Friday, February 28, 2014

Flick Pick: West Side Story

West Side Story
(United Artists, 1961)

Romeo and Juliet by way of Leonard Bernstein, as performed by the Sharks and the Jets.
Co-directed by Broadway director Jerome Robbins, who nearly had a nervous breakdown, before studio executives removed him from the picture when things were running too long. Veteran director Wise, with no musical directing experience, lobbied for Robbins getting equal credit for direction, despite his removal about a third of the way through filming. The visuals became iconic, the score was legendary, and the box office was phenomenal. It was not only a commercial success, but was (and remains) the most honored and awarded musical on film.
Best Picture, Best Directors (Wise & Robbins), Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Art Direction, Best Color Cinematography, Best Color Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Sound, Best Original Score, Special Oscar for "Brilliant Achievements in the Art of Choreography on Film" (Robbins)

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