Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer star in this Academy Award-winning musical drama adapted from the Broadway stage show. A neighbourhood in Manhattan, New York, provides the setting for a love affair between Tony (Beymer) and Maria (Wood), a young man and woman caught on opposite sides of a gang war. Maria is the sister of Bernardo (George Chakiris), leader of the Sharks, and Tony is the best friend of Riff (Russ Tamblyn), leader of the Jets. The two gangs are sworn enemies, and nothing Maria or Tony can say will dissuade them from the violence which leads to the film's heartbreaking finale. The film won ten Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Score.
The winner of 10 Academy Awards, this 1961 musical by choreographer Jerome Robbins and director Robert Wise (The Sound of Music
) remains irresistible. Based on a smash Broadway play updating Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
to the 1950s era of juvenile delinquency, West Side Story
stars Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer as the star-crossed lovers from different neighbourhoods--and ethnicities. The film's real selling points, however, are the highly charged and inventive song-and-dance numbers, the passionate ballads, the moody sets, colourful support from Rita Moreno, and the sheer accomplishment of Hollywood talent and technology producing a film so stirring. Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim wrote the score. --Tom Keogh