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West Side Story (1961) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot 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 Anonymous
  • On the west side of New York City, the Jets and the Sharks are white immigrant (primarily Eastern European) and Puerto Rican gangs respectively who hate each other and who battle each other for territory in their neighborhood. Their feud makes a small connection when at a gymnasium dance, Tony, one of the founders of the Jets but who is now inactive in the gang, and Maria, the recently arrived sister of the Sharks' leader Bernardo, spot each other across the crowded room and fall in love at first sight. For many of the male gang members, that connection is the last straw in their feud that leads to the decision to have a rumble to determine territory once and for all. Conversely, Anita, Bernardo's girlfriend, supports Maria's decision to romance whomever she wants, even a Jet. However, even Anita may be able to endure so much in her stance to support true love. As Maria and Tony try to meet each other clandestinely at any opportunity, Maria makes a request of him to foster peace between the Jets and Sharks, which inadvertently leads to a series of tragic events not only for the collective but personally for Maria and Tony.

    - Written by Huggo
  • Musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet set in New York City, where rival street gangs (the Jets and the Sharks) battle for territory and respect. Is the love affair between former Jets leader Tony, and Maria, sister to Sharks' leader Bernardo, doomed to failure?

    - Written by Stewart M. Clamen <clamen@cs.cmu.edu>
  • This movie transplants the classic tale of "Romeo and Juliet" to New York City in the 1950s. The two feuding families are replaced by brawling street gangs. The Montagues become the Anglo Jets, led by Riff, and the Capulets become the Puerto Rican Sharks, led by Bernardo. At a dance, Tony, former leader of the Jets and Riff's best friend, and Maria, Bernardo's little sister, see each other across the room and it's love at first sight. With opposition from both sides, they meet secretly and their love grows deeper. However, the gangs are plotting one last rumble, a fight that will finally end the battle for control of the streets. Will Tony and Maria's love carry through a battle that threatens to destroy the people they love around them?

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

    - Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@imdb.com>

Synopsis

A fight set to music between an American gang, the Jets, and a rival gang, the Sharks, who have moved into the Jets' territory from Puerto Rico...

See full synopsis » (Warning: contains spoilers!)

See also

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