West Side Story (1961) - Crime, Drama, Musical

Hohum Score



Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.

IMDB: 7.5
Director: Jerome Robbins
Stars: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris
Length: 153 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 30 out of 341 found boring (8.79%)

One-line Reviews (165)

If you like movies with great music, wonderful dancing and a compelling story, watch this movie.

The technical aspects like costume design, sound department and choreography is rich in details and makes its immensely entertaining at the largest scale possible.

One gets the impression immediately that this could be a 'pretentious' film.

The singing and dancing numbers of the gangs were always entertaining as they were able to successfully combine the comedy of a song and dance routine and the drama of gang violence, a great combination.

I thought the beginning was very long and dragged out as the two rival groups danced in the middle of New York.

West side story is worth watching and is a lot of fun, even young kids can watch it and i think it is a great children's movie.

Have to give a mention to Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno, as they were both really charming and stunning in the film.

The scene where Maria and Tony first meet at the dance, where the "I saw her through the crowd" cliche was created, is my favorite scene, you can see the two falling in love at first sight.

Taken as a whole, West Side Story is a layered, beautiful and bellicose film which dares to tell a familiar story with new story elements, exciting visuals and an infinity of blunt antagonism.

Directors Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise create a film completely visually stunning and unique.

It's stunning direction that creates a fresh and crisp feeling, which leaves the film with a beating pulse long even after you leave the theater or put the DVD back on the shelf.

Some of the effects at times were a little confusing and didn't really stand out as much as they should have.

The drama on West Side Story is pretty good, but the most amazing and enjoyable parts are the music and dancing.

The slower tempo songs have long since become a part of the established American songbook.

The script is smothered in cliché, especially when attempting to mimic teenage patter.

The stunning part, of course, is the finale, which still has the power to rip the breath from your body, even if you know it's coming.

The broader array of techniques available to filmmakers enhanced aspects such as colour, created the fast paced dramatic atmosphere that captivated the audience.

Soon, the two sides find themselves in a struggle while Maria and Tony (Beymer) create confusion with their love for each other.

Still breathtaking after so many years...

Love is innocent and touching, but hatred is far more passionate and more intensive in this story.

Every scene was more breathtaking than the last, making the film one of the greatest musical adaptations even today.

boring and stupid .

Entertaining and tragic, it's a strong film that is suitable for most ages.

Just so mind-numbingly dull.

The ethnic tensions, the intensity of the dialog, the snappy dancing, the actual time line of the story itself, condensed into a 24-hour period, makes for an exciting movie that keeps the audience engaged.

Starting with the highly dramatic overhead shots of Manhattan, the prologue is justly celebrated as a stunning expression of Robbins' genius in formulating dance moves that fluently convey the gangs' swagger and menace.

The dance number for, "When You're a Jet", is breathtaking.

She is charming and beautiful, with riveting, dark eyes that speak volumes about her character.

There's so much that goes into them it keeps you involved and are exciting to view.

Certainly, Tonight and America are great songs, but many of the other ones, especially the love songs, grew tiresome.

It is also a great musical that is filled with great acting and breathtaking music.

Final Say -Not for everyone and the victim of some unfortunately aged tendencies, West Side Story is still a major piece of cinematic history that takes a relatively small-scale story and turns it into something grand, operatic and exciting.

The jokes and intense action moments, between them, really does work.

Also, the cinematography is fast-timing, the editing is fast paced, the art direction is super, the sound is remarkable, the music is powerful, and the finale brings enough suspense, drama, and romance as an end to this most powerful musical.

When the story begins to progress, it becomes more and more fascinating through focusing of the lovers struggling to come together.

What a waste of young life.

And Moreno is in a class all her own as the fiery Anita; she dominates the screen whenever she is on, especially during the dance at the gym and in the rousing `America.

This was and still is one of the best and most entertaining musicals of all time.

The love story is here and it is as pure and touching as the two idealistic lovers, but ironically, their interaction tends to slow down a narrative that is more excitingly driven by the hateful passion inhabiting the two gangs.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable song.

The film itself is visually stunning.

Aside from Tony, Maria, Bernardo and a select few more, most of the characters are very two-dimensional and boring.

That alone,for my taste,makes it worth watching again.

