Film adaptation of the popular Broadway musical resulted in ten Oscars and iconic status as a classic film musical. The Bernstein score, Sondheim lyrics, Robbins choreography and fairly strong casting let this one stand the test of time. Best in show cast wise would be Rita Moreno in her Oscar winning role.
Interesting adaptation from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It's predictable but heck, this is a musical. I don't really expect too complicated story from musical... and it's kinda growing on me after I watched it again and again.
Wanna know why its great? Try sitting through Hello Dolly, South Pacific, Mame, Oklahoma, or any other Broadway-to-screen adaption that feels like it has cement shoes on...and notice what an effortless joy West Side Story is.
Probably the best Broadway musical before Sondheim. I loved this film when I first saw it in the 60s, but it has dated quite badly since then and one song, "Gee Officer Krupke", is so embarrassing you want to put a pillow over your face and scream. Having re-seen it recently on quite a good quality re-mastered DVD, the lip synchronisation is poor - and it is painfully obvious Natalie Wood is NOT singing her songs.