mapol (mapol) wrote in westsidestory,

A Remake of the 1961 film West Side Story--Opinions from a Naysayer:

The upcoming re-make of the 1961 film West Side Story has been talked about for some time, and I have to admit that, for all kinds of reasons, I am extremely opposed to a re-make of the film West Side Story. Some people claim, with good reason, that a re-make of the film West Side Story, by anybody, including Steven Spielberg, would be like re-making Gone With the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, Wizard of Oz, Midnight Cowboy, or any of those other extremely popular classic films. These classic films (although Gone With The Wind is definitely no favorite of mine.), including and especially West Side Story, are extraordinarily iconic and stand as movies all by themselves, each with their very own individuality and style. Why should anybody, including a guy like Steve Spielberg, a competent director/producer of film, be trusted not to re-make a special classic film such as West Side Story that's extraordinarily special and iconic? They shouldn't, imho. ...

Having said all of the above, I am adamantly opposed to a re-make of the film West Side Story, by anybody, including Steven Spielberg, for the following reasons:

A) West Side Story is an extraordinarily special, iconic movie-musical that is in a special class all by itself. The people who said that there'd never be a film like this again were 100% right on their money.

B) The fight scenes, including the skirmishes on the school playground, as well as the Rumble itself, would be far bloodier.

C) The police would be much, much harsher on both the white European Ethnic-American Jets and the newly-arrived Puerto Rican Sharks alike, especially the Sharks, the language would be way "bluer", and there'd be rather severe beatings administered by Lt. Schrank and Ofcr. Krupke, especially against the Sharks. Prejudices would be expressed in much stronger verbal terms and epithets, as well.

D) The romance between Bernardo and his girlfriend Anita, as well as the budding romance between Tony and Maria, would be way steamier, much more explicitly sexual, and graphic.

E) The iconic, intensely brilliant Leonard Bernstein musical score would be much tinnier, and much more of a hip-hop, rap type of rendition of the musical score, which would be utterly destructive and disruptive to this great musical.

F) The skirmishes on the playground, as well as the Rumble itself between the Jets and Sharks, would be much, much bloodier. Guns, especially automatic weapons, as opposed to switchblade knives and fisticuffs, would be brought to bear. There would be many more deaths on both sides, and the whole scenario would be a great deal more than the cops, and the other adults could handle.

G) Given the fact that the police departments here in the United States have become so militarized, the police in West Side Story would be much, much rougher, and would inflict much, much harsher treatment on both the Jets and Sharks (especially the Sharks), as well as their girls. Lt. Schrank and Ofcr Krupke would be carrying automatic weapons, as well as being clad in the militaristic-looking uniforms and helmets that many police in many places wear these days.

H) The deaths of Riff, Bernardo and Tony would be much, much bloodier, and there would be no hint, message, or any kind of steps towards a truce and intergroup reconciliation and unification of the Jets and Sharks. They'd go on just as they were, without learning a lesson.

I) All told, a re-make of the film West Side Story would be a horrific piece of junk, due to the fact that Hollywood is now so corporate-oriented, as is the talent coming out nowadays. If Steven Spielberg has such great affection for the 1961 film version of West Side Story, he will leave well enough alone and gravitate to something else. Has anyone here ever heard of the expression "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."? That applies here, perfectly. I don't care who the cast members are in the re-make of the film West Side Story, but I already see disaster on the horizon. A re-make of this great golden oldie-but-keeper of a classic would just cut the heart and soul right out of it. As some people say, the film West Side Story is a very iconic classic that stands alone. Therefore, it should be left alone.

J) Mr. Spielberg, if you're listening in, it's strongly recommended that you rethink the idea of remaking West Side Story. Please....don't mess with a classic! Thanks.

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