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The Making of 'West Side Story' (1985)
"Leonard Bernstein Conducts West Side Story" (original title)

TV Movie  |   |  Documentary, Music  |  May 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 117 users  
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A documentary which shows, in great detail, the making of the 1985 Bernstein-conducted recording of the entire score of "West Side Story", featuring operatic stars.


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Title: The Making of 'West Side Story' (TV Movie 1985)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself - Conductor
Kiri Te Kanawa ...
José Carreras ...
Tatiana Troyanos ...
Kurt Ollmann ...
Nina Bernstein ...
Louise Edeiken ...
Angelina Réaux ...
Stella Zambalis ...
Alexander Bernstein ...
Richard Harrell ...
Todd Lester ...
David Livingston ...
Marty Nelson ...


A documentary which shows, in great detail, the making of the 1985 Bernstein-conducted recording of the entire score of "West Side Story", featuring operatic stars.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Music



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May 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Making of 'West Side Story'  »

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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Amongst all the English credits the copyright says "Leonard Bernstein und Stephen Sondheim 1957." See more »


West Side Story
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Book by Arthur Laurents
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Based on a conception by Jerome Robbins
Orchestration by Leonard Bernstein with Sid Ramin and Irwin Kostal
See more »

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5 February 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It was a real treat to see this again on television recently - a great composer conducting his own great score for one of the best musicals of all time, using opera singers in the lead roles (Jose Carreras as Tony, Kiri Te Kanawa as Maria, Tatiana Troyanos as Anita, Kurt Ollmann as Riff).

It provides two elements in its ninety-minutes - first, a snapshot of superior artists at work in the recording studio; and second, some sublime interpretations of the classic songs (Tonight, A Boy Like That, Maria, Jet Song, Cool, etc.).

Always a gamble to use opera singers in recordings of musical scores, Te Kanawa in particular adapts well (she also recorded My Fair Lady - as Eliza - and songs of Kern, Porter and Berlin). When it gets this good all you can really say is 'wow'.

The recording itself can stand up alongside the original Broadway cast album or the movie soundtrack; it is different, but it is just as good; and the fact that Bernstein himself conducted it makes it special. You feel privileged, watching this, to be able to see such a talented creative mind at work.

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