Beymer also attempts to inject some heart into his role, but he's just a bit too bland and boy-next-door to really make an impact.

Her skillful dancing and Latin temperament are perfect for the character of Anita, a fiery lady who leads her girls in an exciting mambo dance...

The credit roll sequence is rather boring.


The musicality in the film was absolutely stunning.

The entire film is stunning, a model of great cinematography, editing, production.

You just wish the film revolved around only her somewhere else, away from this predictable excuse for a film.

The movie was fast-paced and suspenseful.

The choreography was enough to have you on the edge of your seat.

Everyone else, were all deadheads and made the movie a bore.

Natalie Wood succeeds inconsistently and unfortunately makes the lead character bland at time.

The movie is long, boring and uninteresting.

The music and lyrics are classics and the dialog is strong, relevant and entertaining.

Or perhaps it is because of the breathtaking choreography and direction by the show's original creator, Jerome Robbins; a true master of his craft who kept sections of his cast quarantined from one another to induce the tensions of intolerance, hatred and discontent among the many characters of this, his magnum opus.

As the overture plays, an abstract design on the screen changes color and becomes a breathtaking aerial view of the island of Manhattan...

Both he and Chakiris are riveting as they demonstrate poetry in motion, leading a pack of Edward Villela-like tough guys into athletic, gravity-defying dance moves.

WEST SIDE STORY is everything a musical should be - epic, colourful, heartfelt and packed to the brim with rousing music, singing and dance numbers.

The mixture of music and images is so compelling that the lacklustre lead performances don't really seem to matter unduly.

The exciting part is the various rumbles and the action before and after.

I have to admit that when I first saw West Side Story, I didn't like it, but there are other movies that I didn't like when they first came out such as Gigi, but as the years roll by, these movies now are very entertaining.

It is innovative in many ways, engrossing, captivating, and occasionally not-too-well-acted.

Electrifying, exciting, and in the end, stunning.

The film also dragged at certain points and was excessively too long.

The choreography, dancing and on location photography create excitement, but the story, an update of Romeo and Juliet, is trite, sugary and uninteresting.

While the concept and certainly the dialogue and plot of the story are hopelessly dated and contrived, there's no denying that the groundbreaking dynamic of this film stands the test of time and is a tribute to the craftsmen involved in creating it.

I also found many of the images to be dull.

An emotionally involving story underscored by a blood-stirring soundtrack, `West Side Story' is without question one of the all time great movie musicals, thoroughly entertaining and presented with the kind of flare that is rarely even attempted anymore.

But both are enjoyable to watch with large-scale choreography and a real sense of the nature of dance and the physical skills and stamina required to perform it.

Richard Beymer makes Tony too bland, the sort of young man who would be more at home in the Boy Scouts than in a gang of street fighters.

The music, the dancing, the engaging performances, it all comes together in this modern rendition of "Romeo And Juliet".

I found the dialogue uninspired and bland.

The story is brought to lively and vivid life by Robert Wise, one of the era's most reliable directors, and the transfer I watched makes it look absolutely stunning, with the huge street backdrops adding a really unique feel to the various choreographed numbers.

The Jets were a real gang in 1950s New York City, and its members were, no doubt, more exciting than these actors let on.

The tone is intense with scenes characterized with flash cuts and stark lighting changes.

I put this in the same category as Dances with Wolves which I also found boring.

The Movie gets kinda slow in the end, a bit TOO much dancing maybe?

At times, I found this movie downright boring, and especially in the beginning-middle, I was not always paying attention.

Quintet was thrilling also.

Some of the sequences are frustratingly long and slow the action, and the film does drag considerably in places.

Altogether a tearjerker (an age-old story) and an exciting, stimulating movie.

While even lovers of musical theatre, often cringe at movie adaptions, West Side Story is a riveting film with great performances from all quarters.

And there are gangs and it boring.

And the conclusion of the film, while predictable, because of the Shakespearian narrative, leaves you stunned by the incongruous power of silence.

Coupled with Jerome Robbins compelling choreography, extravagant and dazzling musical numbers which avoid the constrictions of stage boundaries, the two build momentum resulting in a captivating experience for the viewer.

I finally had some time to see this wonderful movie and I enjoyed it immensely.

The choreography is stunning.

She is charming and beautiful, with riveting, dark eyes that speak volumes about her character.

