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West Side Story (1961)

Natalie Wood , George Chakiris , Jerome Robbins , Robert Wise  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (848 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno
  • Directors: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise
  • Writers: Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents, Ernest Lehman, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Robert Wise, Saul Chaplin
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: October 20, 1998
  • Run Time: 152 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (848 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305132984
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,755 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "West Side Story" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 8-page booklet featuring trivia, production notes and a revealing look at the making of the movie

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Leonard Bernsteins classic street-wise musical, a modern-day "Romeo and Juliet," stars Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood as doomed lovers caught up in the violence of rival street gangs. Co-stars Rita Moreno. Winner of 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture; co-directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. 155 min. Widescreen; Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital mono, French Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish, French. NOTE: This Title is Out Of Print; Limit One Per Customer.

Amazon.com

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
328 of 337 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WEST SIDE STORY Impresses April 3, 2003
Format:DVD
Wow. What a great DVD.
The one hour documentary featuring interviews with some of the cast, Robert Wise, Harold Prince, Sondheim, and some key crew members is completely engrossing. Home movie footage showing the filming of the movie is included. Examples of the techniques that the movie makers used to film a musical are fascinating. I was amazed that the knife scene, for example, is COMPLETELY counted out and the actor/dancers' movements were choreographed down to the second (breath, two, three, four; stab, two three; look, two, three, four). Incredible! Rita Morena is particularly informative regarding the dubbing of her song "A Boy Like That". The Robbins/Wise codirecting of the film is explained. And some of Natalie Wood's original vocals are included. The documentary is invaluable for fans of the film.
As for the film itself, it looks and sounds incredible on my widescreen HDTV. The anamorphic transfer is very good.
The DVD is packaged very well. The book which accompanies the set is very cool, with a great introduction by screenwriter Ernest Lehman (who is one of my movie heros).
I'm very impressed with this special edition of WEST SIDE STORY. The film is a classic, and deserves such treatment.
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135 of 145 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Musical, As It Should Be Presented December 14, 2004
Format:DVD
"West Side Story" is proof that the sum of its parts can not only be greater than the whole, but possibly be the greatest!

Little known writer in Elizabethian England pens a drama about two star-crossed lovers. Flash ahead to the turbulent streets of New York in the late 1950s and early 60s. Turn feuding families to rival gangs. Add music, choreography, make it vital. Then find a brilliant director who knows what to show, and watch as it takes home every Oscar it can.

We know the story of this film but what's important for you to know about here are the extras you get in this package that make it worth your while: The first disc is the film, preserved perfectly. And the second disc has your special features.

First, you get a great documentary on the making of the film. Titled "West Side Memories," Principals like Sondheim, Moreno, Chakiris, Beymer and more sit before the cameras and explain the process of preparing and executing what could be the finest example of the Hollywood Musical, ever. It's a piece that's could have been a stand alone DVD, it's so rich with insights.

You also get an interesting "Storyboard to Film" montage, where you see the artist's renderings of the scenes, and how those shots looked when they appeared in the film. You get to study these storyboards more carefully in several galleries on the disc. Lots of other goodies, like the theatrical trailers and photos galore... everything from Jerome Robbins's cattle call for dancers to location shots during production!
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74 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BAD BLU RAY MANUFACTURE November 10, 2011
Format:Blu-ray
There are known issues on this blu ray release. The studio says it will fix the problems ONLY in future manufacturing. Don't buy this one right away. It's a great film and it's opening moments were accidentally mutilated by the blu ray mfr. I am surprised a mass distributor like Amazon is moving forward and shipping this bad pressing.
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59 of 69 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE MOST OUTSTANDING MOVIE MUSICALS EVER! April 1, 2003
By Nix Pix
Format:DVD
When "West Side Story" hit the Broadway stage it must have shocked theater critics. A balletic musical about street gangs and murder, with such an emotional swell built in, that even the most hardened cynics must have left the show dewey-eyed and humming the Leonard Berstein score. The film created nothing less than an international craze and garnered an unprecidented 10 Oscars - the most of any musical.
PLOT: In a nut shell, this is Romeo and Juliet in the ghetto. Natilie Wood (dubbed by Marni Nixon) is Maria; poor, Puertorican and in love with Richard Beymer (Tony). But her brother, Bernardo (George Chakaris) and his girlfriend, Anita (Rita Moreno) don't approve. If you know your Shakespeare, you know how this one ends. The difference here are the songs, so electric and outstanding that they easily steal the show. Try listening to "America" or "I Feel Pretty" without tapping your toes or "One Hand, One Heart" without getting goose-bumps. It's impossible.
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 scheme and fair solid blacks. But there are cases where edge enhancement is present and quite obtrusive. There's also a lot of pixelization in the backgrounds.
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 to look at on the screen.
The soundtrack is very strident. Songs are presented at an explosive listening level that really rocks 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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars I believe a toddler could do a better job of putting the book together
Should have just bought the individual Blu-ray. The book of history on the movie has the contents upside down. You open the book and the actual pages are upside down. Read more
Published 9 hours ago by Carolyn Drain
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
The leading musical but did not like the subject'
Published 1 day ago by Robert E. Edsinger
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful set. Great Price
Beautiful set. Great Price!. I already had the music to Somewhere that looks exactly like the cover of the DVD set!
Had not seen movie in years. I love the screen play! Read more
Published 2 days ago by Kim D. Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars West Side Story is one of the greatest not only movie but one of the...
West Side Story is one of the greatest not only movie but one of the greatest musicals as well....

The only way I found out that this movie was good, they showed it to... Read more
Published 3 days ago by ronald koppinger
4.0 out of 5 stars movie
very good
Published 3 days ago by Deborah L. Ulrich
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
A historical and groundbreaking movie musical available for you to own forever! The extras make this set a good buy.
Published 4 days ago by Patricia Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars The best
This has got to be the best Mexican musical I've ever seen in a long time! Very well choreographed!
Published 4 days ago by marc castro
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Of course I have seen the movie before but it was just as good and it was in color
Published 9 days ago by Frank w Eisemann
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
I was told that this edition DVD was widescreen. It is not.
Published 10 days ago by suzanne Lukather
4.0 out of 5 stars West Side Story - 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray Box Set
Customer Video Review
Length: 0:32 Mins
Published 11 days ago by JMM
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