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.
Although the producers tried to keep the different gangs separate during filming to create tension, Russ Tamblyn (Riff) said that he knew of at least one "Jet" who was roommates with a "Shark" through filming.
Riff: Beat it.
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.
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.
In 2011, as part of the 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray release, a new score, closer to the original theatrical version, was orchestrated by the Leonard Bernstein Estate. It was performed live by the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics at screenings with the original score excised. (The original vocals were retained.) The New York performance was at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, built atop the movie's filming locations.
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