They bring a driving, intense energy to their roles, and all of their dancing is breathtaking.

Robert Wise directs flawlessly, Jerome Robbin's choreography is absolutely stunning and the score by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim will stay with you long after the film ends.

Watching the film today well-after the fact, its clear to see how such a vibrant, charismatic and fun film would've inspired a whole new generation of filmmaker's looking to tell their stories in ways that would've previously seemed impossible or too over the top and its exciting to think about the possibilities this world provides a filmmaker like Spielberg to envision for the big screen and fans of musical cinema have every right to be excited about what the great bearded one's remake is likely to do.


Even the dialogue has a kind of snappy rhythm to it, allowing the talkie scenes to flow straight into the musical numbers.

Listen very closely to the entertaining social commentary made by Stephen Sondheim.

It set a standard for stage and screen to be both entertaining and contemporary.

The musical numbers in this film are breathtaking from the tender 'Tonight' to the incredible 'America' which is a visual treat.

The choreography keeps you thrilled and is truly breathtaking at times.

It bored me stiff .

Still can't get past The Broadway aspect of the storytelling through hammy performance is not my taste, but it has its entertaining moments, It's when the Puerto Ricans and Rita Moreno tell us their perspective that I feel connected to the experience.

However, the picture is a fun and entertaining way to spend an afternoon while learning about the racial prejudices of the time.

This masterpiece is already 56 years old and as it happens with masterpieces, it has kept intact all of its energy all of its power and it remains a mind blowing novelty.

Moving and spectacular West Side Story is well worth watching.

Some of the film may not work, but what does work is breathtaking!

Though the most fascinating thing about "The West Side Story" is the smashing choreography.

In the movie, it is reduced to a sappy love song duet that is embarrassingly trite compared to the original ('cinematic' it always seemed to me) concept they dropped.

This film won a stunning 10 Oscars one off the all time record including best picture.

The tension builds and sustains right through – even after the rumble when things might be expected to flag it turns the screw immediately with another stunning number "Stay Cool, Boy" and then the scene in which Moreno almost gets raped.

West Side BORING .

Another overrated and boring flick to say the least so move along and see something else really.

There are some rousing, superlative dance sequences, but the fever they stir ultimately dissipates for the filmmakers to mechanically pump out the humdrum denouement to the contrived tragic trajectory of this, the soggiest of romances.

After the Overture, the film opens fairly silently with breathtaking (helicopter high) overhead views of Manhattan before the camera is focused - and zooms in - on a city playground (where the story later ends).

Way too long for this simple of a story .

"West Side Story" is enjoyable, and will survive as its stage version has before.

Richard Beymer, did a ho-hum job of portraying his character Tony.

stunning stuff .

All in all, no matter the similarities or differences between the film, West Side Story, and the play, Romeo and Juliet, the fact remains that both are exquisite and as intriguing as the other.

Dull, and a classic example of why I generally dislike musicals .

They were written, so bland, with little to no personality, besides looking innocent and in love.

The story line is compelling and the film is well cast.

The dancing was cool but songs were kinda boring and Its way too long when it didnt have to be.

Big and flashy, but also heavy and tiresome...

Nevertheless, in terms of its musical and dance numbers, it is the most difficult and exciting musical ever written.

The Romeo and Juliet inspired story is compelling, the colourful settings and costumes are sensational, the choreography for the dancing and dance style fights are terrific, and the songs, many that I recognised, including "Maria" (which I heard sung on Britain's Got Talent), "Tonight" (number 61 on 100 Years, 100 Songs), "America" (number 35 on 100 Years, 100 Songs), "I Feel Pretty" and "Somewhere" (number 20 on 100 Years, 100 Songs, which I heard the music of on Britain's Got Talent) are fantastic, it is a wonderful musical romantic drama.

After taking a Shakespeare course in college and seeing two Romeo and Juliet films (Franco Zeffirelli's classic plus the modern Leonardo DiCaprio version), I decided that West Side Story was worth watching.

"America" is done on a rooftop, "Officer Krupke" is set on a single front stoop, and the Dance at the Gym [aka the Capulet's Ball] is genuinely exciting.

Thrilling musical drama .

One thing you will also find yourself liking is the choreography during the singing, it was warm and enjoyable.

