Maybe the last great classic Hollywood musical, the one that spilled the end of its childish innocence, far from the jet set. West Side Story takes the ballet popularized by Gene Kelly and charges it with so much violence and sexuality it's a wonder it was even released in 1961. But even here, American youth cannot escape the nation's past, like Broadway cannot escape Shakespeare. "I didn't believe hard enough."
Bernstein's score and Robbins masterful choreography cover up any flaws this baby may have. Worth seeing for the "Cool" number and the opening alone. Everything else is just the cherry on top of the proverbial sundae. One of the best ever, and perhaps my fav musical, though I am very partial to Gene Kelly's work. This and Young Girls of Rochefort showed that the musical could still be fresh and innovative in the 60s
Spellbinding orchestration, kinetic cutting, lively singing and groundbreaking choreography would normally earn this a five-star rating; too bad about the woefully miscast, ungainly toothsome and painfully bland Richard Beymer, who is impossible to buy both as an ex-Jet and a compelling love interest.
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.