“West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition” released in Blu-ray and DVD on November 15, 2011 from Twentieth Century Home Entertainment. Twenty-three minutes into “West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition,” we meet Tony (Richard Beymer) and a half hour in Maria (Natalie Wood) makes her entrance which is where the movie really starts.
Maria & Tony vs. Sharks & Jets
Thirty-nine minutes in, after some tedious dance numbers, Maria (whose brother is the leader of the Sharks) sees Tony (formerly of the Jets) across a crowded dance floor. They dance to a perky instrumental version of “Maria” and fall in love.
Great Musical Numbers
The movie picks up here and some of the best songs in musical theater ensue: “Maria,” “America,” “Tonight,” “I Feel Pretty,” “One Hand, One Heart” and “There’s a Place for Us” — timeless songs which are as popular now five decades after its historic debut as they were 50 years ago — songs that are still a part of American pop culture.
West Side Story’s Christian Values
The movie depicts the Christian values of Maria’s Puerto Rican family through her prayers and her asking Tony if he goes to church as a way to please her Papa, even while her brother has been sucked into a world of gang violence.
“Romeo & Juliet” Meets Broadway
“West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition” is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set against a backdrop of racial gang warfare in 1950’s New York. Full of romance, music, drama, tragedy and too many dance scenes, “West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition” is based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name.
- West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition – a Review
- Review Copy