Heroes. Giants. Villains. Wizards. True Love. – Not just your basic, average, everyday, ordinary, run-of-the-mill, ho-hum fairy tale.
Cary Elwes as Westley, the protagonist, a farmboy who is constantly teased by Buttercup, faithfully replying “As you wish”, meaning that he loves her, as she comes to realize. Westley leaves soon after they discover their love to make the money necessary for them to marry, but is reported dead after his ship is attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts. Eventually the title of Dread Pirate Roberts is bestowed upon Westley. As the Dread Pirate Roberts, Westley returns to Florin and successfully defeats Vizzini’s men Inigo and Fezzik. He rescues Buttercup and defeats Prince Humperdink. Westley then passes on the title of Dread Pirate Roberts on to Inigo.
Robin Wright as Buttercup, Westley’s true love who at first teased him constantly; she eventually realizes that his faithful response “As you wish” means that he loves her, and she discovers that she loves him too. Buttercup becomes Prince Humperdinck’s fiancÃ©e after Westley is reported killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who never leaves his victims alive. She is captured by Vizzini, Inigo Montoya and Fezzik, but rescued by a man in black, who reveals himself as the Dread Pirate Roberts, and after Buttercup kicks him down a hill, she recognizes him as Westley. The couple travel through the dreaded Fire Swamp to escape the Prince’s search party, but are cornered, and Buttercup surrenders herself in exchange for Westley’s safety. The Prince later forces a rushed wedding, but they never say “I do”, making it a sham, as a revived Westley explains to her. Buttercup ties up Humperdinck and rides off with Westley, Inigo and Fezzik.
Chris Sarandon as Prince Humperdinck, heir to the throne of Florin, he intends to make Buttercup his bride after Westley has been reported killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts. Humperdinck hires Vizzini to capture and dispose of Buttercup, framing their neighboring country.
Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya, a Spaniard who has trained ambidextrously in fencing for twenty years, he seeks revenge upon Count Rugen for his father, who, as he explains to Westley, made swords for the King but refused to give his prized sword away for 1/10th its price, and so was killed by Rugen; Inigo himself, being only eleven at the time, challenged Rugen for killing his father. Instead of killing him, Count Rugen gave him two scars on his cheeks. He first encounters and explains all this to Westley after his employer, Vizzini, orders him to kill him. After being defeated by Westley, Inigo realizes he is a superior fighter who can help him get into the castle to take revenge. He and Fezzik seek him out and revive him, and Westley does indeed get them in. Inigo pursues Rugen through the castle. Rugen admits that he killed Inigo’s father, and they duel. Although Inigo is injured almost to defeat, his sense of revenge rekindles his energy and he kills Rugen. Having no purpose in life anymore, Westley offers him the role of Dread Pirate Roberts.
Christopher Guest as Count Tyrone Rugen, the vizier of Prince Humperdinck, who killed Inigo Montoya’s father twenty years ago. He has six fingers on his right hand, and it is this detail by which both Inigo and Westley recognize him. Rugen joins the Prince’s search party for Buttercup, and after finding her with Westley, takes him to his torturing chamber. After the heroes invade the castle, Inigo pursues Rugen through the castle. Rugen admits that he killed Inigo’s father, and they duel. Although Inigo is injured almost to defeat, his sense of revenge rekindles his energy and he kills Rugen.
André the Giant as Fezzik, a Turkish giant and companion of Inigo, he first appears as the lackey of Vizzini. Fezzik is ordered to kill Westley using his strength; he fails, but not before gaining Westley’s respect. Fezzik later finds a drunken Inigo and helps him regather his wits, going with him to find and revive Westley as they need him to storm the castle. He is later key to this, scaring all the men from the gates and helping Inigo get to the Count, as well as carrying a paralyzed Westley. Toward the end of the film, Fezzik conveniently finds four white stallions which he, Westley, Inigo and Buttercup escape on.
Wallace Shawn as Vizzini, a Sicilian criminal genius who Inigo and Fezzik at first work for, he is hired by Prince Humperdinck to capture Buttercup. After finding that Westley (as the man in black) is pursuing them, he orders Inigo and Fezzik to kill him with their sword and strength skills, respectively. After both fail and Westley catches up, he is proposed to join in a battle of wits. Vizzini is tricked into drinking poison, and dies because the man in black actually poisoned both goblets, having slowly developed an immunity to the poison himself over the years.
Peter Falk as The Grandfather/Narrator, the grandfather who sits down with his grandson and reads him a bedtime story. He serves as narrator, though he is frequently interrupted by his grandson at moments when things look down for the protagonists; each time he asks if the boy wants the story read or not. By the end of the film, the grandfather has intrigued the boy enough that he asks him to read it again the next day, to which he replies, “As you wish”.
Fred Savage as The Grandson, a hard-to-impress young boy who hears the tale as read by his grandfather. At first uninterested, he gradually becomes absorbed with it (still requesting that his grandfather skip over the kissing, though by the end he no longer minds so much) and frequently interrupts at moments when things seem to be looking down for Westley or the other heroes. The grandson at the end of the film asks his grandfather to read it again the next day, to which he replies, “As you wish”.
Billy Crystal as Miracle Max, a former servant of the king, he was fired by Prince Humperdinck, against whom he still harbors a grudge, often referring to the Prince as “the King’s stinking son”; he resurrects Westley after explaining that he is only mostly dead, and that if he were fully dead, the only thing they could do is go through his clothes and look for loose change.
Carol Kane as Valerie, the wife of Miracle Max. She convinces Miracle Max to help and makes a chocolate coated pill which helps Westley regain consciousness.
Peter Cook as The Impressive Clergyman, the clergyman at Humperdinck and Buttercup’s wedding; he can’t pronounce his R’s, W’s or L’s and is forced to cut to the end of the ceremony proceedings by the prince.