Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Classic Film Review: West Side Story

A local theatre is showing classic films on the big screen for just $4, so I decided to go and see "West Side Story". This musical was made in 1961 and the music is by Leonard Bernstein and the lyrics are by Steven Sondheim. The choreography is by Jerome Robbins. No wonder this is considered a classic. It is a gem of a film with incredible performances. The film has the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, 2 New York street gangs. Tension arises when Tony and Maria fall in love since she is Latino and he is not. The screen is packed with talented singers, dancers and actors. It is a film with moments of romance, suspense, glee and sadness. Surprisingly, most of the cast from this film did not go on to be well known with the exception of Natalie Wood (Maria) and Rita Moreno (Anita). It's a love story between Tony and Maria, but it's also about street gangs in New York, whites vs. Puerto Ricans, cops vs. society, interracial relationships, and youth in rebellion. The movie featured many songs which are well known still today, over 50 years later. The soundtrack includes "I Feel Pretty", "America", "There's a Place for Us", "Something's Coming", "Tonight" and more. The soundtrack spent 54 weeks at number 1 on the Billboard album charts. If you get a chance to see this on the big screen, do it. Watching it is a delight.

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