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 Latino 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
George Chakiris (Bernardo) had previously played "Riff" in the London production. Tony Mordente (Action) had played "A-rab." David Winters (A-rab) had played Baby John in the original Broadway production. See more »
There are several instances of gang members (most notably the Jets) mouthing the wrong words during the songs. However, this is due to the use of dubbing. 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]
See more »
The credits at the end of the movie appear as graffiti on street signs. See more »
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 »
"Hold my hand and we're half-way there... Hold my hand and I'll take you there...."
Even though I'm not a big fan of this particular genre of film. I found West Side Story to be so impressively produced that it somehow transcended far beyond being just a mere "Musical" in the strictest sense of the word.
West Side Story is literally bursting at the seams and filled to capacity with vivid imagery. This highly-energized film clearly captures the vibrant atmosphere of the late 1950s, where rival youth gangs get their prejudiced, little noses out of joint and prepare to rumble in the streets of NYC.
With its memorable music and songs, dazzling choreography, striking sets and superb direction by Robert Wise, West Side Story is truly a triumph on every level.
This film is a magnificent achievement that (back in 1961) set a whole new standard for modern-day movie Musicals.
20 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this