West Side Story (1961)

Not Rated   |    |  Crime, Drama, Musical


West Side Story (1961) Poster

Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.

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7.6/10
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  • Rita Moreno in West Side Story (1961)
  • Natalie Wood and George Chakiris in West Side Story (1961)
  • Rita Moreno and George Chakiris at an event for West Side Story (1961)
  • Natalie Wood and Robert Wise in West Side Story (1961)
  • "West Side Story," Director Jerome Robbins and Natalie Wood. 1961/UA
  • West Side Story (1961)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


1 July 2013 | strong-122-478885
8
| Someday, We'll Find A New Way Of Living....
"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.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.


Quotes

Riff: Come on.
Riff: Beat it.


Goofs

In the opening number, which was shot on location in NYC, the playground is easily 300 feet x 300 feet in size. Later on, when it is obvious they were on the studio back lot, the playground has shrunk to around 30 feet by 30 feet.


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.


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.


Soundtracks

A Boy Like That/I Have a Love
(1957) (uncredited)
Music by
Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Performed by Rita Moreno (dubbed by Betty Wand) and Natalie Wood (dubbed by Marni Nixon)

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Crime | Drama | Musical | Romance

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