A hero explains nothing, a hero acts.

But Mandy Patinkin as swordsman Iñigo Montoya in Rob Reiner's film "The Princess Bride" (1987) points to colleague Wallace Shawn in the role of the crook Vizzini, who has just once again used the word "Inconceivable!" expression of his annoyance, nevertheless just as gently as helpful: "You keep using that word.

I don't think it means what you think it means."

Dietmar Dath

Editor in the Feuilleton.

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The admonition has now become a household word on the internet itself, widely shared, like another scene from the same film in which Patinkin tells the astonished Christopher Guest, who plays the villainous Count Rugen, straight on why he fights him: he who Attacker's name is Iñigo Montoya, the count has killed his father and should therefore prepare to die.

On the brink of collapse, Montoya repeats the explanation several times, his voice getting stronger and stronger, until the Count doesn't want to hear it anymore.

He doesn't have to, because Montoya kills him.

With this performance, Patinkin worked so convincingly into the didactic that Graham Baker had him appear a year later in "Alien Nation" as an extraterrestrial migrant with the beautiful name "Sam Francisco", who teaches tolerance and diversity to a police officer played by James Caan, two values ​​that were new to US security agencies at the time, but are now de rigueur in human resources.

Equally pedagogical, but always with a cunning glitter in the dark eyes, with an engagingly self-assured voice and unmistakable gestures of the structure of what was communicated, Patinkin continued from then on, as if Hollywood had given him a teaching position specially instituted for his sake: as a criminal psychopathologist in the first three seasons In the "Criminal Minds" series, sooner or later every investigation turned into an enlightening and gripping lecture for his colleagues at the FBI (even his departure from the show, of which he was the star from 2005 to 2007, gives lessons in the dignified departure; a good teacher makes others so familiar with the techniques of learning that they can get on without him);and in Homeland (2011-2020), he starred as veteran spy Saul Berenson, helping Claire Danes's agent Carrie Mathison realize that her instincts work far better than she likes to admit.

In an era in which differences in the quality of knowledge and judgment are leveled out or denied outright, every such act of teaching in entertainment is a sign of hope.

Mandy Patinkin, honorary film and television professor, turns seventy today.