Movie Clip Discussions

Princess Bride, The

Dynamic Image

(MGM, 1987)

Main Point of Discussion: We have to remain faithful to Jesus because He has given us His promise.

The Movie Clip:
The Princess Bride is S. Morgenstern's classic tale of true love and high adventure. The plot revolves around a girl named Buttercup, who runs a farm, and Westley, (aka Farm Boy) who helps her. In the opening of the movie, we’re told that the only words Westley ever speaks to Buttercup are “As You Wish.” One day, Buttercup realizes that when Westley says, “As You Wish” he is really saying, “I love You.” Buttercup realizes she loves Westley. But Westley leaves to go and seek his fortune across the sea, and promises he will come back for Buttercup. Unfortunately, Buttercup learns that Westley's ship was attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts and that he was killed. Buttercup was left in despair.

Five years later, we find that Buttercup is engaged to be married to Prince Humperdink, even though she does not love him. Buttercup is then kidnapped by 3 men, Inigo, Fezzik and Vizzini. The three kidnappers and Buttercup are followed by The Man in Black who proceeds to outsmart and outfight the three kidnapers and he himself steals Buttercup back. It is revealed that the Man in Black in the Dread Pirate Roberts, himself.

Introducing the Clip:
I want to show you a clip from a cult classic,
The Princess Bride. This movie has it all: sword fighting, giants, magic, torture, castle attacking, and the occasional kiss. Here’s what you need to know. Princess Buttercup lost her only true love 5 years earlier; his name was Westley. She loved him because he told her he loved her, but never with the words, “I love you.” No, Westley always said it this way: “As you wish.” They were set to be married, but while Westley was preparing for marriage, his ship was attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts, and Buttercup discovered that Westley had been killed. In this scene, Buttercup has become engaged to Prince Humperdink, even though she doesn’t love him…and then she’s kidnapped by some bad guys. To make matters worse, a Man in Black is also on her tail. Let’s see what happens.

Scene Script:

BEGIN CLIP AT 34 MINUTES and 56 SECONDS (in Chapter 10).

    Dread Pirate Roberts:
    Catch your breath.

    Buttercup: If you'll release me, whatever you ask for ransom, you'll get it, I promise you.

    Dread Pirate Roberts: (laughs) And what is that worth, the promise of a woman? You're very funny, Highness.

    Buttercup: I was giving you a chance. It does not matter where you take me. There is no greater hunter than Prince Humperdinck. He can track a falcon on a cloudy day. He can find you.

    Dread Pirate Roberts: You think your dearest love will save you?

    Buttercup: I never said he was my dearest love, and yes, he will save me. That I know.

    Dread Pirate Roberts: You admit to me that you do not love your fiancé.

    Buttercup: He knows I do not love him.

    Dread Pirate Roberts: Are not capable of love is what you mean.

    Buttercup: I have loved more deeply than a killer like yourself could ever dream.

    Dread Pirate Roberts: (almost slaps her) That was a warning, Highness. The next time my hand flies on its own, for where I come from, there are penalties when a woman lies.

    [Scene Change: At the Table. Humperdinck sniffs at vial]

    Humperdinck: Iocane. I'd bet my life on it. And there are the princess's footprints. She's alive, or was an hour ago. If she is otherwise when I find her, I shall be very put out.

    [Scene Change: Grassy Hilltop, alongside a gully]

    Dread Pirate Roberts: Rest, Highness.

    Buttercup: I know who you are. Your cruelty reveals everything. You're the Dread Pirate Roberts, admit it!

    Dread Pirate Roberts: (bowing) With pride. What can I do for you?

    Buttercup: You can die slowly, cut into a thousand pieces.

    Dread Pirate Roberts: Tsk-tsk-tsk. Hardly complimentary, your Highness. Why loose your venom on me?

    Buttercup: You killed my love.

    Dread Pirate Roberts: It's possible. I kill a lot of people. Who was this love of yours? Another prince like this one? Ugly, rich, and scabby?

    Buttercup: No. A farm boy. Poor. Poor and perfect. With eyes like the sea after a storm. On the high seas, your ship attacked. And the Dread Pirate Roberts never takes prisoners.

    Dread Pirate Roberts: I can't afford to make exceptions. I mean once word leaks out that a pirate has gone soft, people begin to disobey you and it's nothing but work, work, work all the time.

    Buttercup: You mock my pain!

    Dread Pirate Roberts: Life is pain, Highness! Anyone who says differently is selling something. [pause] I remember this farm boy of yours, I think. This would be what, five years ago? Does it bother you to hear?

    Buttercup: Nothing you can say will upset me.

    Dread Pirate Roberts: He died well. That should please you. No bribe attempts or blubbering. He simply said, “Please…please, I need to live.” It was the “please” that caught my memory. I asked him what was so important for him here. “True Love,” he replied. And then he spoke of a girl of surpassing beauty and faithfulness. I can only assume he meant you. You should bless me for destroying him before he found out what you really are.

