7.5/10
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West Side Story (1961)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Musical | 18 October 1961 (USA)
Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.

Writers:

Ernest Lehman (screenplay by), Arthur Laurents (book) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,089 ( 188)
Won 10 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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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 ... 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 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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Screen Achieves One of the Great Entertainments in the History of Motion Pictures See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the entire production, the actors wore out 200 pairs of shoes, applied more than 100lbs of make-up, split 27 pairs of pants and performed in 30 different recording sessions. See more »

Goofs

When we first see The Jets in the playground as they are snapping their fingers to the music, it is very bright and their shadows face towards the screen, but when they cut to the next shot as they start walking and the camera moves behind the fence, the sunlight is not the same as the scene is not as bright and even the shadows positions are different, pointing away from the screen. 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.
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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

Featured in Oh! My Lady: Episode #1.11 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Dance at the Gym
(1957) (uncredited)
Composed by Leonard Bernstein
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User Reviews

 
Greatest musical of all time
6 February 2017 | by sophieahmed-94632See all my reviews

There is certainly tough competition when trying to decide the best musical of all time but I believe West Side Story is the clear winner. The acting is first rate and the locations gritty and realistic so you get the feel of what it is like to be a poor immigrant in New York. Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno are outstanding as the beautiful innocent Maria and the alluring more worldly wise Anita. Above all, Bernstein's music is breathtaking and unique, sweeping from gangster slang through lively Hispanic dances to luminous love songs. Unlike many musicals, it always feels real and grounded which makes the tragic ending all the more moving.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

18 October 1961 (USA) 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:

$44,062,203
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
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