West Side Story (1961) – Encore Review 3


“All of you! You all killed him! And my brother, and Riff. Not with bullets, or guns, with hate. Well now I can kill, too, because now I have hate! ” – Maria

Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (TV, Video, DVD, 26 May 2013, 26 Jun 2017, 30 Dec 2019 and 13 Dec 2021)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – Two rival gangs in New York City are split apart when one of the American boys and a Puerto Rican girl fall. in love.

My Take on it – Such an amazing production that still resonates so well even after 60 years.

This is a film that I recall seeing many times as a kid and after seeing it so many times  on TV and on stage along with listening to the soundtrack again again, I now know all of the lyrics so well.

The story is a great modern adaptation of Romeo and Juliet and feels even more relevant to our time because of the way it deals with racism and hate between rival ethnicities.

The songs are superb and help keep the flow of things moving at such a great pace that it constantly stays so poignant in all that it does because the lyrics are quite powerful.

The cast is also great with Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, George Chakiris and Rita Moreno helping keep things so emotional and powerful despite the light tone of it all.

The chemistry between Woods and Beymer is ecstatic and helps make a quite love like their feel even more realistic by the way it all plays out.

This is a film that I can watch over and over again and never get tired of it due to the [powerful message about both love and hate.

The film deservingly won 10 Oscars and the production is so amazing to watch because of how they make things resonate so well throughout.

Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Riff and Tony repeat an oath of loyalty to each other: Riff says “womb to tomb” and Tony answers “birth to earth.” On stage Tony’s original answer was “sperm to worm,” but this was changed for the movie because it was beyond the censorship standards of the time. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)

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