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West Side Story
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Length:2h 32mins
Cast:Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise, Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer

A masterpiece of the musical form, West Side Story sizzles with the propulsive rhythms and flash-point energy of New York City's streets in the late 1950s, thanks to the music of Leonard Bernstein, lyrics of Stephen Sondheim, choreography of Jerome Robbins, and direction of Robbins and Robert Wise. An adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet" set in New York's Hell's Kitchen, West Side Story revolves around the ill-fated love affair between Tony (Richard Beymer) and Maria (Natalie Wood). Since Maria's older brother is Bernardo, leader of a Puerto Rican gang called the Sharks, and Tony heads a rival gang, the white ethnic Jets, their romance ignites a turf war. The tenement fire escapes and chain-link fences of West Side Story are powerful accents to Bernstein's sophisticated score and Robbins's electric choreography. Winner of ten Academy Awards, the film burns with intensity, using film techniques to present theatrical set pieces with a jazzy flair that has never been equaled. Monica McIntyre

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