West Side Story 1961 musical film of based on the stage musical by the same name. It stared Natalie Wood as Maria, Richard Beymer as Tony, Rita Moreno as Anita, George Chakiris as Bernardo, and Russ Tamblyn as Riff. It won 10 Academy Awards out of the 11 nominations it had. The book of the musical written by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The inspiration for the story was William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
The story takes place in New York City in the 50s focusing in on the gang rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks. These two gangs come from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds and fail to see their similarities. The Sharks are first-generation Americans from Puerto Rico. The Jets are Caucasians who consider themselves the true Americans. Caught in between this battle are Tony and Maria. Tony is a Jets who falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo who is the leader of the Sharks.
This film is a must see for not only musical lovers but for anyone who loves cinema. I can watch this film over and over again. If you have cable then you are in luck. TCM will show West Side Story this Tuesday at 8pm EST, 5PST.
A rival of West Side story is currently running on Broadway and a national tour will start soon. For more info on the stage show click here.
Also check out a great documentry called West Side Menories. Ovation TV shows the doc quite often.
"Something's Coming"-song from Westside Story