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zmu| West Side Story
Director: Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins
Cast: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris
Genre: Musicals & Performing Arts

Running Time: 152
Aspect Ratio:  2.20:1 (PAL Anamorphic Widescreen)
Sound: Dolby
Features: Box set
Studio:  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer DVD Region:  0 NR
DVD Release:  Apr 2003 Discs:  1 (Cloud) []
Reviews:  An early instance of the Shakespearean approach to teen drama, getting in on the act decades before it was trendy, this Oscar-winning filming of the Broadway musical hit relocates the story of Romeo ond Juliet among New York street gangs, with the Capulets and the Montagues morphed into the Puerto Rican Sharks and the Polish jets. Stolid director Robert Wise holds the fort in the nonmusical scenes, but the film really takes off in the musical numbers by allowing the unrestrained jerome Robbins to choreograph dances like fights and fights like dances on mostly reallocations.
West Side Story stumbles by casting charisma-free Richard Beymer in the lead (the Colonel wouldn’t let Elvis play Tony) and can’t exactly pass the winning Natalie Wood off as Puerto Rican, but the supporting cast are perfect: Russ Tamblyn as the leader of the jets (“Little boy you’re a man, little man you’re a king”), George Chakiris as his Shark opposite number, and a showstopping Rita Moreno as the best friend who takes the lead in “I Like to Be in America.” Each and every Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim number is a classic belter: “I Feel Pretty,” “When You’re a jet,” “Tonight,” “Gee Officer Krupke,” “Maria,” “Stay Cool, Boy,” “There’s a Place for Us.” —Kim Newman (1001)

The winner of 10 Academy Awards, this 1961 musical by choreographer Jerome Robbins and director Robert Wise ("The Sound of Music") remains irresistible. Based on a smash Broadway play updating Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" to the 1950s era of juvenile delinquency, the film stars Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer as the star-crossed lovers from different neighborhoods—and ethnicities. The film's real selling points, however, are the highly charged and inventive song-and-dance numbers, the passionate ballads, the moody sets, colorful support from Rita Moreno, and the sheer accomplishment of Hollywood talent and technology producing a film so stirring. Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim wrote the score. "—Tom Keogh"

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