West Side Story was inspired by Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet. The story is set in the Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City in the mid-1950s, an ethnic, blue-collar neighborhood
The story tells the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two street gangs of immigrants from different ethnic backgrounds, Poland and Puerto Rico
West Side Story (1961) is an quintessential American musical with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by the master himself, Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and conception and choreography by Jerome Robbins. The musical (1949) was inspired by William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. It is set in the Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City in the mid-1950s, an ethnic, blue-collar neighborhood. The rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two street gangs of immigrants from different ethnic backgrounds makes the story surprisingly contemporary. The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre. The story is set on the interface of the Left and Right view of man. The theme is well explored throughout the film.
In "America" Anita embraces the American Way of Life, where man has free will and is offered an open space to individually explore the pursuit of happiness.
George Chakiris and Rita Moreno got Oscars for their roles as Bernardo and Anita.
In "Officer Krupke" fun is poked at the Leftist view of man as a victim of society and a slave of his genes and passions.
The Jets mock the kinds of excuses authorities use to rationalize the existence of hoodlums. Sondheim's lyrics are witty and spot on.
IMDb - Official website
The dance scenes in 16 parts
In "The Making of West Side Story" the composer, Leonard Bernstein tells his own story while recording the musical with a number of famous opera singers. We see a young Jose Carreras and Kiri Te Kanawa
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