I guess today is roughly the 25th anniversary of the movie “The Princess Bride.” For those that are not familiar with this movie, I assume you’re either an international reader or suspect. Kelsey Atherton (@the_boy) did an insightful and modern lessons learned analysis from this movie entitled, “False Flags, Piracy, Waterboarding, Deception, Accidental Guerillas and Targeted Strikes: Strategic Lessons from The Princess Bride.” An excellent piece of work I encourage all who enjoy The Princess Bride to check out. Here’s a quick snippet from Kelsey:
Twenty five years ago we were first warned against two classic blunders, “The most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia*,”” but the Princess Bride has far more to offer strategic thinkers.
Before delving into lessons, it’s worth establishing that none of the strategy comes from an actual war. Instead, and much like In the Loop, the entire film concerns the machinations of a government to justify starting a war. (Unlike In the Loop, the rest of story is about resisting those machinations, rescuing a princess, and something about True Love?). Prince Humperdinck, confident of his ability to win and eager for glory, wants a war against neighboring Guilder, and with this in mind he manages to get his fiance kidnapped (and, later, [spoilers] attempts to get her killed). Now, on to the lessons!
Check out Kelsey’s analysis here.
BTW, What happened to Cary Elwes? Another lesson learned revealed in discussions on Twitter after Kelsey’s post is: Never get Cary Elwes agent as your personal representative. His career declined steadily after “The Princes Bride.”
Also, if you’re needing to refresh your memory of the War of Guilder & Florin, refresh your memory with this map courtesy of Kelsey.