When two poor greasers, Johnny, and Ponyboy are assaulted by a vicious gang, the socs, and Johnny kills one of the attackers, tension begins to mount between the two rival gangs, setting off a turbulent chain of events.
Francis Ford Coppola
C. Thomas Howell,
Lou is a small time gangster, who thinks he used to be something big. He meets up with a younger girl, Sally, who is learning to be a croupier. Her husband turns up with drugs he has stolen... See full summary »
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
Even though dubbing Natalie Wood was Marni Nixon's chief assignment, Nixon also did one number for Rita Moreno, which required a relatively high vocal register. Having dubbed Wood as well as Moreno, Nixon felt she deserved a cut of the movie-album royalties. Neither the movie or the record producers would bow to her demands. Leonard Bernstein broke the stalemate by volunteering a percentage of his income, a gesture of loyalty-royalty since Nixon had been a performer-colleague of his at New York Philharmonic concerts. He ceded one-quarter of one percent of his royalties to her (a generous amount). See more »
At the end of "America" the top of the backdrop can be seen in the upper right corner of the screen. See more »
[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]
[snaps fingers at Bernardo]
[Bernardo drops the ball, Riff picks it up]
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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 »
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.
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