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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 8.82%
Average: 22.06%
Pretty Bad: 1.47%
Total Crap: 16.18%

3 reviews, 50 user ratings

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West Side Story
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Greg Muskewitz

3 stars

Judging by the turnout, or moreover those who came out for this (save for a gleek of “urban homies” who were expecting something a little more west from the westside, possibly mistaking this for a shoot ‘em up ghetto story with Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J or Dr. Dre), it could fairly be argued that it has its own cult following. (Call it a ‘snap-along.’)

Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise’s modernized (for its day and time) and musicalized “Romeo and Juliet,” (with the music by Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein) breaks the two families down to the whites/Jets, and the Puerto Ricans/Sharks. The gang rivalry and musical melee mushrooms even broader when the Romeo of the Jets falls in love with the Juliet of the Puerto Ricans, and the doomed lovers endeavor to make the best of their respective dilemmas whilst trying to change their cohorts’ minds to match the conformity of their own. West Side Story fairly represents both POVs, flip-flopping to make each side look as foolish as the next, or to frustratingly express their own difficulties and repression as to what is proceleusmatic to their deportment. Unfortunately, both sides are offered up in a highly, thickly designed stereotypes (heavier than even Natalie Wood’s dark make-up), with the Puerto Rican hackneyed image tipping the scales. (Some of the actors use what’s closer to a Transylvanian dialect rather than a Spanish accent.) Ultimately, there are too many musical numbers, with a song-and-dance ingenite out of nearly every single scene, without a remaining drop to squeeze out at the end. The memorable sequences will stay with you after, but the mediocre and prosaic are mood-altering and too close in contiguity. At least, for the most part that is, the camera is relatively content to be unobtrusive in tracking and tailing the dances, never getting too carried away and opting to participate as well. The color cinematography adds a character of its own to the ensemble, but it is pasty and smudgy, making its presence unintentionally inauspicious—only another disappointment to add to the list.

With Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, Ned Glass and Susan Oakes.

Final Verdict: C+.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 11/10/01 05:10:45
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User Comments

2/15/12 M. West Side Story--The Classic that Never Grows Old! 5 stars
1/30/11 Linda J The is my favorite movie of all time 5 stars
8/17/10 M. I love it! 5 stars
6/01/10 User Name Shakespeare on the streets. 4 stars
5/17/09 M. The MGM adage "Unlike other classics, West Side Story grows younger" is so true! 5 stars
12/07/08 Merissa Conrow Thrilling, and a great Love Story 5 stars
6/22/08 M. West Side Story is my alltime favorite film, hands down. 5 stars
1/17/08 Ionicera if it had been only songs, it would have been a 5 4 stars
5/01/07 alfredo rubion ah....its so very nice i lke the musical play and its acy just like romeo and juliet upgrad 5 stars
1/29/07 Steph One of the GREATEST musicals ever made. Better than any movie I've ever seen. Classic. 5 stars
1/27/07 action movie fan dm is right great romeo and juliet based classic always moves me-the best of 1961 5 stars
5/19/06 Serenity Lyant The dancing waz Blah and the Plot was stupid it disgraced the Image of Shakespeare's R & J 1 stars
1/03/06 Daveman Despite its faults, the music, choreography and cinematography are second to none. 5 stars
5/26/05 Emily it's really dumb n cheesey 1 stars
3/04/05 Chris Stephens classic musical 4 stars
2/23/05 Joseph Venanzi skarks vs. jets better than red sox vs. yankees 5 stars
2/16/05 Miranda Lahr I feel pretty ohhh so prettttty! classic, thats all i have to say 5 stars
2/15/05 Carolyn Rathburn Another classic musical, very sad, very poagnant. 5 stars
2/12/05 J. Elaine Greenup Very boring 1 stars
11/14/04 Sally Lovely 5 stars
11/14/04 Amanda A True Classic! I Love this movie! Classic cast! 5 stars
10/03/04 Daveman The most well written (in terms of both music and dialogue), well directed musical ever. 5 stars
9/10/04 Rob Smythe Exceptional dancing, great music, you must accept the dance as symbolic, not gang behavior 5 stars
9/01/04 Jana Banana Pretty crappy really, boring, unrealistic stoy line. Overall piece of crap 1 stars
6/02/04 shaky shaky goddess well i thought it was ok.. well no i didn't ! it sucked@ i thought Gili was betterthanthat 1 stars
5/27/04 t i really disliked this musical..i thought it was quite ridiculous 1 stars
5/07/04 DM Kickass musical, anybody who doesn't like it can go fuck him/herself 5 stars
12/09/03 john this is a great musical and I don't even like musicals - great music! 5 stars
12/03/03 peter haynes cheesey music, wooden acting hard not to stop watching 1 stars
11/19/03 Stacy this move is the bomb, i love it 5 stars
11/14/03 I Would Grease gets a better rating from this site than West Side Story? Fuck off! 5 stars
10/13/03 Shadaan Felfeli Technically brilliant and thoroughly entertaining.It cater's to everyone. 5 stars
6/24/03 CHINA it wakes up your sences 5 stars
4/02/03 Samantha S. A great movie dispite its failure to show reality of "gangster" life. 4 stars
4/02/03 Howie it sux, a waste of time, needed newer songs 1 stars
3/13/03 mandi wonderful movie!!!!!! 5 stars
3/13/03 danielle debruyn i hate it 1 stars
1/14/03 Charles Tatum Long and a little dull 3 stars
7/08/02 Timeless...charismatic, tragedy and triumph 5 stars
7/03/02 Frances this is fuckin awful shit, the guys are so gay, the music is crap and so is the singing. 1 stars
6/16/02 Rosa Muniz Very chesy should have gotten a real latin girl 3 stars
5/16/02 Butterbean A goofy flick that didn't practice what it preached when they cast Wood as a Puerto Rican 2 stars
4/21/02 R.W. Welch Very strong score and choreography; the two leads are less impressive. 4 stars
3/30/02 Allie Timeless Classic!! I Loved It!! 5 stars
3/25/02 Zachary I love this flick 5 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Some good choreography. Nice tunes. 4 stars
2/02/02 Andrew Carden It Was OK...I'am Waiting For The All-Jew Version: Upper East Side Story. 3 stars
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  18-Oct-1961 (NR)
  DVD: 01-Apr-2003

  27-Feb-1962 (PG)

  06-Jun-1962 (PG)

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