Thursday, July 21, 2011

West Side Story (1961)

Notes: 7/21/11
Buoyant energy. Eye-popping choreography by Jerome Robbins.
George Chakiris, Rita Moreno, Russ Tamblyn – all powerhouse.
The dance: Tony and Maria across the room. Others blurred out.
Outstanding collaboration between directors Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins.
George gets the best outfits. Love the reds and purples.
Terrific end credits with graffiti and street signs.
Review: A
Buoyantly entertaining musical updates the Romeo and Juliet story to 1950s New York City. Opposing street gangs threaten to rumble when Tony (Richard Beymer), a former Jet, falls in love with Maria (Natalie Wood), whose brother is leader of the Sharks. Unforgettable songs and eye-popping choreography make this a classic film. Wood and Beymer are fine, but the best performances come from Russ Tamblyn as Riff, George Chakiris as Bernardo, and, especially. Rita Moreno as Anita. Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins share directing duties, blending filmmaking artistry with tremendous dance numbers.

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