed by only two individuals (Knopfler and Guy Fletcher), the score won't blow you away with sonic depth. Instead, it steals your heart with two opening cues of sweet and romantic acoustic guitar performances. These delicately plucked cues are quite lovely, with the kind of friendly personality that renders them a regular accompaniment to wedding receptions. The wishy-washy, echoing recording of the guitar, with its soothing synthesized accompaniment, appropriately puts the listener into almost a dreamy state in these two cues (as well as "A Happy Ending"). The same phenomenon occurs with the airy keyboarding in "Morning Ride", "Friend's Song," and "Guide my Sword," which often overwhelm the soundscape with their gleaming, major-key goodness. It is film score easy listening at its easiest during much of its length. Unfortunately, the album is broken up by a handful of unlistenable cues for action scenes, including "Cliffs of Insanity," "Rodents of Unusual Size," and "Revenge." The "Florin Dance" is another extremely difficult experience. These troubles arise mostly because the electronics couldn't produce varied or powerful enough action music without exposing the silly and dumb tones that often defined orchestral samples of the era. Because they are so incredibly cheap to the ears of anyone who has heard far more capable synthetic imitations since then, such cues can easily get on the nerves of the album's listener. Nevertheless, the album still contains at least twenty minutes of highly enjoyable, soft romance material, and it is capped off by a song rendition of Knopfler's title theme performed with a laid back style by Willy DeVille. The album is readily in print even though it was a very early Warner Brothers CD venture (with all the usual warnings about how to correctly place your CD back into its case), and it remains a strong seller even after twenty years. Overall, The Princess Bride is an important piece of late-80's film music history, albeit for just the younger generation, but anyone who still has a piece of that kid at heart could easily find enjoyment in this album. **** Price Hunt: CD or Download

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3.44 Stars
Smart Average: 3.33 Stars*
***** 107 
**** 73 
*** 61 
** 39 
* 51 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   Hmm...I have a feeling he doesn't "dig...
  The_Hutt -- 11/8/04 (9:23 p.m.)
   Corny whatever
  Joe Maxwell -- 4/26/04 (7:58 p.m.)
   local hero is still better.
  me myself and i -- 5/7/03 (3:33 p.m.)
   Re: Slight disagreement
  Fraley -- 5/6/03 (9:55 a.m.)
   Slight disagreement
  Southall -- 5/6/03 (1:27 a.m.)
Read All | Add New Post | Search | Help  

 Track Listings: Total Time: 39:26

• 1. Once Upon a Time... Storybook Love (4:00)
• 2. I Will Never Love Again (3:04)
• 3. Florin Dance (1:32)
• 4. Morning Ride (1:36)
• 5. The Friends' Song (3:02)
• 6. The Cliffs of Insanity (3:18)
• 7. The Sword Fight (2:43)
• 8. Guide my Sword (5:11)
• 9. The Fire Swamp and the Rodents of Unusual Size (4:47)
• 10. Revenge (3:51)
• 11. A Happy Ending (1:52)
• 12. Storybook Love - performed by Willy DeVille (4:24)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes a note from the director and still photography of the score's performers.

  All artwork and sound clips from The Princess Bride are Copyright © 1987, Warner Brothers Records. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 4/29/03 and last updated 3/26/09. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2003-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.