West Side StoryDirector: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise, Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer
Romeo and Juliet is updated to the tenements of New York City in this Oscar-winning musical landmark. Adapted by Ernest Lehman from the Broadway production, the movie opens with an overhead shot of Manhattan, an effect that director Robert Wise would repeat over the Alps in The Sound of Music four years later. We are introduced to two rival street gangs: The Jets, second-generation American teens, and the Sharks, Puerto Rican immigrants. When the war between the Jets and Sharks reaches a fever pitch, Jets leader Riff (Russ Tamblyn) decides to challenge the Sharks to one last "winner take all" rumble. He decides to meet Sharks leader Bernardo (George Chakiris) for a war council at a gymnasium dance; to bolster his argument, Riff wants his old pal Tony (Richard Beymer), the cofounder of the Jets, to come along. But Tony has set his sights on vistas beyond the neighborhood and has fallen in love with Bernardo's sister Maria (Natalie Wood), a love that, as in Romeo and Juliet, will eventually end in tragedy. In contrast to the usual slash-and-burn policy of Hollywood musical adaptations, all the songs written by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim for the original Broadway production of West Side Story were retained for the film version, although some alterations were made to appease the Hollywood censors (especially in the lyrics of "Gee, Officer Krupke"), and the original order of two songs was reversed for stronger dramatic impact. The movie more than retains the original choreography of Jerome Robbins, which is recreated is some of the most startling and balletic dance sequences ever recorded on film. West Side Story won an almost-record 10 Oscars, including Best Picture, supporting awards to Chakiris and Rita Moreno as Bernardo's girlfriend Anita, and Best Director to Robbins and Wise. Natalie Wood's singing was dubbed by Marni Nixon, who also dubbed Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady; the film's New York tenement locations were later razed to make room for Lincoln Center.
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Cast & Crew
|Simon Oakland||Lt. Schrank|
|William Bramley||Officer Krupke|
|John Astin||Glad Hand, social worker|
|Penny Santon||Madam Lucia|
|Jose de Vega||Chino|
|Eliot Feld||Baby John|
|Anthony Teague||Big Deal|
|Suzie Kaye||Rosalia [The Sharks]|
|Jimmy Bryant||Tony [singing]|
|Marni Nixon||Maria [singing]|
|Rudy Del Campo||Del Campo|
|Leonard Bernstein||Score Composer|
|Saul Chaplin||Associate Producer,Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Daniel L. Fapp||Cinematographer|
|Victor A. Gangelin||Set Decoration/Design|
|Johnny Green||Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Fred Hynes||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Irwin Kostal||Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Fred Lau||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Boris Leven||Production Designer|
|Sid Ramin||Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Robert E. Relyea||Asst. Director|
|Irene Sharaff||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Murray Spivack||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Thomas G. Stanford||Editor|
|Vinton Vernon||Sound/Sound Designer|
1. Overture/Main Title [5:13]
2. Prologue [9:52]
3. Snowing the Coppers [2:47]
4. How to Hold Turf/Jet Song [5:21]
5. Something's Coming [5:47]
6. Not Giving an Inch [2:55]
7. Dance at the Gym [7:21]
8. Love Across the Lines [3:45]
9. Riff's Challenge [1:23]
10. Maria [2:40]
11. America [7:30]
12. "I Don't Wait" [1:33]
13. Tonight [7:01]
14. Gee, Officer Krupke! [7:25]
15. The War Council [4:50]
16. Sweet Land of Liberty [5:44]
17. I Feel Pretty [3:33]
18. What Anita Can't See [2:45]
19. One Hand, One Heart [5:44]
20. Tonight (Ensemble) [3:19]
21. The Rumble [8:13]
22. Breaking the News [3:02]
23. Somewhere [3:38]
24. "I'm Scared" [1:57]
25. Cool [7:32]
26. Gotta Find Tony [1:56]
27. A Boy Like That/I Have a Love [6:44]
28. Detaining Maria [1:50]
29. Anita's Message [4:51]
30. No Cure From Doc [2:05]
31. Finale [8:24]
32. End Credits [5:06]
English 5.1 Dolby Surround
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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West Side Story is without a doubt the greatest movie musical of all time. Winner of 10 Oscars including Best Picture. Timeless classic. There is no doubt...It's the best! This musical is the best because the story is so beautiful. Simply put, Tony is one of the founders of the Jets. He quits the Jets to get a job and a better life. Then, he meets Maria at a dance. Maria's brother Bernardo is the leader of the Puerto Rican Sharks. The Jets and Tony's best friend, the leader of the Jets,Riff, are racist. So are the Sharks. Tony and Maria fall in love. If you know Romeo and Juliet, you know what happens, but I don't want to ruin it. This movie is so smart, turning the fighting families in Romeo and Juliet into rival gangs in New York's west end. Don't get me started on the music. The great Lenard Bernstein's music has never been equaled. Jerome Robbin's choreography is the best anyone has ever seen. Is it hard for you to believe that West Side Story is the greatest movie musical of all time if not the greatest movie of all time? WATCH IT!
