West Side Story

Release Date: October 18th, 1961

DVD Release Date: February 6th, 2001

Not Yet Rated |2 hr 31 min

Plot Summary

A musical in which a modern day Romeo and Juliet are involved in New York street gangs. On the harsh streets of the upper west side, two gangs battle for control of the turf. The situation becomes complicated when a gang members falls in love with a rival's sister.

Cast: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, George Chakiris, Rita Moreno, Simon Oakland, Ned Glass, William Bramley

Director: Jerome Robbins , Robert Wise

Genres: Musical

Production Co: United Artists, Beta Productions, Mirisch Films

Distributors: United Artists

Keywords: New York City, Police officer, Forbidden love, 1950s, Rivalry, Love interest, Melodramatic, Emotional

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    The Hollywood Reporter

    West Side Story is a magnificent show, a milestone in movie musicals, a box-office smash. It is so good that superlatives are superfluous. Let it be noted that the film musical, the one dramatic form that is purely American and purely Hollywood, has never been done better show more

  • 100
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    West Side Story remains a landmark of musical history. But if the drama had been as edgy as the choreography, if the lead performances had matched Moreno's fierce concentration, if the gangs had been more dangerous and less like bad-boy Archies and Jugheads, if the ending had delivered on the pathos and tragedy of the original, there's no telling what might have resulted. show more

  • 100

    The movie is filled with great music, original choreography, and memorable songs. Along with a story that's a great update of Romeo & Juliet, it's really no surprise that the film is considered to be one of the best musicals ever made. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Winner Best Motion Picture
Nominated Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Winner Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated Film and British Film
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1963)
Winner Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture)
Winner Film Editing
Winner Cinematography (Color)
Winner Best Performance By an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Winner Sound
Winner Costume Design (Color)
Winner Directing
Nominated Best Director - Motion Picture
Winner Art Direction (Color)
Nominated Writing (Screenplay - Based on Material From Another Medium)
Winner Picture - Musical