" but John Astin's goofy role at the dance, Chita Rivera's stunning performances, and "Officer Krupke" allow me to forgive any and all few flaws.

Joined by a wonderful Rita Moreno, (who decades later starred in the stunning HBO series OZ) Natalie Wood sadly never appears fully comfortable as the Latino Maria,with Wood being very fond of overusing "big hand" gestures.

An emotionally involving story underscored by a blood-stirring soundtrack, "West Side Story" is without question one of the all time great movie musicals, thoroughly entertaining and presented with the kind of flare that is rarely even attempted anymore.

It might not be the best movie musical ever made, but its one of the most easily accessible and enjoyable and a very clear touchstone for many that followed, even the colour and tone of modern classic La La Land can be found here in this epically staged ride.

The music and the dancing were very repetitive.

" The story within "West Side Story" is much more compelling and touching.

West Side Story is a dull modern version of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet".

From the opening overture, Bernstein's jazzy/Latin americana score is a thrilling, awe-inspiring masterpiece with imaginative tempos, lyrical melodies, and unforgettable songs.

Looking under the glitz and Hollywood glamour, behind the curtain, you start to notice how artificial and contrived this production was.

But West Side Story did have some entertaining dancing and choreography, and some great music and singing as well.

Riveting and easily to relate to.

Having said that, the overall messages of the story, as well as the fantastic songs, do provide for enjoyable viewing and it is incredibly moving.

And Moreno is in a class all her own as the fiery Anita; she dominates the screen whenever she is on, especially during the dance at the gym and in the rousing "America.

West Side Story: A classic picture with a stunning musical score and message that will stand the test of time!

And all you can come to is that it was a good damn entertaining and absorbing movie.

Their riveting and fierce portrayals of a fiery couple outshone their leading counterparts.

But if you can manage to get into the artistic spirit of the thing, it's an extremely enjoyable movie.

The dance is masculine and exciting, and there is never any evidence of any of these men being any less than macho.

Above all, Bernstein's music is breathtaking and unique, sweeping from gangster slang through lively Hispanic dances to luminous love songs.

They range from jazzy and feverish to lyrical to comical, and they are all richly evocative of the film's moods and characters...

But frankly, I fell asleep about 30 minutes from the end.

The music is breathtaking with at least three show-stopping numbers.

Dreary and dated drama wed to spectacular music and dance.

The choreography, gang posturing in your face rhythms, the dancing is breathtaking.

No one has topped the opening of the film with the stunning Saul Bass "titles", a simple abstract view of New York's skyline that changes color before announcing WEST SIDE STORY as the final moments of overture sound and then the breathtaking almost silent overhead shot of New York that zooms into the opening dance sequence..It remains as powerful a film today as in 1961.

WEST SIDE STORY is a one-of-a-kind gem of its genre, directors Jerome Robbins (who was fired owing to that his multiple shooting of every scene was be too pricey for its budget) and Robert Wise (substituted Robbins in the director chair and who would bring us another musical classic THE SOUND OF MUSIC 1965, 8/10) do make wonders and concoct this movie-and-Broadway hybrid with an almost peerless upshot, a marvellous achievement in spite of the thorny multitasking of acting and entertaining.

The hint of reconciliation between the Jets and the Sharks is utterly contrived and does not do anything to add a satisfactory climax.

From beginning (with the establishing shots of NY) to end (with the wonderfully done end credits) this is a breathtaking film.

Beymer is fine in a role that is pretty dull until the last reel, at which point he acquits himself well.

Utterly entertaining, and beautifully filmed, "West Side Story" is a remarkable and entertaining movie for everybody.

The streets of the city are empty except for the gangs--nothing seems to happen outside of their little world.

Most Unusual Musical: a Dance Adventure cum Love Story; Exciting .

Ultimately, aside from the singing and dancing, the film really drags with far too many characters and caricatures crowding the screen making the star crossed lovers Tony and Maria peripheral characters which may be a blessing because Wood and Beymer are a dull pair and Beymer is not persuasive as a former gang leader even if the Jets are the Dead End Kids with ballet training.

I highly recommend it to everyone who appeciates beautiful things, and truly - "When you're a Jet, you stay a Jet!!

If they were so bored--- get a job.

And at least Anita and Bernardo are compelling characters.