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Two Featurettes And A Review Of The Blu Ray

Exclusive Blu-Ray Clip: How Jerome Robbins Choreographed West Side Story's Rumble

Author: Katey Rich

One of the best movie musicals in history is finally coming to Blu-Ray this week, as the West Side Story 50th Anniversary Edition hits the shelves today, November 15, in gorgeous high definition. Not only is the film restored to gorgeous quality, but the disc includes a ton of bonus features, like a piece about the film's legacy, song-by-song commentary from legendary lyricist Stephen Sondheim, and a series of featurettes about the dances in the film. We've got an exclusive clip from one of those featurettes to show you, in which several choreographers retell the story of how choreographer and co-director Jerome Robbins incorporated classical dance movement in the Rumble scene, even after he had been fired from the production.
The dance-fighting style from West Side Story has become so iconic that it's hard to remember how revolutionary it was at the time, or how gritty and realistic the film's depiction of gang warfare seemed-- it looks stylized now, but no movie musical had ever before literally taken its story to the streets. Even though West Side Story is based around the gang violence issues that were in the headlines in 1961, it's a real testament to the musical's genius that it remains incredibly relevant and touching today.

Exclusive Clip from West Side Story’s 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray: Remembering Natalie Wood

We’ve long admired Natalie Wood’s ability to freak the hell out in a bathtub, but she’s most known for her roles in Rebel Without a Cause and West Side Story — the latter of which is celebrating its golden anniversary this fall. In this exclusive clip from the new 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray, we learn that Mrs. Robert Wagner and her costar Richard Beymer did not get along. Also: Beymer is holding up very well 50 years later!

It breaks my heart a little to learn that Beymer and Wood didn’t get along. Surely he was not invited to hang out at Roddy McDowall’s pad with Judy Garland and Paul Newman.

West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition – Blu-ray

Jeff Bayer

West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition – Blu-ray

Directed by: Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins
Cast: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer
Running Time: 2 hrs and 32 mins
Rating: Pg
Due Out: November 15, 2011

PLOT: (from news release) This film sets the ageless story of “Romeo and Juliet” against a backdrop of gang warfare in 1950’s New York. A love affair is fated for tragedy amidst the vicious rivalry between two street gangs – the Jets and the Sharks. When Jets member Tony (Richard Beymer, The Longest Day) falls for Maria (Natalie Wood, Splendor in the Grass), the sister of the Sharks leader, it’s more than these two warring gangs can handle. As mounting tensions rise, a battle to the death ensues and innocent blood is shed in a heartbreaking finale.

WHO’S IT FOR? Anyone who wants to watch own on of the most beloved musicals of all time.


I was lucky. I didn’t know it at the time. In fact, I thought I was being punished. Every once in a while, my parents sat me down and made me watch a classic movie. I know, pretty rough childhood. One of the films was West Side Story. With the introduction that just wouldn’t stop, I remember thinking this was worse than spinach. After the two and a half hours, West Side Story had another fan. I was probably eight. The beauty of this film is the black/white perspective, until we finally see the shades of grey. At least that’s how I remember it then, and even now that I have watched it nearly 20 years later.

Time hasn’t been perfectly kind to the acting in West Side Story. The melodrama has hit a level certain level of “cheesy” but 50 years will do that do a film. In this film death is almost ignored. The Jets and the Sharks are kids, who don’t rationalize violence and death for what it actually is. Noticing the “cheese” as I have put it, doesn’t hurt the film, it just makes it dated. This happens to many movies and doesn’t for one second diminish the beauty and most importantly, the dance numbers in West Side Story. Plus, the extras are where this Blu-ray becomes worth owning. You can watch the movie with the extra “Pow! The Dances of West Side Story. That means every time there is a dance number, you’ll get extra commentary from people involved with the film and contemporaries who were influences by it. That alone it worth the purchase.



Blu-ray Extras

ALL-NEW: Pow! The Dances of West Side Story – cast members, contemporary filmmakers, dancers and choreographers analyze and illuminate the film’s famous dance sequences.

Dance At the Gym
Tony and Maria’s Cha Cha
The Rumble
Maria’s Roof Dance

ALL-NEW: A Place for Us: West Side Story’s Legacy – a look back at the iconic film and the impact it has had all over the world
Creation and Innovation
A Timeless Vision

Song Specific Commentary by Lyricist Stephen Sondheim
The Jet Song
Something’s Coming
Dance At the Gym
Gee, Officer Krupke
I Feel Pretty
One Hand, One Heart
A Boy Like That / I Have A Love

Music Machine – allows viewers to go straight to their favorite musical numbers

West Side Memories
Storyboard to Film Comparison Montage

Original Theatrical Trailer
Original Issue Trailer
Reissue Trailer
Animated Trailer

© Copyright 2011 — The Scorecard Review. All Rights Reserved
Tags: 1961 film, 1961-2011 anniversary celebration, dvd, interviews, natalie wood, reviews, rumble, videos
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