Customer Review

140 of 150 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Musical, As It Should Be Presented, December 14, 2004
This review is from: West Side Story (Special Edition Collector's Set) (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!

And if that wasn't enough, there's a massive book that comes with the set, that includes the complete script of the film, the original lobby brouchure that theater patrons who attended the film received, which has more photos and info, and the newspaper clippings lauding the film as it took its place in movie musical legend.

It's simply a valentine to a remarkable film, and a fantastic package, all the way around.

Highly recommended.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 17, 2008 5:46:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 17, 2008 5:47:02 PM PDT
Sanity in SF says:
Umm... I'd hesitate to characterize the immortal William Shakespeare as a "little known writer in Elizabethian England...."

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2008 2:12:39 PM PDT
"I'd hesitate. . . ." Hesitate is perhaps not strong enough. I presume that the author of the review was trying to be clever - writing a review for his high-school paper, perhaps. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2009 3:54:57 AM PDT
Marionbrodie says:
my views exactly.. Wm Shakespeare is immortal...
what a very peculiar description was given about him.. 'a little known writer'.. :)) ???

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 2, 2009 6:51:48 PM PDT
JNagarya says:
The reviewer probably meant that the viewer might not know that "West Side Story" is a modern version of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet".

Posted on Apr 6, 2010 1:10:49 PM PDT
I can't believe that the above commenters don't understand "tongue-in-cheek" humor. It would help to remember that Shakespeare was never referenced in anything to do with "West Side Story," and I was playing up that fact with that comment. I hope that clarifies things for the above writers and for anyone else who might have been confused.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2010 4:10:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 6, 2010 4:11:12 PM PDT
JNagarya says:
"Marionbrodie" --

Shakespeare is dead, which is a noticably unskilled method of achieving immortality.

I assume you mean his writings are immortal.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2010 8:14:25 AM PST
VERY clever! And, indeed, true. The ability of far too many individuals to appreciate VERY subtle humor only gives more reason to laugh.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2010 12:45:30 PM PST
JNagarya says:
If you are referring to my "Shakespeare is dead" comment, I was endeavoring to immoralize a dead pan.

Posted on Jul 16, 2013 11:01:15 AM PDT
Kathryn M says:
Dean, you state that George Chakiris is in the documentary. The reviewer following you says he isn't. So which is it? Is George Chakiris in the documentary or isn't he?
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