West Side Story (1961)

West Side Story (1961)

West Side Story (1961)

1961 musical, big-screen adaptation of the hit Broadway show which transplants the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet to New York City in the 50s.

The two feuding families are replaced by brawling street gangs. The Montagues become the Anglo Jets, led by Riff (Russ Tamblyn), and the Capulets become the Puerto Rican Sharks, led by Bernardo (George Chakiris). At a dance, Tony (Richard Beymer), former leader of the Jets and Riff's best friend, and Maria (Natalie Wood), Bernardo's little sister, see each other across the room and it's love at first sight. With opposition from both sides, they meet secretly and their love grows deeper. However, the gangs are plotting one last rumble, a fight to take control of the streets, and one that threatens Tony & Maria's romance.

1961Rating: PG151 minsUSA
MusicalClassic

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Reviews & comments

Variety

Variety

press

A beautifully-mounted, impressive, emotion-ridden and violent musical which, in its stark approach to a raging social problem and realism of unfoldment, may set a pattern for future musical presentations...

Total Film

Total Film

press

Not seen it? Time you did.

5.0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Reconstructs its fine material into nothing short of a cinema masterpiece.

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

Leonard Bernstein's rich, eloquent and demanding score is still a powerful experience.

3.0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

It is a great movie ... in parts.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

The Warriors as pre-imagined by Gene Kelly, this really is the musical for people who don’t like musicals...

5.0
BBC

BBC

press

It's the groundbreaking combination of toe-tapping tunes and wailing pathos, which makes this a truly arresting musical. Even thorny social issues inspire song-and-dance routines like a memorable performance of America by the Puerto Ricans...

4.0
Variety

Variety

press

A beautifully-mounted, impressive, emotion-ridden and violent musical which, in its stark approach to a raging social problem and realism of unfoldment, may set a pattern for future musical presentations...

Total Film

Total Film

press

Not seen it? Time you did.

5.0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Reconstructs its fine material into nothing short of a cinema masterpiece.

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

Leonard Bernstein's rich, eloquent and demanding score is still a powerful experience.

3.0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

It is a great movie ... in parts.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

The Warriors as pre-imagined by Gene Kelly, this really is the musical for people who don’t like musicals...

5.0
BBC

BBC

press

It's the groundbreaking combination of toe-tapping tunes and wailing pathos, which makes this a truly arresting musical. Even thorny social issues inspire song-and-dance routines like a memorable performance of America by the Puerto Ricans...

4.0

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