My rating is not about West Side Story because I've loved the movie all of my life. My low rating is against Barnes & Noble because they advertise a DVD format and send a BluRay -- not once, but twice. And then B&N threatened to charge me S&H for their third attempt to make things right. Their third attempt was a DVD, but not in the version they advertise. I've had to call B&N again to get a refund on the BluRay that I sent back to them, since they acknowledged receipt two weeks ago and my account is yet to be credited. Because I cannot trust their website, I will never shop B&N online again.
First, Leonard Bernstein's score was so way ahead of its time, it still sounds modern today with it's cuban rhythms and bold, angular melodies and harmonies. Second, the choreography is just superb. So energetic (esp Russ Tamblyn) and dynamic whilst still seeming totally in keeping with the genre and youth culture of the time. Third, the whole thing (apart from a panoramic at the start) is set in such tiny sets, yet still seems larger than life - small cafes, small apartments, basket ball courts, gyms etc Very special editing and direction not to make this seem clostrophobic. I think the only gripe I have is with the overdubbing. Marni Nixon? Again? Is there anything she's NOT on? I recognize her talent but her voice was way too shrill and constrained for Maria. I don't know whether it was the copy I was watching or not but every time there was singing, the sound was AHEAD of the movie in its synchronization!! NOT good editing! The picture was also a tiny bit grainy but considering when it was made, I guess I can forgive this. Actually, the sharpness was very impressive at times, almost 'too much' but with the rawness of the sets, it only served to enhance the experience. This is not a 'soft focus' style movie!!The sounds was great too, though again, not true surround, as one would expect of this period. Overall the film is more than a classic. it's immortal, just like it's story and deserves a place in the 'all time greatest' as well as on your video shelf!! Buy it!!
West Side Story is one of the greatest musicals ever. I love the dance scene, especially when the Puerto Ricans danced. And America just blew me away! Anita is my favorite. I reccomend this for anyone who likes musicals.
WEST SIDE STORY, a beautiful movie musical that's loosely based on Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET, is about a love that grows and develops amid the conflict between two warring street gangs, the white ethnic American JETS, and the newly arrived Puerto Rican SHARKS, who are competing for the same territorial rights to what little has been offered them by society at large. When TONY, the founder and ex-leader of the JETS meets and falls in love with MARIA, the sister of the SHARK gangleader, BERNARDO at a dance that TONY attended at his old friend RIFF's persuasion, the sparks really begin to fly , as already-existing tensions between the JETS and the SHARKS escalates and then eventually explodes into a deadly showdown, the RUMBLE, which ultimately results in the deaths of RIFF, BERNARDO, and, ultimately TONY. Simon Oakland is great as the bigoted, cantankerous LT. SCHRANK, who really doesn't like either the JETS or the SHARKS; the part suits him perfectly. Russ Tamblyn also does a great job playing RIFF, as does Tucker Smith as ICE, David Winters as A-RAB. Rita Moreno is excellent as the firebrand ANITA, and George Chakiris also does an excellent job as the equally fiery BERNARDO. Natalie Wood does okay as MARIA, but Richard Beymer, unfortunately, plays a rather weak, lacklustre TONY. However, the fabulous performance by all the other actors/actresses in this great classic movie, combined with the richly colored costumes and photography, with great special effects, and the dancing, as well as the great story behind WEST SIDE STORY, which unleashes many, many different emotions, all serve to MORE than offset Richard Beymer's weak performance as TONY. Even TONY appears more vital and strong when WEST SIDE STORY is shown on a great, big, wide screen in a REAL movie theatre with the lights down low. The story, all about racial/ethnic tensions, urban gang warfare, and the crossing of racial/ethnic lines and falling in love is as socially relevant and up- to-date as ever.
