The Princess Bride at 30: Why Fezzik and Inigo have one of the best friendships in film

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Sep 25, 2017

SPOILER WARNING: The Princess Bride spoilers below!

There are so many reasons to love The Princess Bride. Whether you find yourself repeating “as you wish” and “inconceivable,” or discussing the battle of wits and storming the castle, The Princess Bride has withstood the test of time for three decades, becoming a beloved classic and integral part of our pop culture. For the 30th anniversary of the film, we decided it was time to recognize a special aspect of the movie that’s just not discussed enough for our liking.

One of the best parts of The Princess Bride is the epic friendship between Fezzik (Andre the Giant) and Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin). Without them and how they support each other, there would be no story, and no happy ending -- making it an integral part of the film. Here are seven moments that show Fezzik and Inigo’s friendship is one of the best on screen.

The Princess Bride (1/12) Movie CLIP - Anybody Want a Peanut? (1987) HD

Helping each other deal with a difficult boss, Vizzini

Vizzini is clearly not an easy man to work for, and he doesn’t treat Fezzik or Inigo very well as his employees. After they kidnap Buttercup, Fezzik expresses his opinion that it’s not right to kill an innocent girl, but Vizzini isn’t interested in his hired help doing anything beyond what they are hired to do. He immediately insults Fezzik, and when Inigo voices his agreement with Fezzik, insults him as well before turning on Fezzik again. Once Vizzini walks away though, Inigo goes to Fezzik and the two rhyme together happily, much to Vizzini’s annoyance.

The scene captures how the two friends have each other’s back in this perhaps less than ideal work environment. Inigo didn’t have to voice his agreement with Fezzik after seeing Vizzini’s reaction, but he did. Then he tries to turn the mood around by doing something Fezzik enjoys and excels at: rhyming. It reminds Fezzik that he’s more than the dumb brute Vizzini wants him to be, and that Inigo recognizes his gifts, even if Vizzini does not.

Showing concern on the Cliffs of Insanity

When Vizzini, Fezzik, Inigo, and Buttercup reach the Cliffs of Insanity, they’re shocked to realize the mysterious man in black is able to follow them. Trying to kill him as he climbs up the cliff after them doesn’t work very well, so Vizzini orders Inigo to stay behind and watch the stranger. If the man doesn’t fall during his climb, Vizzini wants Inigo to kill him with his sword. Vizzini orders Fezzik to carry Buttercup and starts to walk away, but Fezzik doesn’t just leave his friend without some words of caution as he prepares to face this oddly determined man.

Fezzik tells Inigo to be careful, and that people in masks can’t be trusted. Inigo nods, and the two share a moment of understanding before Vizzini yells his impatience and they leave Inigo behind. It’s a short moment, but the brief exchange shows how Fezzik cares and Inigo appreciates his concern. Despite Vizzini wanting to leave right away, Fezzik wasn’t going to go without sharing some last words with his friend.

Fezzik and Inigo

Nursing Inigo back to health

After Vizzini’s mission failed, Inigo returns to the thieves’ forest where it all began. Drunk, he stumblingly resists those trying to clear the forest on Buttercup’s wedding day, only to encounter Fezzik once more. Inigo is thrilled to see Fezzik, and Fezzik defends his friend. But the happy reunion doesn’t last long, as Inigo passes out. Luckily Fezzik takes the time to nurse him back to health, and as he does, updates him on everything that happened, from Vizzini’s death to finding the six-fingered man. Fezzik’s caring turns to some slightly rougher treatment to get Inigo back to his senses and become himself again, which works quite well!

Soon the pair are discussing how to enter the castle and help Inigo exact his revenge at last. Not only does this sequence show how glad the friends are to see each other again after being separated, it also shows how deep that friendship goes. Fezzik nurses Inigo back to health, and when they start planning to storm a well-guarded castle, there’s no question that Fezzik is going to help. It’s understood that if this is going to happen, they are going to do it together, no matter how hopeless it might seem.

The Princess Bride - "Inigo Finds the Pit of Despair" - (HD) - Scenes from the 80s (1987)

Working together to find and help Westley

There’s no denying these two make quite a team, and we see that even more so when they are looking for Westley. They each bring their own skills to the task, and work together to find the man in black who bested them both. It’s Inigo who recognizes Westley’s scream and leads them onwards, asking Fezzik to help clear the way, which he expertly does. Then when they find the Albino and question him together, Fezzik jogs his memory a bit too hard. Inigo doesn’t yell or berate him like Vizzini would, though. Instead he moves onto a new tactic.

This tactic is asking his father for help, which to some might seem like a weird or even unhelpful idea. Fezzik doesn’t question it though. Fezzik waits patiently as Inigo asks his father to guide his sword. The search for Westley is a great example of how well the two work together as a team, knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and how they can help in the current situation.

The Princess Bride (9/12) Movie CLIP - If We Only Had a Wheelbarrow (1987) HD

Storming a castle together

Their teamwork pays off and the two are able to find Westley and bring him back to life. Together, the three start to plan, with Inigo explaining the details and Fezzik looking on the bright side of things, where even wiggling a finger is a positive in their situation! Inigo and Fezzik also remember what Westley says they need in order to get into the castle. Despite how the odds against them seem to have increased, they never think about backing out of their plan.

Even when Inigo gets antsy about what will happen once they’re inside, Fezzik calms him down and reminds him not to pester the guy who’s been mostly dead all day. Wise words, and Inigo knows he’s right and apologizes. These two might be attempting something seemingly impossible, but they move forward nonetheless. A true friend is definitely one who goes through with a crazy plan to storm a castle with you!

Inigo Montoya find the six fingered man

Fezzik responding to Inigo's call for help

Another short moment that illustrates the friendship between these two is when they enter the castle and Inigo finally finds the six-fingered man. The six-fingered man runs away instead of facing Inigo in the hallway, and Inigo gives chase. Unfortunately, a locked door gets in the way, and he can’t open it. Desperately, Inigo calls for Fezzik’s help. Even though Fezzik tells Inigo he can’t leave Westley, Inigo pleads with him. In the end, Fezzik goes to help his friend. He opens the door easily, and Inigo thanks him before running by.

Even when it might not be the best idea to leave Westley, Fezzik can’t ignore his friend begging for his help. Inigo needs him, so Fezzik takes the risk and leaves Westley behind.

Fezzik Four White Horses

Escaping the castle

With Inigo running towards his revenge and Westley gone, what's Fezzik to do? Well, figure out their whole escape plan problem, of course! After finding the horses, Fezzik’s first move is to look for Inigo. Fezzik calls for him until Inigo appears, and then Fezzik explains what he did. He found the four horses and took them in case they succeeded in their mission with Westley rescuing Buttercup. Inigo tells his friend he did something right, and Fezzik makes a joke about it not going to his head.

The exchange, and how Fezzik looks for Inigo, is a happy final scene that shows the friendship between the two: Fezzik finding a way to leave, looking for his friend first before the others, and the two once again supporting each other. It’s a great, last brief conversation for the two to share.