Prepare to die: iconic film quip triggers flight tizz

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

If you remember the line from Mandy Patinkin as being from the 1987 film The Princess Bride, you'd be spot on.

But, apparently, the joke went over the heads of several passengers on a Qantas flight at the weekend: they felt threatened by a fellow passenger's T-shirt which had the immortal film line printed on it.

Wynand Mullins said that probably could have chosen a different shirt for a flight, the reaction from Qantas crew was disproportionate. He was approached by a crew member when he was seated and while other passengers took their seats.

"The flight attendant said to me: 'Are you able to remove it because some of the passengers are quite intimidated by it'. I thought it was all a bit silly. The person next to me was laughing, because they knew the movie," he told Fairfax New Zealand.

Mr Mullins, who did not have another shirt to change into, said that the flight attendant went to find something else to wear but didn't return. She also failed to make eye contact with him during the entire flight from Sydney to Auckland on Sunday, he said.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they had someone watching me the whole time," he said.

"The whole experience was a bit over the top, but also a bit comical."

A Qantas spokesman said the dispute appeared to have been settled on board.

"Qantas does have dress standards for passengers travelling on our aircraft . . . particularly for slogans which other passengers may find offensive or threatening," he said.

Although The Princess Bride was a minor success on its release in the US, taking just $206,243 on its opening weekend, it has become one of the best-known films of the decade.

It tells of a grandfather reading his sick grandson a fairy tale - much to the boy's initial disgust - of the Princess Buttercup, facing marriage to the evil Prince Humperdinck. Her first love, Westley, is forced to steal her back to seal their love.

Patinkin's character of swordsman Inigo Montoya eventually becomes Westley's accomplice in his quest to rescue Buttercup.

Patinkin said in recent interviews that he frequently has fans of the film repeat his immortal line and he never tires of it.

"I have a smile as big as, as big as can be from one end of the room to the other [when I hear it]," he told American radio station NPR.

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