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West Side Story [Special Edition] [DVD] [1961]

Natalie Wood , Richard Beymer , Robert Wise , Jerome Robbins    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
Price: £5.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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West Side Story [Special Edition] [DVD] [1961] + West Side Story Original Soundtrack Recording
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Product details

  • Actors: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris
  • Directors: Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins
  • Format: PAL, Widescreen, Colour, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, English, German
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 17 Nov 2003
  • Run Time: 146 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000BZNDA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 720 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Product Description

Directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins from Ernest Lehman's spectacular screenplay, the film combines the unforgettable score of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim with Robbins' exuberant choreography to create a transcendent fusion of realism and fantasy that will forever be a feast for the eye, the ear, and ultimately, the heart. A triumph on every level, this electrifying musical sets the ageless tragedy of Romeo and Juliet against a backdrop of gang warfare in the slums of 1950's New York.
Special Features

Original film intermission.
'West Side Memories' retrospective documentary.
4 original theatrical trailer.
Production design and storyboard gallery montage.
Behind the scenes photo gallery.
Production design and storyboard gallery.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful sound ..... 9 Jan 2009
Format:DVD
The Academy got it right for once in 1961, crowning this masterpiece with 10 Oscars. All these years later, it looks and sounds absolutely stunning - slight reservations about Richard Beymer's Tony apart [I feel guilty about even saying that], it remains an almost flawless representation of what Hollywood does best. Of course, a great part of it is down to Leonard Bernstein's timeless score - Maria, Somewhere, Tonight, America - who could cram so many great songs into a musical these days? [What I've never understood is why Bernstein wasn't nominated for an Oscar]. Jerome Robbins's choreography is breathtaking and executed pefectly by the cast - look at the Cool sequence, particularly the tracking shot, and the exuberant America, and Robert Wise's direction was groundbreaking. Natalie Wood is wonderfully touching as Maria, Rita Moreno a peerless Anita, Russ Tamblyn and George Chakiris are both perfect, the supporting cast committed and working wonderfully as an ensemble.
No film musical has reached these heights since. For all its theatricality, I defy anyone to remain unmoved by the closing sequence. This is one of the indisputable classics of American cinema.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best film musical ever 25 Mar 2006
Format:DVD
What can you say about a film over 40 years old that still has the ability to captivate, excite and delight? The basic premise is that of romeo and juliet, brought into the 20th century new york gang culture. The Bernstein score still sounds fresh and vibrant, with it's jazzy yet flowing rhythms and melodies and the choreography is incredibly multi-layered but easy on the eye. The dancing is particularly impressive, with russ tamblyn and george chakiris leading the way. Okay, the singing voices of natalie wood and richard beymer are over-dubbed, but this should not detract from a musical which has the best score of any musical ever (great lyrics, too), and also some of the best choreography. A visual and aural treat.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
By Nigel Mc TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This review is for the recently released (I only got my pre-order yesterday) Blu-ray version of West Side Story. I couldn't wait to get the item out of its packaging and slotted into my Blu-ray player! I have waited years to watch this film in more or less the same video quality as I saw it on its release!

Well I would be less than honest if I didn't admit that some aspects of this film have become a bit dated. However, this is an absolute classic musical and there is so much to savour and enjoy. The music is magnificent as is the dancing and choreography.

The main purpose of this review is to pass comment on the quality of the new Blu-ray release. Is it worth the upgrade? My answer would be an emphatic `Yes'! The new release is superb. The colour palette is much improved with generally rich colours and good blacks and the picture is much sharper with better overall clarity. The sound quality is also excellent with a couple of options for the English listener. I chose the 7 track DTS default version which provided a very satisfying sound quality.

The new release comes with a modern picture in picture menu system and the useful `bookmark' feature so that you can personally mark all your favourite pieces. The film is presented in its original theatrical release complete with the intermission music. There are a whole host of extras which I have yet to view and my first impressions of this release are very favourable.
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76 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unique and magnificent 20 Dec 2005
By Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I remember seeing 'West Side Story' for the first time in a Glasgow cinema in the 1970s when I was about 18 and being bowled over by it. I had never seen anything like it - in particular, the energy and expressiveness of the dance sequences were a new experience for me. It mirrors the 'Romeo and Juliet' story (which I did know) cleverly and effectively - there's a Prince, a Friar Lawrence, a Nurse and so on. The music is marvellous and the central performances excellent. I'm glad that it is now known that Marni Nixon was the wonderful singer who sang for Natalie Wood (she deserves that credit), but this does not detract from the pathos of the actress's performance ; she looks and behaves exactly as Maria should. It was a ground-breaking musical when it came out and there has been nothing since quite like it, so to have it in DVD is not just good but essential.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must have for west side story fans 13 Jan 2004
Format:DVD
If you love west side story this collectors edition is for you. The accompanying scapbook is divine, full of lots of information about the casting and making of the film, the stage play, and the entire film script. Then when you are finished reading the book you can watch the magic. I bought this for my sister and kept it for myself, i just returned to buy another copy for her - hope it's here in time for her birthday! Sorry Liz!!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's a place for us 26 Sep 2005
By bernie TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
"There's a place for us, a time and place for us. Hold my hand and we're halfway there."
Music: Leonard Bernstein Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim

And there is a movie for us. "West Side Story" is a classic on too many levels to describe here. Everything from the music to the choreography to the actors to...

One big plus is even if the story line is a classic they did not try to duplicate Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet" with modern clothing. The movie still maintains the feel and action of the play.

This movie tells the story of two people Tony and Maria (Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood) from adverse backgrounds that fall in love. They must cope with their new feelings. And to complicit things they have trouble from their families and society. Will they overcome these things or will fait and circumstance thwart their efforts and tragedy arise?

I could write a book on what makes this movie great but it is best that you watch and judge for yourself.
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