Prepare to die laughing with Walch


Chris Sarandon, who plays Prince Humperdinck in ‘The Princess Bride,’ discusses the film after it was screened at Cinema Sundays, hosted by Performing Arts Teacher Ted Walch. Credit: Danielle Spitz/Chronicle

Alex Goldstein

Prince Humperdinck stepped down from the throne to talk about the making of the movie “The Princess Bride” after the film’s screening during the fourth Cinema Sunday of the year hosted by Performing Arts Teacher Ted Walch in the Ahmanson Lecture Hall on Sunday.

When choosing potential movies to show, Walch tries to match films with guests he is able to get to come and speak.

Walch has known actor Chris Sarandon, who plays Prince Humperdinck in the movie, since graduate school.

When Walch heard Sarandon was in town, the two arranged a time for the actor to visit the Upper School.

Walch said he also tries to pick movies he feels members of the community will enjoy.

“I was sitting at lunch with some of the faculty and I said, name some of your favorite movies, not movies you think are great, and the ‘Princess Bride’ and ‘The Big Lebowski’ [came up],” Walch said.

The 1987 film was directed by award-winning director Rob Reiner.

The movie centers around a grandfather reading a story to his grandson, and as the movie progresses, the story comes to life.

The lead female character, Buttercup (Robin Wright) is engaged to Prince Humperdinck. She is kidnapped and eventually must be saved by her childhood love, Westley (Cary Elwes).

Walch invited attendees to stay for a question and answer session following the film.

“They add an understanding [of the movie],” Walch said. “These are all either people who have been in the movie like with ‘Friday Nights Lights’ we had three actors, or in the case of ‘The Best Years of our Lives,’ David Wyler, who is a friend and former parent at this school, is the son of the man who made the film and can speak eloquently about his dad’s films.”

Cinema Sunday also offers alumni the opportunity to return to campus. Carrie Ring ’88 (Adin Ring ’18 and Jonah Ring ’18), who attended the event with her husband and two children, said she likes to show her kids the school and all the opportunities it offers.

“[My kids] love the ‘Princess Bride’ and so I thought it would be a good film for them,” Ring said.

Sarandon attributed the film’s continued popularity to its diverse screenplay.

“Part of it is the conncection people make to [the film] on a personal level,” Sarandon said. “It’s a wonderful story. It’s sweet, and it’s sad, and it’s also funny, and that doesn’t happen often in film.”

Walch has planned the Cinema Sundays for the rest of the year with the schedule set to show films including “The Best Years of Our Lives,” and “The Shop Around the Corner.”

Each event will include a discussion following the showing.

The final Cinema Sunday on May 14 will feature the movie, “Biutiful,” with a question and answer with the film’s Oscar-winning director, Alejandro G. Iñárritu.