I really enjoyed seeing this movie again, having first seen it as a teenager. The songs and dances are still exciting, the choreography is better than a lot of the modern stuff. A typical Romeo & Juliette story with a modern twist that is still relevant in today's world.
This was definately the best Broadway-show-turned-movie ever. I was in the show, then rented the movie and it did a better job at reproducing it then we did!
Despite a minor lipsync problem in the balcony scene, the film is much as I remember it from the first reissue of the theatrical release in the late 1960's (it premiered in 1961): the near impossible school dance footwork, the vibrancy of actress Rita Moreno, a perfectly edited ensemble piece before the rumble, the cool 'Cool' number, and finally, an artistically rendered end-credits like no other film since (I won't spoil it by describing it -- go watch).
The story is quite good but the singing was so...so hard to take in. Without the singing the story was just about a boy and a girl that fell in love, ending in a death. But the singing made the movie fell like it went on forever. The acting was phenomenal Natily Wood can really hold a note. When the male character died it should have pierced my heart but it just left me in a slum. The only thing I can say that I enjoyed was the dancing. It was well choreographed and everyone’s steps were right on. So i give this movie one thumb up and one down. But go rent or buy this movie for yourself.
Talk about awsome fight dancing. This is one of the best musicals ever. Complete with the sound track to my life.
This movie didn't win 10 academy awards for nothing! Even though It's not my favorite movie of all time [The Sound of Music is!], it still is an amazing classic. The dancing is brilliant, and the acting was good. It's based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, which is a great story, but instead, it's modernized and there are some differences from the story. Even though Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer were dubbed, it's still a great movie. It's definately recommended.
This is far by the greatest musical ever made. It is as good as Fiddler on the roof, the music (overture is the greatest instramental song in West Side Story.)And the dancing,! oh my gosh THE DANCING! is the best ever! West Side Story is the best musical ever made!
Absolutely wonderful. Words can not express how breath taking this movie is. It captures the intensity of love, and hate and combines the two into a magnificent musical. I recommend this movie to any one who is in the mode for a good cry and wants to be left sitting on the edge of their seat. Maria, a girl from Mexico, moves to New York with her brother and family. She meats an Italian boy,Toni, and they fall in love. But Toni and Maria's brother are both in gangs. The Sharks and the Jets. They hate eachother with a passion. But out of love for Maria , Toni tries to make things ok. But when a rumble comes about , things get way out of hand. To find out what happens, please get the movie. Its great !
