West Side Story (1961) was a Crime - Drama Film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins and produced by Robert Wise, Walter Mirisch and Saul Chaplin.
This is a jumping, heart-throbbing leap forward for film musicals, full of melodies you know by heart, frenetic dancing, and a time-tested romance. Based loosely on Romeo and Juliet, Laurents's stage production follows two New York street gangs and the ill-starred romance between Wood and Beymer that crosses the line between them. Moreno sparkles and Wood's luminous beauty would have any young gangster singing her name. Robbins clashed with Wise (who also brought stage smash The Sound of Music to the screen) and choreographed only four numbers (including "I Feel Pretty" and "America") but they're athletic, balletic stunners. The immortal songs (by Bernstein and Sondheim) also include "Maria," "The Jet Song," "Officer Krupke," and "Tonight."
(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion)..
West Side Story was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1997.
Academy Awards 1961 --- Ceremony Number 34 (source: AMPAS)
|Best Supporting Actor||George Chakiris||Won|
|Best Supporting Actress||Rita Moreno||Won|
|Best Art Direction||Art Direction: Boris Leven; Set Decoration: Victor A. Gangelin||Won|
|Best Cinematography||Daniel L. Fapp||Won|
|Best Director||Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins||Won|
|Best Film Editing||Thomas Stanford||Won|
|Best Music - Scoring||Saul Chaplin, Johnny Green, Sid Ramin, Irwin Kostal||Won|
|Best Picture||Robert Wise, Producer||Won|
|Best Writing||Ernest Lehman||Nominated|
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Like many, I had my doubts when I heard that Steven Spielberg was directing a remake of West Side Story. First of all, the man has never taken on a musical. Second, West Side Story is already a masterpiece. How could he, even the great Spielberg, improve such a wonderful film? Long story short, he d... Read full article
Musical Monday: West Side Story (2021)on Dec 13, 2021 From Comet Over Hollywood
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Musical Monday: West Side Story (1961)on May 3, 2021 From Comet Over Hollywood
It?s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals. In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals. This week?s musical: West Side Story (1961) ? Mus... Read full article
Classic Conversations: Two Award-Winning Costume Designers Re-Imagine ‘Rebecca’ and ‘West Side Story’By Danny Miller on Nov 14, 2019 From Classic Movie Hub Blog
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Field Trip: “West Side Story” at AMC River East 21 on the big screen June 24By Stephen Reginald on Jun 11, 2018 From Classic Movie Man
Field Trip: “West Side Story” at AMC River East 21 on the big screen June 24 West Side Story on the big screen Date: June 24 Where: AMC River East 21, 322 East Illinois, Chicago, IL Time: 2:00 p.m. This electrifying musical, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics from Stephe... Read full article
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Robert Wise's original choice to play Tony was Elvis Presley.
Jerome Robbins' propensity for filming and re-filming scenes in his quest for perfection led to the movie going over budget and falling behind schedule. Robbins was fired by Mirisch Pictures, the production company, when shooting was about 60% finished, and director Robert Wise completed the filming alone (the original arrangement had been for Robbins to direct all of the song-and-dance sequences and Wise to direct everything else).
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