This movie just has so much heart. So much. The Wikipedia page describes it as placing (top 100) in multiple categories, for love story, fantasy, etc…
But it’s difficult to pin down exactly why it’s such a cult classic. Maybe it’s a good director. There certainly aren’t any bad actors in the film. Cary Elwys is amazing, the bromance between Inigo and Fezzig is touching, and the villains are sublime.
One thing which might not be mentioned as much is how good the physical acting is in the film. Cary Elwys when he’s recovering from ‘only mostly dead’ is classic, never dropping out of character for even a second.
It’s just that you can see how much fun the actors had making the film. Their joy comes out of the screen.
The swordfight between Elwys and Patinkin was awesome, in how it portrayed their sheer joy at participating.
There are so many other things about the movie. Possibly the one unnecessary part was the ‘deadly fire swamp’, which dragged on too long, and hasn’t aged quite as well as the rest of the movie.
But there were also so many turns of phrase, little things like “get used to disappointment”,and ‘eel-infested waters’ which don’t even make the top 20 quotes from the movie, but ended up in the vernacular.
Fundamentally, I think its because the movie was just eminently quotable.
Overall, 4.5-5 stars, a true classic, 28 years later.
“We’ll never survive!”
“Nonsense. You’re only saying that because no one ever has.”