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West Side Story (1961)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 58,734 users  
Reviews: 296 user | 110 critic

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

Writers:

(screenplay), (book), 2 more credits »
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Title: West Side Story (1961)

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Won 10 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Musical

A remake of the 1961 film about rival gangs in New York City.

Director: Steven Spielberg
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Unlike other musicals 'West Side Story' grows younger!(re-release) See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 December 1961 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Amor sin barreras  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$43,650,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Beymer later confessed in an interview that he wasn't happy with how his performance came out, saying that he wanted to play Tony as rougher and tougher, more like an actual street kid who used to run around with a gang starting fights for fun, but director Robert Wise made him play Tony as the nicest guy around, which Beymer felt didn't mesh with the character's back story. He also said he had trouble saying some of his lines with a straight face, namely the more romantic lines. He even reportedly walked out on the London premier of the film - even though it ended up being his most famous role. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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

The credits at the end of the movie appear as graffiti on street signs. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Tom and Jerry: The Movie (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Dance at the Gym
(1957) (uncredited)
Composed by Leonard Bernstein
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Still dynamic, after all these years
13 May 2002 | by (Fairbanks, Alaska) – See all my reviews

It was a late Saturday night. I'd done my chores and decided to relax with some needlework before crawling into bed. Looking over my tapes, I decided it was time to visit West Side Story again, after some years. It was a fine choice. I would catch myself with my hands idle, as my eyes tracked the dancing, the most dynamic part of the film. I reveled in the Sharks on the rooftop and the gymnasium dance. "Cool" was cool, as always. This is a musical that doesn't try to transcend itself. It just lets the music and dancing speak for itself (and offkey singing along is allowed at home). I've always felt that Richard Beymer was the weakest of the actors, and nothing has changed my mind. But he's easy to ignore in comparison to the outstanding performances of George Chakiris, Rita Morena (who dominates the screen and steals all her scenes), Russ Tamblyn and the rest of the supporting cast. I'll leave the experts to make the minute comparisons to Romeo and Juliet, and to the critics to point out all the flaws. I'll just say, let yourself drift back to the 50s, break out the popcorn and enjoy.


30 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Fox 'unlocks' WSS for remake, at the behest of an interested Spielberg. drjimmyjam
Everytime I see this movie I'm reminded of the same thing: mooseboyskip
Dumb question but.... ilovetapioca
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Would Ice have tried to stop the attempted rape of Anita? pancakeamiga
Did anyone else feel that it should have been Maria who... elockehart
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