Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Musical
Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.
Natalie Wood had literally just finished filming Splendor in the Grass (1961) upon joining the cast, and felt very insecure about her singing and dancing, and withdrew into herself, hence why some of her fellow actors felt that she was aloof. Contrary to myth that has persisted, she did not want Warren Beatty to play Tony. They didn't get along during filming of Splendor in the Grass (1961) and did not start dating until her separation from Robert Wagner. Tony Mordente, who helped Wood with the dance numbers and became a close friend, confirmed that Beatty was never around, during filming or afterwards as he spent a lot of time with both Wood and Wagner off-camera during production.
Riff: Beat it.
At the beginning of the movie, behind the first close-up of Riff on the playground, snapping his fingers, you can see a young boy riding his bike behind Riff, the boy wasn't there in the previous shot (from above).
The credits at the end of the movie appear as graffiti on street signs.
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.
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