West Side Story (1961)

West Side Story
Director: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise
Writer: Ernest Lehman
Based on: Jerome Robbins and Arthur Laurents‘ play, which is in turn based on William Shakespeare‘s Romeo and Juliet
Music by: Leonard Bernstein (music), Stephen Sondheim (lyrics)
Cast: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris

Maria (Natalie Wood) has recently come to New York from Puerto Rico to stay with her brother Bernardo (George Chakiris) who has already built his life in the city. Nardo’s life also involves leading a street gang – the Sharks who are the big enemy of the Jets, now led by Riff (Russ Tamblyn), after their former leader Tony (Richard Beymer) quit for a more trouble-free life. But then Maria and Tony meet at a dance and fall for each other immediately. But will their love be enough to bridge the rivalry?

I watched parts of West Side Story way back in school and basically all I could remember about it was the snapping fingers. But of course there is a whole lot more to the film and I’m glad I got to appreciate it in its entirety and even on a big screen.

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