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West Side Story (1961)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Musical | 23 December 1961 (Japan)
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Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.

Writers:

Ernest Lehman (screenplay), Arthur Laurents (book) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,410 ( 195)
Won 10 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Natalie Wood ... Maria
Richard Beymer ... Tony
Russ Tamblyn ... Riff
Rita Moreno ... Anita
George Chakiris ... Bernardo
Simon Oakland ... Schrank
Ned Glass ... Doc
William Bramley William Bramley ... Krupke
Tucker Smith ... Ice
Tony Mordente ... Action
David Winters ... A-rab
Eliot Feld ... Baby John
Bert Michaels ... Snowboy
David Bean David Bean ... Tiger
Robert Banas Robert Banas ... Joyboy
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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:

Watch this shot now. Hey. Shoot, man. Go. Hey, yeah. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

23 December 1961 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

West Side Story See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$207,145, 24 June 2018

Gross USA:

$44,055,492

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$44,061,777
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm optical prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roger Ebert places this movie on his "Great Movie list"; but he said this movie has been diminished by the increased standing and cult status of "Singin' in the Rain" over the years. Ebert gives West Side Story 4 stars; but he says the following; "Although "West Side Story" was named the best picture of 1961 and won 10 Academy Awards, it is not much mentioned by movie fans these days, and the old warhorse "Singin' in the Rain" is probably more seen and certainly better loved. "West Side Story" was the kind of musical people thought was good for them, a pious expression of admirable but unrealistic liberal sentiments, and certainly its street gangs at war - one Puerto Rican, one the descendants of European immigrants - seem touchingly innocent compared to contemporary reality". Roger Ebert goes on to damn West Side Story with faint praise: "So the dancing is remarkable, and several of the songs have proven themselves by becoming standards, and there are moments of startling power and truth. "West Side Story" remains a landmark of musical history. But if the drama had been as edgy as the choreography, if the lead performances had matched Moreno's fierce concentration, if the gangs had been more dangerous and less like bad-boy Archies and Jugheads, if the ending had delivered on the pathos and tragedy of the original, there's no telling what might have resulted. The movie began with a brave vision, and it is best when you sense that vision surviving the process by which it was turned into safe entertainment." See more »

Goofs

Chino visits Maria on the rooftop, saying that there was no-one home. Maria tells that her parents are at work. Only a few moments afterwards we hear voices: "¡Mamá, Mamá! ¡Bernardo está muerto!" "¿Bernardo? ¿Muerto?", the latter apparently said by the mother. This post is actually incorrect. Maria says to Chino that her parents are at the store, not work. In addition, the building is populated by several families, not just Maria and Bernardo's. Had it been their mother talking to the boy at the bottom of the stairwell, there would have undoubtedly be more of an emotional response from the woman as Bernardo was her child as well. 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

There are no opening credits; a stylized, tinted aerial still of Manhattan is shown as the overture plays. The background changes color as the themes change throughout the overture. As the overture ends, the tinting is blue, the title appears, and the shot segues to aerial photography of Manhattan streets and landmarks. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Special Limited Edition DVD released by MGM in 2003 restores an intermission that was intended to be included in the original roadshow version but was subsequently dropped in order to create what the filmmakers termed a "rising tension" in the story. The intermission sequence was supposed to have taken place right before the song 'I Feel Pretty' and brings the film's total running time to more than 152 minutes. This break was used, however, for the film's first television showing in 1972 on NBC. It was broadcast in two installments, one each on separate nights, the first part ending at the break, and the second part beginning at the "I Feel Pretty" sequence. See more »

Connections

Referenced in White Nights (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

I Feel Pretty
(1957) (uncredited)
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Performed by Natalie Wood (dubbed by Marni Nixon), Suzie Kaye, Yvonne Wilder, and Joanne Miya
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
First time to watch? Get ready to have a feast for the eye, the ear, and ultimately the heart!
9 September 2008 | by CihanVercanSee all my reviews

WestSide Story is an American icon, that reveals how today's world became global, that every modern democratic country of the Earth has every different culture mixed to live together in peace. So as you might guess WestSide Story is one socio-political movie that symbolizes post-modernism. This masterpiece also reveals the most frightening question that non-Americans -and undemocratic- keep in their mind, but afraid to ask: "What if America has never been existed?" Once you watched WestSide Story, you'll realize how post-modernism changed the world, that racism and vendetta are no longer conceptual.

As a matter of art, WestSide Story combines a walloping score with exuberant choreography and spectacular screenplay to create a transcendent fusion of Realism and Fantasy, that will forever be a feast for the eye, the ear, and ultimately the heart. As a matter of movie concepts, the story line has the perfect progress beginning with the introduction of the two confrontational 1950s' New York city gangs, continuing with the love occurring between a girl from an immigrant group and a boy from a fanatical nationalist group, ending with the death of the gang leaders and the lover boy. When the story begins to progress, it becomes more and more fascinating through focusing of the lovers struggling to come together. There we admire successful acting of Rita Moreno(supporting actress), Susan Oakes and George Chakiris.

9 out of 10.


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