West Side Story

West Side Story

Robert Wise (1961)

145min
PG Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Ten well-deserved Oscars - plus a special award for Jerome Robbins's dynamic choreography - adorned this electrifying and moving version of the magnificent Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim musical. It's an update of Romeo and Juliet, here turned into a New York gang parable set in the turbulent late 1950s. And surely the only Oscar ever given to an actor for merely looking good went to the elegant George Chakiris. Natalie Wood is genuinely touching as the tragic Maria and Richard Beymer - criticised at the time as her lover, Tony - now seems the very quintessence of adolescent yearning. Co-director Robert Wise was no stranger to movie musicals: he had been the uncredited sound editor on the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers films The Gay Divorce and Top Hat, and would later fashion The Sound of Music into one of the all-time box-office champs. Steven Spielberg's makeover has much to live up to.

Summary

Two teenagers from rival New York street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, fall in love - but it causes already simmering tensions to explode. Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's Oscar-winning musical based on Romeo and Juliet, adapted from the stage play, starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno and George Chakiris.

Cast & Crew

Maria Natalie Wood
Tony Richard Beymer
Riff Russ Tamblyn
Anita Rita Moreno
Bernardo George Chakiris
Lt Schrank Simon Oakland
Doc Ned Glass
Ice Tucker Smith
Action Tony Mordente
Officer Krupke Bill Bramley
Director Robert Wise
Director Jerome Robbins
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Park CircusGuidance: Some violence.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray
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