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West Side Story (1961)

Unrated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Musical  |  23 December 1961 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 66,685 users  
Reviews: 304 user | 113 critic

Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.


(screenplay), (book), 2 more credits »
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Won 10 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
William Bramley ...
Tony Mordente ...
Eliot Feld ...
Bert Michaels ...
David Bean ...
Robert Banas ...


West Side Story is the award-winning adaptation of the classic romantic tragedy, "Romeo and Juliet". The feuding families become two warring New York City gangs- the white Jets led by Riff and the Puerto Rican Sharks, led by Bernardo. Their hatred escalates to a point where neither can coexist with any form of understanding. But when Riff's best friend (and former Jet) Tony and Bernardo's younger sister Maria meet at a dance, no one can do anything to stop their love. Maria and Tony begin meeting in secret, planning to run away. Then the Sharks and Jets plan a rumble under the highway - whoever wins gains control of the streets. Maria sends Tony to stop it, hoping it can end the violence. It goes terribly wrong, and before the lovers know what's happened, tragedy strikes and doesn't stop until the climactic and heartbreaking ending. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Screen Achieves One of the Great Entertainments in the History of Motion Pictures See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

23 December 1961 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Amor sin barreras  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)


$43,650,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints)| (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)| (35 mm optical prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Throughout the movie, Natalie Wood wears a bracelet on her left wrist, not for any aesthetic reason, but because she had injured her wrist in the scene of The Green Promise (1949) when she fell on the bridge that collapsed during the severe rainstorm, causing an unsightly bone protrusion on her wrist. She wore the bracelet to hide the injury. It became her trademark in all of her movies. See more »


When Doc says, "What are you doing there?" after stopping the Jets from taunting Anita in the drugstore, his lips actually mouth, "What are you doing now?" which was the line in the original stage script. See more »


[first lines]
[the Jets dance across the streets of New York, eventually coming to a playground where they toss around a basketball. The ball is intercepted by Bernardo, leader of the Sharks]
Riff: [snaps fingers at Bernardo] Come on.
[Bernardo drops the ball, Riff picks it up]
Riff: Beat it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits; a red tinted aerial still of Manhattan with the title is shown as the overture plays. As the overture ends, the red tint is removed and the shot segues to aerial photography of Manhattan streets and landmarks. See more »


Referenced in Lukas: Die gekaufte Braut (1999) See more »


(1957) (uncredited)
Composed by Leonard Bernstein
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A shame that it's not in the top 250.
19 May 2002 | by (Arlington, TX) – See all my reviews

One of the truly great musicals of all time, its a shame that those who do not care for musicals have to vote to bring it down. If you do not care for musicals, then you should not vote a "1" just because you do not like ALL musicals.

That aside, a great musical score with a great story to back it up. Leonard Bernstein out does himself in this movie. This is definetly a movie to see; an classic for all time. Like its trailer says, "West Side Story does not grow old."

55 of 90 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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