Best Movies by Farr
West Side Story Poster
Released Runtime Category
1961 151 Romance, Musicals
Director Language
Jerome Robbins English
Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, Russ Tamblyn, George Chakiris

West Side Story

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What's it About

This landmark musical updates the "Romeo and Juliet" story to the gang-infested streets of New York's Spanish Harlem in the 1950s. Here, the Caucasian Jets and Puerto Rican Sharks battle each other for territory with fists and switch-blades. On neutral ground at a community dance, former Jet Tony (Beymer) sees Maria (Wood), sister to Shark leader Bernardo (Chakiris), and it's mutual love at first sight. Yet this forbidden romance must remain secret to prevent bloodshed. The question is: how long can their feelings for each other remain in the shadows?

Why we love it

Adapted by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins from the long-running Broadway play, this triumphant production combines a brilliant score and jaw-dropping choreography with a heart-rending tale of doomed love. The leads work well together, with Wood particularly effective, but supporting players Russ Tamblyn (as Jet leader Riff), Chakiris, and Rita Moreno (as Bernardo's sassy girlfriend Anita) virtually eclipse the stars with their intense moves and portrayals. This vibrant film is also elevated by an unsurpassed, evergreen Bernstein/Sondheim score. Winner of a staggering ten Oscars, including Best Picture.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"