When 'West Side Story' hit the Broadway stage it must have shocked theater critics. A ballet musical about street gangs and murder, with such an emotional swell built in, that even the most hardened cynics must have left the show dewy-eyed and humming the Leonard Bernstein score. The film version created nothing less than an international craze and garnered an unprecedented 10 Oscars - the most of any musical Best Picture. The plot is essentially Romeo and Juliet in the ghetto with Natalie Wood (dubbed by Marni Nixon) as Maria; the poor, Puerto Rican who is in love with Tony (Richard Beymer). But Maria¿s brother, Bernardo (George Chakaris) and his girlfriend, Anita (Rita Moreno) do not approve of the union because of Tony¿s Polish heritage. If you know your Shakespeare, you know how this one ends. The difference here is in the songs, so electric and outstanding that they easily steal the show. Try listening to 'America' or 'I Feel Pretty' without tapping your feet or 'One Hand, One Heart' without getting goose-bumps. It's impossible. The film tackles racism, gang violence, date rape and police brutality and it does it all in a way that entertains as well as educates. MGM gives us some nice packaging and some extras but let's state the obvious first: this transfer is identical to the one previously issued on DVD. Having said that, the transfer is quite good, with a rich bold color and fairly deep and solid blacks. But there are cases where edge enhancement is present and quite obtrusive. There's also a lot of pixelization in the background wire fences. Certain scenes appear slightly out of focus, while others are so sharp that even with your televsion sharpness turned to zero, the image is rather hard edged. The soundtrack is very strident. Songs are presented at an explosive listening level that really rock the house. But other bits of dialogue are soft or muffled. Some of the songs have a grating high pitch to them that really strains the ear. A moderate listening level is recommended to fully appreciate this audio. Now for the extras - for starters we get a very handsome book that contains the entire script as well as personal reflections from the producers and cast and newspaper clippings of the initial reviews. The print quality of the book is barely adequate with photo image quality that is poor to unacceptable, smeared images of original stills and others that have faded colors. Since this is a two-disc set, the movie is on disc one, with the option to view with or without the intermission music - a very nice touch. Disc 2 contains a documentary 'West Side Memories' that is somewhat disappointing in that not all the cast members have their say. Missing from the proceedings are George Chakaris (Bernardo) who is still alive and should have been included. Yes, Natalie Wood is no longer with us but I find it hard to believe that she never gave any sound bytes to the press with regard to her participation on the film. Marni Nixon, who dubbed for Natalie, is also not present to lend her expertise and talk about the art of dubbing, which she did plenty of during Hollywood's golden age. There's also no Ernest Lehman - odd, considering how active he's been on other special edition DVD's. This documentary is self-congratulatory and pretty much plays it safe. The premiere and the film's enduring popularity are glossed over. On disc 2 we get the isolated intermission music presented a second time - for what reason, I'm not sure - presumably to fill disc space. There's also a montage of stills set to music and no less than five theatrical trailers - all of them looking pretty dull and worn. Lastly, we get a shameless add from MGM, promoting its other DVD releases. That's pretty much it. A real waste of a second disc if you ask me. Yes, the documentary is fairly comprehensive, but it could have fit on side two of a flipper disc. Yes, the book is a nice companion piece but it's not printed with high quality in mind. The hands
Forgive me for not riding the hype, but i just watched WSS for the first time, and i have to say it is one of the most over rated musicals ever. Sure, the story is great, but let's hand that over to Shakespeare. Yes, the dancing is great, probably the highlight of ths movie.... The thing is, the 'synergy' of the movie just doesn't come across! The ethnicity of the Puerto Ricans is really Americanised and it effects the over all meaning of the musical! Another aspect I found dissapointing was that i felt no sense of sorrow when the main characters died!! Bad production? It's around two and a half hours long, yet in this enormous amount of time, yet the character development remained really sparse! Maybe I need to see it again? Maybe sixteen year olds arent meant to judge musicals from the 60's? Either way...i was just dissapointed! I'll finish in asking the question that bugged me the moment the movie finished..... why does maria live?? Juliet doesn't live! This reeeaallly affects the story in a BAD way... then again, if she died, i don't think i'd feel the emotion i did when Juliet died, anyway.
one of the worst films i think ive ever seen. if this is what they call a musical up to date adaption of romeo and juliet than thats what it is. but they could have at least killed that stupid guy somewhere other than the playground i mean come on
This movie is a riviting love story all the way to the end. The great music adds to the splinder of watching it!!
I sat in movie theaters at least 20 times in 1962 watching West Side Story. The Jerome Robbins choreography weaves dance within scenes of street violence with such realism that I don't even have to suspend disbelief to remain totally engrossed in the plot -- not to mention 'The Dance at the Gym; America; and, 'Cool' which, to me, are unequaled musical/dance adaptations of their day. The music & lyrics of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim were so well-deserving of their Academy Awards; and, of course, Natalie Wood is an unforgettably beautiful Maria. This is a must for anyone who enjoys the Arts.