April 3, 2012
20th Century Fox
This ground-breaking modernization of "Romeo and Juliet", set on the sidewalks and byways of New York City, is one of the most critically acclaimed and successful musicals of all time.
On the harsh streets of the upper west side, white and Puerto Rican gangs battle for control of the turf... and two of the most powerful are the Jets, led by Riff, and the Sharks, led by Bernardo. Now they're ready to fight it out once and for all -- they have only to set the time and place and the rumble will begin. But the situation suddenly becomes more complicated and dangerous when Tony, one of the Jets, meets Bernardo's sister Maria and falls in love. At her urging, he attempts to make peace between the two camps.
But then things go terribly wrong... and, like Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers, it appears that Tony and Maria may not be able to overcome the world of hate that surrounds them.
A Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim score backdrops this landmark Broadway musical, in which a modern day Romeo and Juliet are involved in N.Y. street gangs. Academy Award Nominations: 11, including Best (Adapted) Screenplay. Academy Awards: 9, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor--George Chakiris, Best Actress--Rita Moreno, Best Scoring of a Musical Picture.
Shot in color and Panavision.
The film is based on Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet".
George Chakiris (Bernardo) played Riff in the London theatrical production.
Jerome Robbins walked out in the middle of the film's production. He had already shot the major dance numbers, including the Prologue, "America", "I Feel Pretty" and "Cool".
DVD Special Features: Newly Restored Film Elements, New Dolby Digital 5.1 Soundtrack, 8-Page Trivia Booklet, Theatrical Trailer
Reportedly, the play was originally going to be called "East Side Story" and deal with a Jewish and Irish Catholic interfaith romance.
Additional cast members include Penny Santon (Madam Lucia); Jose De Vega (Chino); Jay Norman (Pepe); Robert Thompson (Luis); Larry Roquemore (Rocco); Jamie Rogers (Loco); Eddie Verso (Juan); Nick Covacevich (Toro); Rudy Del Campo (Del Campo); Tucker Smith (Ice); Bert Michaels (Snowboy); Scooter Teague (Big Deal); Tommy Abbott (Gee-Tar); Harvey Hohnecker (Mouthpiece); David Bean (Tiger); Sue Oakes (Anybodys) and Gina Trikonis (Graziella).