West Side Story: everything that could be said about the story of Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ classic musical was already written about its remake, as the plot and characters are essentially the same. Suffice it to say, it is great. The music by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim has a few great tunes, and it is varied enough, giving the whole cast a reason to shine. Jerome Robbins’ choreography is powerful, dynamic. It is a good cast: Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer for a beautiful, charming, and convincing central couple; Russ Tamblyn and George Chakiris, as the opposing gang leaders, are solid and move fluidly; Rita Moreno is quite powerful in her role. Director of photography Daniel L. Fapp’s swooping camera captures the dance numbers well; editor Thomas Stanford gives the film a nice rhythm; it has that old school musical look.
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