    Buttercup: And what am I?

    Dread Pirate Roberts: Faithfulness he talked of, Madame, your enduring faithfulness. Now tell me truly, when you found out he was gone, did you get engaged to your prince that same hour, or did you wait a whole week out of respect for the dead?

    Buttercup: You mocked me once. Never do it again! I died that day! [pause] And you can die too for all I care! [Buttercup pushes Roberts down the hill]

    Dread Pirate Roberts: (rolling) As… you… wish!!

    Buttercup: Oh my sweet Westley, what have I done? [Buttercup jumps down the hill, rolling after him]

    [Scene Change: Hilltop. Humperdinck and Soldiers are mounted.]

    Humperdinck: He disappeared. He must have seen us closing in. It might account for his panicking into error. Unless I am wrong, and I am never wrong, they are headed dead into the fire swamp.

    [Scene Change: Gully. The Dread Pirate Roberts lost his mask on the roll down the hill.]

    Westley: Can you move at all?

    Buttercup: Move? You're alive! If you want I can fly.

    Westley: I told you I would always come for you. Why didn't you wait for me?

    Buttercup: Well, you were dead.

    Westley: Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.

    Buttercup: I will never doubt again.

    Westley: (quietly) There will never be a need. (They kiss)

END CLIP AT 40 MINUTES AND 05 SECONS (in Chapter 10).

Transitional Statement:
Westley promised Buttercup that he would be with her forever. But when she heard he had supposedly died, Buttercup assumed his promise would no longer be valid. But Westley proved Buttercup wrong and he did save her. Like Westley, Jesus has promised to return and to gather His followers to Himself. Just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean that it won't. We need to keep our faith that He will keep His promise.

Divide into Small Groups:
 Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we begin, let’s all take a second to share our names and something that has been promised to us?
  2. ASK A FEW: How would you feel if 5-6 years had passed and the promise had not yet been fulfilled?
  3. ASK A FEW: If you were Buttercup, would you have lost faith in the promise Westley made to you?
  4. ASK A FEW: If you were Westley, how would you feel if Buttercup doubted your promise?
  5. Read the following passage:

      John 14:1-4; 18-21; 14:28-31
      1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

      18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

      28 “You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. “Come now; let us leave.

  6. ASK A FEW: What are some of the promises Jesus makes to His disciples? (Leaders – Jesus promises that He is preparing a place for us, that he will come and take us to be with Him, and that He will not leave us as orphans.)
  7. ASK A FEW: Do you think it was hard for the disciples to continue preaching the good news while waiting for the promise of Jesus to be fulfilled?
  8. ASK A FEW: The disciples thought Jesus was coming back very, very soon, possibly in their lifetime. When Jesus did not come back as they expected, do you think their faith faltered?
  9. ASK A FEW: Would your faith have faltered if you were one of His disciples?
  10. ASK A FEW: The disciples were persecuted and killed for their faith and the preaching of the gospel. How do you think this impacted their faith in Jesus and His promise?
  11. ASK A FEW: Even today, Jesus still hasn’t kept this promise, as of yet. What makes you think He will? (Leaders – This is a tough question, but it is not intended to cause your students to doubt; in fact, it’s supposed to bring them confidence in Jesus. Just tell them that Jesus has kept every promise He’s made! That’s why they can believe He will keep this promise, too!)
  12. ASK A FEW: What would you tell another disciple to help him or her keep their faith in Jesus when in doubt?

Wrap Up:
As we saw in The Princess Bride, Buttercup lost her faith in the promise Westley made to her. True, she thought he had died, but Jesus also made us a promise and He also died. Does this mean that we should not believe the promise?

Like Westley told Buttercup, “Death cannot stop true love, all it can do is delay it for a while.” The death of Jesus could not stop His promise from being fulfilled! In times when it seems like His promise will not be fulfilled and we might feel like the persecuted disciples, we need to remember that Jesus will come again and His promises will be fulfilled and when that happens, we will feel like Buttercup and believe we can fly.

Let’s spend a few moments in prayer, asking God to strengthen our faith, and remind us of the mighty promise Jesus made to come back for us one blessed day.

Close in Prayer

Written by Melissa Snyder


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.


  1. gina
    January 24, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Thank you—very good!!

  2. Patrick Garrett
    January 25, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Excellent! Great film, great application. This one will defintely be used to full effect…thanks Melissa; well done.

  3. Laura Skipper
    January 26, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Love the movie and love the way you related it to the faithfulness of Jesus return. I will be using this resource! Great job Melissa.

  4. Matt Cain
    January 31, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Used this last night for our Jr. High/H.S. group. First in a series on Relationships/Love before Valentines. Nice tie in to a classic movie (one of my favorites). Teens enjoyed it and they gave great answers to the tough questions. Thanks!

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