IMDb > West Side Story (1961) > Parents Guide
West Side Story
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Parents Guide for
West Side Story (1961) More at IMDbPro »

The content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
Since the beliefs that parents want to instill in their children can vary greatly, we ask that, instead of adding your personal opinions about what is right or wrong in a film, you use this feature to help parents make informed viewing decisions by describing the facts of relevant scenes in the title for each one of the different categories: Sex and Nudity, Violence and Gore, Profanity, Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking, and Frightening/Intense Scenes.
Visit our Parents Guide Help to learn more

Sex & Nudity - 3

Anita is seen putting on pantyhose during the 'Quintet' number, while in a bra and slip.

A few remarks referring to prostitutes, cross dressers. Very subtle.

At the gym dance, some girls are wearing tight dresses, which reveal breast outlines, and slim visibility of nipples.

Maria asks Anita to lower a dress's neck by one inch, and Anita replies "Too much." This implies cleavage.

The Jets grab Anita and force Baby John onto her, but Doc stops them before anything can happen. Implies rape.

Tony is seen sleeping in bed with Maria (he is shirtless, she is in a nightgown), but it's vaguely implied that they had sex.

Some kissing and making out throughout the film.

Some sexual dancing, lifting skirts, subtle thrusting etc.

Violence & Gore - 5

The Jets and the Sharks have a gang-fight in the opening scene, but it's done in the manner of a stylized dance-number. Baby john has his cheek cut. Little blood.

In one musical number riff is bumped from one member of his gang to the next. Played for laughs.

Riff and Bernardo have a knife fight (again, more of a dance number than an actual fight), however, Riff is stabbed to death and we see blood on his abdomen and the knife. In revenge, Tony kills Bernardo by stabbing him. There is blood on both knifes after the deaths

Maria throws her fists at Tony in a rage.

Several Jets get in a loud scuffle, causing an angry tenant to throw a glass bottle from above a high window at them, shattering upon the street.

Doc slaps Tony.

Chino shoots Tony, who then dies (no blood is seen). Maria then threatens others with the gun and threatens to shoot herself, but this never happens.

Profanity - 5

Most profanity is racial, and is used through some parts, such as "white boy", "spic", "Polack", etc.

Mild swear words like "damn" and "hell".

There is one use of tramp near the end of the film.

Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking - 2

Very brief smoking

In one song the singer mentions pot, that his parents wouldn't let him smoke it.

Frightening/Intense Scenes - 5

Some scenes listed under violence could be considered intense.

The scene where Chino tells Maria that Bernardo was killed by Tony is very intense pathologically, especially where the music reaches a fever pitch.

Anybodys scurries around the city, and Chino comes out of the shadows. This can be frightening for some, unsettling, and very unexpected.

Plot includes the deaths of main characters making the film emotionally intense to many viewers.

The end is very intense, and probably the most emotionally intense part of the film, where the Jets take Tony away, the police take Chino away, and the music ends in a somber note.

Overall, the play is meant for younger viewers, and brings emotional messages of discrimination, and negative views of immigration in the 30's. Some violence, conflicts, a love story, along with the music, make this one of the most acclaimed movies of the 20th century. This movie is definitely one of the must-sees for your child, with guidance. Suggested MPAA Rating: PG for stylized violence, language, sensuality, and some smoking.

22/50 - Contributors of this page have analyzed this film based on a scale of 0-50. 0-10 = 100% kid friendly, Example: Cinderella; 11-15 = A bit rough in some areas, but still kid friendly, Example: Bolt; 16-20 = Not recommended for tots and small children, Example: THIS; 21-25 = Not Recommended for children under the age of 13 . Example: Forrest Gump; 26-30 = Recommended for mature audiences, , Example: Saving Private Ryan; 31-40 = Not recommended for anyone under 18, Example: Requiem for A Dream; 40+ = High R, NC-17, Example: Cannibal Holocaust

23/50 = Not Recommended for children under the age of 9 to 13..

Argentina:Atp / Australia:PG / Brazil:Livre / Finland:K-12 / Ireland:PG / Japan:G (2009) / Netherlands:MG6 / Peru:Apt / Portugal:M/12 / Sweden:15 (original rating) / Sweden:11 (re-rating) (1970) / UK:A (original rating) / UK:PG (video rating) (1986) / USA:Unrated / USA:Not Rated (DVD rating) / USA:Approved (certificate #19949) / West Germany:12

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