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55 Essential Movies to Show Your Child Before Age 13

West Side Story (1961)


Director: Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise
Stars: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Rita Moreno
152 mins., not rated

Musicals aren't all singin' in the rain and singin' under the sea and singin' while fleeing the Nazis on foot across the Alps. They can also be weighty, dramatic, and dark—and sometimes, they don't come with a pat happy ending. Enter West Side Story, perhaps the finest movie musical ever made—a modernized Romeo and Juliet that shifts the action from fair Verona to the streets of New York City circa 1957. Although our list thus far has included plenty of indelible musical scores—admittedly, none finer than Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's work here—West Side Story can also serve as an introduction to the wonders of dance choreography, courtesy of Robbins' poetic street ballets. —Hillary Busis

http://www.ew.com/gallery/55-essential-movies-show-your-child-age-13/717758_west-side-story-1961

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