West Side Story [50th Anniversary Edition] [3 Discs] [Blu-ray/DVD] [1961]

  • SKU: 3684958
  • Release Date: 11/15/2011
  • Rating: NR
$9.99
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
98% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (251 out of 257)

Special Features


  • Blu-ray: Feature Film & Special Features
  • Pow! The Dances of West Side Story In-Movie Viewing Mode
  • Song-specific Commentary by Stephen Sondheim
  • Music Machine
  • Blu-ray: Additional Special Features
  • A Place for Us: West Side Story's Legacy
  • Creation and Innovation
  • West Side Memories
  • Storyboard-to-Film Comparison Montage
  • DVD: Feature Film & Special Feature

Synopsis


West Side Story
Romeo and Juliet is updated to the tenements of New York City in this Oscar-winning musical landmark. Adapted by Ernest Lehman from the Broadway production, the movie opens with an overhead shot of Manhattan, an effect that director Robert Wise would repeat over the Alps in The Sound of Music four years later. We are introduced to two rival street gangs: the Jets, second-generation American teens, and the Sharks, Puerto Rican immigrants. When the war between the Jets and Sharks reaches a fever pitch, Jets leader Riff (Russ Tamblyn) decides to challenge the Sharks to one last "winner take all" rumble. He decides to meet Sharks leader Bernardo (George Chakiris) for a war council at a gymnasium dance; to bolster his argument, Riff wants his old pal Tony (Richard Beymer), the cofounder of the Jets, to come along. But Tony has set his sights on vistas beyond the neighborhood and has fallen in love with Bernardo's sister, Maria (Natalie Wood), a love that, as in Romeo and Juliet, will eventually end in tragedy. In contrast to the usual slash-and-burn policy of Hollywood musical adaptations, all the songs written by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim for the original Broadway production of West Side Story were retained for the film version, although some alterations were made to appease the Hollywood censors, and the original order of two songs was reversed for stronger dramatic impact. The movie more than retains the original choreography of Jerome Robbins, which is recreated in some of the most startling and balletic dance sequences ever recorded on film. West Side Story won an almost-record ten Oscars, including Best Picture, supporting awards to Chakiris and Rita Moreno as Bernardo's girlfriend, Anita, and Best Director to Robbins and Wise. Richard Beymer's singing was dubbed by Jimmy Bryant, Natalie Wood's by Marni Nixon (who also dubbed Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady), and Rita Moreno's by Betty Wand. The film's New York tenement locations were later razed to make room for Lincoln Center. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew


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



Overall customer rating

4.7
98%
would recommend to a friend
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent Blu-ray!

    Posted
    Mediaace
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    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    The image and overall audio quality on this Blu-ray disc is ALMOST as good as the 70mm screening I saw of "West Side Story" last year (2016) at the Somerville Theater in Davis Sq., Somerville, MA. My only complaint is that the DTS mix on the disc was inferior to the 6-track magnetic stereo mix I heard in the theater, where the voices follow the actors across the screen. For some insane reason, engineers make all the voices come out of the center channel instead of panning them across the sound stage, placing the dialog or singing in the appropriate area where the speech/singing is originating. Other than that minor detail, the sound is dynamic, and the picture crisp with excellent blacks, natural flesh tones, and no obvious edge enhancement. Hopefully when a 4K Blu-ray UHD disc is released, the sound mix will match the 70mm magnetic sound that is actually on the theatrical prints of the film.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Good Quality

    Posted
    Icefell
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    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Is 'West Side Story' perfect? No. But the film has certainly never looked better than it does in its current high-def incarnation, and there are plenty of jaw-dropping moments of vibrant color, razor-sharp clarity, and spectacular detail. Hues are brighter and truer than they were on the DVD, yet they maintain a winning naturalness. Yellows and purples are especially well rendered, and the tinted glass in Maria's apartment, as well as the shadows it emits during 'Somewhere,' provide lovely accents that enhance the frame without overpowering it. Fleshtones are spot-on and black levels are always solid and deep, with only an occasional instance of crush. Close-ups are gorgeous, even the ones filmed in soft focus; all exhibit marvelous detail and flaunt a hint of dimension that makes the intimate scenes even more immediate and potent.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Fine Wine! Rare Painting!

    Posted
    motionstories
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    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    "West Side Story" is timeless. As the years go by it just gets better and its value increases. Watching it on Blu-ray is dazzling! The colors, movement, and sounds are gorgeous. Even though I've watched it many times before, I felt like I was seeing a newly released movie for the first time. The story does not get old or stale. "West Side Story" is ageless and the 50th Anniversary Edition does not show its age packed with extras worthy of such a great film. There is so much that I am still enjoying the extras. For me it is the best musical of all time and nothing before, during, or after comes close. Movie makers seem to be on a trend to do remakes of hit movies updating them to the present. I am glad Hollywood has the wisdom not to try that with "West Side Story". "West Side Story" is in an elite category of films made at the right time, by the right people with extreme care and dedication to make one of the best motion pictures to stand for all time. All the pieces fit perfectly together to make a masterpiece!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Modernizing a classic!

    Posted
    cameranut
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    I'm 73 and people who grew up in my generation were treated to a number of top notch movie musicals which have now become classics. West Side Story is one of these motion picture gems, and some consider it to be the most acclaimed musical of all time! It is a dynamic Romeo and Juliet-type love story told against the background of 1950's gang warfare in New York, a timeless theme that is still contemporary today as it was when the film was released in 1961 A winner of 10 Academy Awards, the Blu-ray edition electrifies every song and dance number in modern high definition. A very fitting update to a cinematic masterpiece!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    One of the Most Influential Musicals Ever Made

    Posted
    Ethanplus1
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    What's not to say about West Side Story? It's absolutely flawless. I've been buying a few classic titles here & there on Blu-ray and I must say that the technicians behind these releases really know how to maintain the overall integrity of old Hollywood films transfered to today's format. The colors are very rich. The DTS HD master sound is staggering. The extra features are informative and add value to this release. I couldn't beat the price ($7.99) for a chance to own a piece of Hollywood history.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    Picture Has Been Altered

    Posted
    kevman79

    This full-screen version of 'West Side Story' presents the film in a format in which you lose almost 50% of the intended picture in every scene. For fans of this film, I recommend paying a little more money and getting the impressive special edition that not only offers the film in its original theatrical screen ratio of 2.35:1, but it also has tons of bonus features you're sure to enjoy.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A yesteryear classic.....

    Posted
    Moviewatchers
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    It's West Side Story...what else do you need to know? Romeo and Juliet for what was then modern times...the turning of a decade from the 50's to the 60's. 1961 it WON 10 Academy Awards including Best picture. A full fledged movie done in the style of a Broadway Musical and with today's technology...sit back, dim the lights and crank the stereo and blast those speakers...you'll feel like you're a part of "THE" West Side Story!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Oldie, but, goodie. One of the best musicals ever.

    Posted
    BigAl1234
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    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    If you are a musical buff and haven't seen this one...shame on you. This is one of the oldest and well made musicals ever made. Most musicals are based from the structure of West Side Story. Add this one to your collection. I had it on DVD; but, decided to get it in Blu-Ray for the clarity and sound.

    I would recommend this to a friend



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