Sunday, September 8, 2013

381. West Side Story

West Side Story
Directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins

This is one of my favorite films and I have seen it an embarrassing amount of times.  Rarely have I seen a musical where I adore every single song, where the actors have this much charisma, and the story moves along so nicely.  I even forced my guy friend to watch it, but he couldn't get over how all the straight men were dancing so gaily.  Ironically, he turned out to be gay.  Huh.

This movie is pretty much Romeo and Juliet: Romeo and Juliet Take New York.  If you don't know the story of Romeo and Juliet or West Side Story, we have nothing more to say to each other.

A lot of people complain about the performances of Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer.  Granted, Wood isn't exactly a convincing Puerto Rican.  However, I enjoyed their musical numbers were some of my favorites in the film.  Judge for yourself:

Of course, Rita Moreno and George Chakiris steal the show, but that doesn't mean that the lead performances were terrible.

I really don't have a single negative thing to say about it.  Besides being a wonderful musical, it is also an enlightening comment on immigrant life in New York.  Definitely a must see.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Marni Nixon dubbed Natalie Wood's singing.

The rival gangs were encouraged to play pranks on each other behind the scenes in order to keep the rivalry real.

Won 10 Academy Awards.

My favorite sequence:


  1. I love this movie too! I cannot decide which song is my favorite---now I need to watch it again because you made me think about it. Thanks--great review!

  2. I think we land on each side of the spectrum with this one, but you know that. I will agree though, that the music is great. For me, if I could just get the music I would be happy.

  3. At least admit that RIta Moreno is a goddess.