West Side Story

If you wanna be a reductive little snot about it, yeah, you could describe West Side Story as a silly '60s exercise in slathering Shakespeare with hyper-sentimental song 'n' dance. And yeah, there's never not going to be something unintentionally comedic about watching two ruthless street gangs going to war via snaps and twinkle-toed dance steps. But there's a fuckin' reason this film has been considered a top-tier musical for the past 50-plus years, and it's because director Robert Wise, choreographer Jerome Robbins, composer Leonard Bernstein, and stars Rita Moreno (goddamn!), Natalie Wood, and Richard Beymer essentially perfected the form with their work in this picture. West Side Story is a triumph of slick, vivid artifice and a legitimate American epic. (Screens in 70mm) by Bobby Roberts
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Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise
Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn