West Side Story (1961) is an American musical romantic drama film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. With a screenplay by Ernest Lehman, the film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was inspired by Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. It stars Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris, and was photographed by Daniel L. Fapp in Super Panavision 70. The music was composed by Leonard Bernstein, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

West Side Story (1961)

Director: Robert Wise (1914-2005) was an American film director, producer, and editor. He is known for his work on films such as West Side Story (1961), The Sound of Music (1965), and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979).

Writer: Ernest Lehman (1915-2005) was an American screenwriter. He is known for his work on films such as North by Northwest (1959), The Graduate (1967), and Marathon Man (1976).

Release Date: West Side Story was released in the United States on October 18, 1961.

Domestic box office: West Side Story grossed $44.1 million at the box office in the United States.

The Good:

  • The film’s music and lyrics are iconic and timeless.
  • The film’s choreography is innovative and groundbreaking.
  • The film’s performances are all outstanding, particularly Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno.

The Bad:

  • The film’s ending is tragic and may be too much for some viewers.
  • The film’s portrayal of Puerto Ricans has been criticized as being stereotypical.

Top 5 Cast:

  • Natalie Wood as Maria
  • Richard Beymer as Tony
  • Russ Tamblyn as Riff
  • Rita Moreno as Anita
  • George Chakiris as Bernardo


  • “A masterpiece of American cinema.” – The New York Times
  • “A stunning and unforgettable film.” – The Washington Post
  • “A timeless classic that is as relevant today as it was when it was first released.” – The Hollywood Reporter
  • “A must-see for any fan of musicals or great cinema.” – Variety

Cinematic Importance: West Side Story is a landmark film that has had a significant impact on popular culture. The film’s music and lyrics are some of the most popular in the world, and the film’s choreography has been widely imitated. West Side Story is also a significant film in terms of its representation of race and ethnicity. The film’s portrayal of Puerto Ricans was groundbreaking for its time, and the film helped to raise awareness of the Puerto Rican community in the United States.

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