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The Princess Bride

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    92
    from 4 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • The Princess Bride shines in ultra-detailed 4K releases, earning top praise for its enchanting upgrade.

    The Princess Bride 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    97
  • The Princess Bride shines in its Criterion and Turbine Media 4K releases, with flawless restoration enhancing its timeless charm and breathtaking visuals.

  • Audio
    91
  • DTS-HD MA soundtracks offer crystal clarity, immersive effects, and robust dialogue, with consistent front-heavy mixes enhanced by ambient depth and selective rear channel use, especially in vivid scenes like the Fire Swamp.

  • Extra
    87
  • The Princess Bride's Criterion UHD release includes a rich array of extras: audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, programs on makeup and fencing, video diaries, trailers, and insightful essays, housed in a lavishly designed DigiBook.

  • Movie
    97
  • In 'The Princess Bride,' a classic tale unfolds, blending adventure, love, and comedy, as a sick boy's grandfather shares a story of true love and daring escapades, now celebrated in a stunning 4K UHD release.

    Video: 97

    The Criterion Collection's release of "The Princess Bride" in 4K UHD Blu Ray marks another milestone in its storied history, bringing newfound depth and clarity to this beloved classic. This restoration draws from the original 35mm camera negative, scanned in 4K resolution to ensure every detail, from the texture of the grass on the Cliffs of Insanity to the intricate designs of the characters' costumes, is displayed with impeccable sharpness and color fidelity. With a process supervised by associate producer Steve Nicolaides and executed using the 1997 Criterion laserdisc master as a reference, this edition maintains the film's original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, presenting it in both Dolby Vision HDR on the Ultra HD disc and standard dynamic range on the Blu-ray. The meticulous effort involved in the restoration, including color correction by Kevin O'Connor at EFILM digital Laboratories and disc mastering by Pixelogic Media, showcases an unparalleled commitment to preserving the film's visual excellence.

    On Blu-ray, "The Princess Bride" exhibits a commendably filmic appearance, complemented by a controlled grain structure that enhances rather than detracts from the viewing experience. Colors are vibrant and deep, with excellent black levels and lifelike skin tones, ensuring that each scene, whether set in the dimly lit rooms or the vibrant outdoors, is presented with great clarity and depth. The UHD disc takes these attributes further, utilizing Dolby Vision HDR to enhance visual details and color range beyond what was previously possible. This results in a picture quality that not only respects but elevates the source material, offering a more textured and nuanced viewing experience that reveals new elements even to those familiar with the film.

    Moreover, the UHD presentation benefits from a wider color gamut and improved contrast levels, breathing new life into the magical world of Florin. From the lush greens of the countryside to the stark contrasts of the Fire Swamp, each scene is rendered with a vibrancy and depth that mirrors our most vivid imaginations of this fairy-tale realm. Notably, the transition to HDR10+ offers an additional enhancement for those with compatible equipment, promising an even more dynamic and engaging visual experience. Overall, both technophiles and lovers of "The Princess Bride" alike will find Criterion's 4K UHD edition a fitting homage to a film that continues to fascinate and delight audiences across generations, with its video presentation standing as a testament to what can be achieved with careful and respectful restoration.

    Audio: 91

    The audio presentation of "The Princess Bride" 4K UHD Blu-ray features a variety of DTS-HD Master Audio tracks that collectively provide a refined auditory experience, notably maintaining the movie's nostalgic charm while enhancing its immersive qualities. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack, available in both English and German, serves as the primary audio format, offering listeners a clear, full-bodied dialogue delivery. This mix does not aggressively utilize the surround channels but instead opts for a more calculated approach, where ambient sounds and musical scores subtly extend into the background, broadening the soundstage without overwhelming the core narrative elements. During key sequences, such as the journey through the Fire Swamp or the torturous encounter with the water wheel, the environmental details and action sounds exhibit exceptional clarity and depth, engaging the listener with a realistic sense of envelopment.

    Notably, the 5.1 mix demonstrates commendable fidelity in its representation of the film's iconic score, providing a warm and rich musical backdrop that complements the dialogue and sound effects. The careful placement of sound elements ensures a wide front-end push with adequate surround support, thus maintaining a balance that respects the original stereo presentation while offering a modern auditory enhancement. The ambient effects, like the echoing trumpet fanfares and the creaking of Vizzini's ship, are transported across the soundfield in a manner that elevates the viewing experience without detracting from the storytelling.

    The inclusion of alternative 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks aims to preserve the original theatrical experience for purists, highlighting the versatility of this audio release. While the 5.1 surround mix significantly widens the soundstage, it is the meticulous attention to audio clarity, from dialogues to environmental sounds, alongside a judicious use of ambient sounds in the surrounds, that contributes to a thoroughly engaging audio experience. This mix may not rival contemporary action movie soundtracks in aggressiveness but stands out through its fidelity and thoughtful enhancement of "The Princess Bride's" enchanting narrative.

