46 of 54 people found the following review helpful
An unmatched musical,
This review is from: West Side Story (DVD)
West Side Story
In 1961, West Side Story, this endearing classic, garnered a total of ten academy awards, which is one of the most plausible amounts ever. The film is now terribly ignored by audiences, but for me, West Side Story set a standard that remains, most likely, unsurpassed in movie musicals. It's that good.
West Side Story is a musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet set in New York City, where rival street gangs - the American Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks - battle for territory and respect. Is the love affair between former Jets leader Tony (Richard Beymer), and Maria (Natalie Wood), sister to Sharks' leader Bernardo, doomed to failure? Well, you're doomed until you find out, so grab this movie as soon as you.
West Side Story is a truly electrifying piece of cinema, it sets ageless tragedy on the slums of New York in the 1950's and does it maturely and with stunning style. The violence and some unnecessary language may slightly falter it, but Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's unforgettable score, which includes such famous songs as Maria, America and Tonight, and Jerome Robbins' exuberant chereography makes up for whatever may put the film down. Performances are no problem for these now-crinkly actors; Natalie Wood captures Maria with such heartbreaking richness that makes her performance ignored beauty, while Richard Beymer is excellently controlled in his performance as the confused but honest Tony. Oscar-winners Rita Moreno and George Chakiris both make sure this film is satisfying in supporting performances as well.
West Side Story is a lovely film that remains a feast for the eye, the ear and, ultimately, the heart.