Carl Reiner's Final Performance Was Recreating 'Princess Bride' Scene With His Son

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 
Carl Reiner 'The Princess Bride' final performance

The scene was filmed just days before Carl Reiner passed away

The world lost beloved comedic actor Carl Reiner at the end of June. What no one knew was we’d get to see one final performance just days before his death as a part of the fan-film version of The Princess Bride, the iconic film directed by his son, Rob Reiner.

In the clip, the father-son duo acted out the scene when the grandfather (played by Peter Falk) reads the final chapter to his grandson (played by Fred Savage) about the most romantic kiss shared by Princess Buttercup and Wesley. Reiner sits and reads the final words, and Rob, tucked in bed, asks if he’ll come back tomorrow. Carl answers with a tip of his hat, “As you wish.”

Please grab four boxes of Kleenex before you watch.

Filmmaker Jason Reitman had been working on the secret project since March, enlisting some seriously famous performers to shoot a homemade, fan-filmed version of the cult classic, all on their phones. It was released on Quibi with each chapter featuring a different cast every day for two weeks. This version of The Princess Bride was a charity project for the World Central Kitchen charity, founded by José Andrés, which has been helping thousands of restaurants stay open feeding millions of meals to those in need.

Rob Reiner talked to Vanity Fair on June 25, the day before the project was revealed, about the scene with his dad.

“I don’t know if you know this, but in the last one, my father’s going to play the grandfather and I’m going to play the grandson,” Rob said. “He’s doing good. I just talked to him a few minutes ago. For a guy who’s 98, he’s doing all right.”

Carl died four days later.

Rob made the announcement on Twitter, writing, “Last night, my dad passed away. As I write this, my heart is hurting. He was my guiding light.”

People around the world sent messages remembering the beloved star. Co-star and friend Mel Brooks summed Reiner up best, saying, “I loved him. When we were doing The 2000 Year Old Man together there was no better straight man in the world. So whether he wrote or performed or he was just your best friend — nobody could do it better. He’ll be greatly missed.”

Reitman said of the final scene: “It dawned on me: It was his final performance on not only a perfect career, but a perfect life. It felt like one more chance to see Carl Reiner. It was actually a scene about the love of a grandfather and a grandson. It’s a scene about storytelling. You can’t help but imagine Carl reading stories to Rob when he was a kid, and that this is what it looked like and what it felt like.”

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