    Extra: 87

    The Criterion Collection's 4K UHD Blu-Ray release of "The Princess Bride" is a comprehensive and lovingly curated edition that not only upgrades the visual and auditory delight to new heights but also enriches the experience with a treasure trove of extras. The package combines meticulously restored visuals and sound with an array of supplementary materials that deepen the appreciation for this timeless classic. Among these, the audio commentary reunites the creative minds behind this enchanting tale, offering insights and anecdotes that fans and newcomers alike will cherish. The inclusion of edited audiobook readings, interviews, and on-set diaries provides a deeper dive into the making of the film. Meanwhile, exclusive programs about Goldman's screenplay, his unique tapestry, and various aspects of the film's production from makeup to fencing, invite viewers into the detailed craftsmanship that went into creating this beloved fairy tale adventure. This edition, elegantly housed in a DigiBook case with insightful essays, ensures that "The Princess Bride" continues to enchant generations, making it an essential addition to any collector's library.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary: With director Rob Reiner, screenwriter William Goldman, producer Andrew Scheinman, and actors.
    • Edited Audiobook Reading: By Rob Reiner from Goldman’s novel.
    • Program about Goldman’s Screenplay
    • Program about Goldman’s Tapestry
    • Interviews: With cast and crew including Reiner, Goldman, Crystal, Cary Elwes, and others.
    • Interview with Art Director: Richard Holland discusses his work on the film.
    • Programs about Makeup, Fencing, and Fairy Tales
    • On-set Video Diary: Filmed and narrated by Cary Elwes.
    • Behind-the-scenes Videos: With commentary.
    • Trailers
    • An Essay: By author Sloane Crosley and Goldman’s introduction in a clothbound book.

    Movie: 97

    The Princess Bride," Rob Reiner's timeless classic, receives a magnificent presentation in 4K UHD, courtesy of Criterion’s latest release, which also includes a remastered Blu-ray version. This tale weaves a rich tapestry of adventure, comedy, and romance, anchored by stellar performances from Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, and a delightful ensemble cast. The story, engaging audiences of all ages, unfolds through the reading of a grandfather (Peter Falk) to his sick grandson (Fred Savage), transforming a simple sick day into an epic journey through the lands of Florin and beyond. The narrative gracefully balances the innocence of first love between Westley and Buttercup with the thrilling escapades of piracy, swordfights, and witty repartee, ensuring its place as a beloved family staple.

    The technical presentation enhances the film’s enchantment with its 2160p/Dolby Vision UHD transfer, which brings the vivid landscapes and detailed costumes to life with unparalleled clarity and color depth. Accompanied by a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack, the viewer is fully immersed in the imaginative world of "The Princess Bride," from the clashing of swords to the soft whispers between star-crossed lovers. This release not only honors the film's legacy through its visual and auditory restoration but also through a selection of bonus content, some of which is new to this edition while other features carry over from previous releases.

    In essence, Criterion's 4K UHD presentation of "The Princess Bride" not only revitalizes the film's visual and auditory experience but also rekindles the joy and wonder encapsulated in its story. It’s a revival of the classic appeal that has made the film endure across generations, promising to continue captivating audiences with its charm, humor, and heartfelt storytelling. Whether revisiting the kingdom of Florin as an old friend or discovering its delights for the first time, this edition is an essential addition to the collection of any film enthusiast or family movie library, inviting all to partake in its shared magic once more.

    Total: 92

    The Princess Bride" makes a grand entrance into the realm of 4K UHD home entertainment through both The Criterion Collection and the Turbine Media Group's offerings, with each edition bringing its unique magic to this beloved cinematic treasure. The Criterion Collection's 4K/Blu-ray Combo not only enhances the viewing experience with beautifully restored video fidelity that remains faithful to the original film's charm but also comes packed with a mix of engaging new and returning extras, catering to long-time fans and newcomers alike. On the other hand, the Turbine Media Group's German-imported 4K Ultra HD version dazzles with exceptional Dolby Vision HDR video clarity and an excellent DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack in both English and German, offering an unparalleled auditory experience. This release, too, is complemented by a selection of supplements that enrich the appreciation of the film's legacy.

    As a film that effortlessly weaves together elements of romance, adventure, heroism, and comedy, "The Princess Bride" continues to stand out as a timeless piece that appeals to all ages. Its splendid script, memorable score, and stellar performances contribute to its undying appeal. The leap to 4K UHD serves to amplify these aspects further, providing a viewing experience that is as close as possible to theatrical brilliance. Both releases underscore the film's importance in cinema history, making them must-haves for collectors and enthusiasts eager to experience the best possible version of the movie at home.

    In conclusion, whether opting for The Criterion Collection's offering or the imported version by the Turbine Media Group, "The Princess Bride" in 4K UHD represents a significant upgrade over previous formats. The improved visual and audio presentation, coupled with a hearty collection of special features, makes either edition a worthy investment. Celebrating a film of such enduring appeal in Ultra High Definition allows aficionados to relive the enchantment and newcomers to discover its magic with the highest fidelity, solidifying its status not as "just your average fairy tale" but as a beacon of cinematic wonder that continues to inspire and entertain generations.