Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|West Side Story |
Special Edition Collector's Set
Actors: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno
Directors: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise
Genres: Classics, Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
This brilliant (The New Republic) film sets the ageless story of Romeo and Juliet against a backdrop of gang warfare in 1950s New York. Directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins and scripted by Ernest Lehman, the film c... more »
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WEST SIDE STORY Impresses
Matt Howe | Washington, DC | 04/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow. What a great DVD.The one hour documentary featuring interviews with some of the cast, Robert Wise, Harold Prince, Sondheim, and some key crew members is completely engrossing. Home movie footage showing the filming of the movie is included. Examples of the techniques that the movie makers used to film a musical are fascinating. I was amazed that the knife scene, for example, is COMPLETELY counted out and the actor/dancers' movements were choreographed down to the second (breath, two, three, four; stab, two three; look, two, three, four). Incredible! Rita Morena is particularly informative regarding the dubbing of her song "A Boy Like That". The Robbins/Wise codirecting of the film is explained. And some of Natalie Wood's original vocals are included. The documentary is invaluable for fans of the film.As for the film itself, it looks and sounds incredible on my widescreen HDTV. The anamorphic transfer is very good.The DVD is packaged very well. The book which accompanies the set is very cool, with a great introduction by screenwriter Ernest Lehman (who is one of my movie heros).I'm very impressed with this special edition of WEST SIDE STORY. The film is a classic, and deserves such treatment."
THE Musical, As It Should Be Presented
Dean Anderson | New York, New York | 12/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""West Side Story" is proof that the sum of its parts can not only be greater than the whole, but possibly be the greatest!
Little known writer in Elizabethian England pens a drama about two star-crossed lovers. Flash ahead to the turbulent streets of New York in the late 1950s and early 60s. Turn feuding families to rival gangs. Add music, choreography, make it vital. Then find a brilliant director who knows what to show, and watch as it takes home every Oscar it can.
We know the story of this film but what's important for you to know about here are the extras you get in this package that make it worth your while: The first disc is the film, preserved perfectly. And the second disc has your special features.
First, you get a great documentary on the making of the film. Titled "West Side Memories," Principals like Sondheim, Moreno, Chakiris, Beymer and more sit before the cameras and explain the process of preparing and executing what could be the finest example of the Hollywood Musical, ever. It's a piece that's could have been a stand alone DVD, it's so rich with insights.
You also get an interesting "Storyboard to Film" montage, where you see the artist's renderings of the scenes, and how those shots looked when they appeared in the film. You get to study these storyboards more carefully in several galleries on the disc. Lots of other goodies, like the theatrical trailers and photos galore... everything from Jerome Robbins's cattle call for dancers to location shots during production!
And if that wasn't enough, there's a massive book that comes with the set, that includes the complete script of the film, the original lobby brouchure that theater patrons who attended the film received, which has more photos and info, and the newspaper clippings lauding the film as it took its place in movie musical legend.
It's simply a valentine to a remarkable film, and a fantastic package, all the way around.
An unmatched musical
Jublistic | New Zealand | 03/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"West Side StoryScore: 86/100In 1961, West Side Story, this endearing classic, garnered a total of ten academy awards, which is one of the most plausible amounts ever. The film is now terribly ignored by audiences, but for me, West Side Story set a standard that remains, most likely, unsurpassed in movie musicals. It's that good.West Side Story is a musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet set in New York City, where rival street gangs - the American Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks - battle for territory and respect. Is the love affair between former Jets leader Tony (Richard Beymer), and Maria (Natalie Wood), sister to Sharks' leader Bernardo, doomed to failure? Well, you're doomed until you find out, so grab this movie as soon as you.West Side Story is a truly electrifying piece of cinema, it sets ageless tragedy on the slums of New York in the 1950's and does it maturely and with stunning style. The violence and some unnecessary language may slightly falter it, but Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's unforgettable score, which includes such famous songs as Maria, America and Tonight, and Jerome Robbins' exuberant chereography makes up for whatever may put the film down. Performances are no problem for these now-crinkly actors; Natalie Wood captures Maria with such heartbreaking richness that makes her performance ignored beauty, while Richard Beymer is excellently controlled in his performance as the confused but honest Tony. Oscar-winners Rita Moreno and George Chakiris both make sure this film is satisfying in supporting performances as well.West Side Story is a lovely film that remains a feast for the eye, the ear and, ultimately, the heart."
A 'Special Edition' for a very Special Movie!
Kenneth M. Gelwasser | Hollywood, Fl USA | 05/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Its hard to review a film like "West Side Story, that has been cannonized as a film classic. All I can do is try to relate the joy, energy and wonder I feel everytime I view this movie. This is one of those rare instances in film history, where commerce/box office success intersects with great art to create an entertainment legacy, that is truely special. We all pretty much know the story. It is a modern, musical retelling of Shakesphere's Romeo and Juliet.Instead of aristocratic families, we have poor NYC youth gangs(Jets & the Sharks), who battle for territory and respect.Two young lovers (Tony & Maria) from the opposite sides try to end the violence, but ultimately their love cannot overcome hate and biogtry.Where do you start with what makes this movie great? Do you begin with the talented youthful cast? Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood both are wonderful as the young lovers, who make the ultimate sacrifice. Likewise Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno and George Chakiris give amazing performances as young people, who are caught up in a world that dosn't seem to understand their need to explode in violence. The entire cast is just fantastic and never gives us a false note of acting. Then there is the music. The Leonard Bernstein/ Stephen Sondheim songs such as"Tonight", "Maria", "America", "Somewhere" and the rest of the score have become enshrined in our cultural consciousness. Everytime I watch this movie I unknowingly start singing along to those wonderful tunes, that just seem to stick in your brain and make your toes tap. Finally there is the brilliant Choreogaphy of Co-Director, Jerome Robbins. The only word that comes to mind is 'GENUIS', when I see the dancing at the gym or during the songs "America" and "Cool".How did he get the actors to move like that? The story, music and dancing all comes together under the artistry of Robbins and his Co-Director Robert Wise, who both share the responsiblity for the creation of this filmmaking masterpiece."West Side Story" has now been lovingly remastered in a 'Special Edition', two DVD set.If you are a fan of this movie, then you will be in heaven with the tons of extras included. Most prominent is a great one hour documentary called "West Side Memories", which includes both home movies, original vocal soundtracks, and interviews from actors and production people. Also included along with the DVDs is a 150 page book, that has the script, publicity materials and reviews from the original film release. If you are a fan of "West Side Story" or classic movies in general, then I highly recommend this 'Special Edition'!"