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West Side Story (1961) (PG)

West Side Story (1961)

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Sunday 14 Nov 202112:00 Book Now
Monday 22 Nov 202112:30 Book Now

Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins

Film run time: 2h 31min

***This screening will have a 10-minute intermission***

Before the arrival of its Spielberg-directed successor at the end of the year, revisit the first, Oscar-winning film of the game-changing 60s musical.

Shifting the timeless tragedy of Romeo and Juliet to the racially tense neighbourhoods of Manhattan, the story follows star-crossed lovers Tony (Richard Beymer), a valued member of the white American Jet gang, and Maria (Natalie Wood), connected by blood to the Puerto-Rican Shark gang.

Already a huge success on Broadway, the film shows how the musical electrified its form in every department: Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim combine a classic love story with a witty, still-modern treatment of social issues, animated by Leonard Bernstein’s thrillingly inventive score. Most amazingly, Jerome Robbins transferred his own choreography to the actual streets of New York, creating a style that seamlessly fused raw urban aggression with artful balletic precision.

The result is a film musical unlike any other, charged with palpable danger and energy offset by a tender and melodious romance.