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Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line!
~ Vizzini

Vizzini is a supporting antagonist of the 1987 live-action fantasy film, The Princess Bride. He is a Sicilian criminal mastermind who is hired by the manipulative and black-hearted Prince Humperdinck to kidnap Princess Buttercup and kill her in order to incite a war between Florin and the country of Guilder. He is always accompanied by his two cohorts, the giant Fezzik and the master swordsman Inigo Montoya.

He was portrayed by the legendary actor, Wallace Shawn, who also played Dr. Elliot Coleye and Taotie.

Role in the film

Vizzini is an intelligent criminal mastermind who believes himself to be smarter even than the likes of Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates. Though this is clearly an exaggeration, Vizzini is undoubtedly very intelligent, acting as the brains of the trio hired by Prince Humperdinck. Between the three of them, Vizzini is the only one of them who can really be considered evil, as both Inigo and Fezzik are bothered by the idea of killing Buttercup, whereas Vizzini is not. Vizzini is also shown to be impatient and hot-headed, and has little tolerance for failure. He also had a tendency to belittle both Fezzik and Inigo and say the word "Inconceivable!"

He and his cohorts are first encountered by Buttercup during a horseback ride in the forest, claiming that the three of them are "poor, lost circus performers"; however, he reveals his true colors when he has Fezzik to pinch a nerve in her neck, rendering her unconscious. Afterwards he rips off part of a Guilder army officer's uniform and puts it on Buttercup's horse, then has the horse sent back to Humperdinck's castle. He and his cohorts then sail across the ocean to Guilder, planning to kill Buttercup when they get there and leave her body on the Guilder frontier in order for Humperdinck to have an excuse to start his war.

As they are sailing, they start to be followed by the Revenge, the ship belonging to the Dread Pirate Roberts (later revealed to be Buttercup's beloved, Wesley), which greatly annoys Vizzini. After arriving at the Cliffs of Insanity, the three of them scale the cliff, but Wesley follows them, prompting Vizzini to threaten to fire Fezzik. When they get to the top of the cliff, Vizzini orders Inigo to defeat Wesley while he and Fezzik make for the Guilder frontier with Buttercup.

After Wesley is shown to have defeated Inigo, Vizzini is shocked and orders Fezzik to defeat him "his way" - i.e. hit him with a rock. However, Fezzik ultimately fights Wesley in a fair handfight and loses.

Wesley finally catches up with Vizzini, who has blindfolded Buttercup and puts a knife to her throat, threatening to kill her if Wesley comes closer. Wesley challenges Vizzini to a battle of wits, where the winner gets Buttercup and the loser dies. Wesley then puts iocane powder in two goblets of wine and challenges Vizzini to figure out which one was poisoned. After giving several reasons as to why he should pick one goblet or the other, Vizzini tricks Wesley into looking behind him, then switches his goblet with Wesley's (believing his goblet to be the poisoned one), and they both drink. Vizzini then boasts about his supposed victory before he keels over, dead.

Wesley then reveals to Buttercup that both goblets of wine were in fact poisoned, and that he had developed an immunity to iocane powder, so he would have defeated Vizzini either way.