West Side Story--the Classic that Never Grows Old:

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Post by Guest on Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:21 am

West Side Story is a great, golden oldie but keeper of a classic, that, for me, never grows old. While it's enjoyable on television or DVD, nothing beats seeing WSS on a great big, wide screen, in a real movie theatre, with the lights down low, especially in the front of the balcony of the theatre, if it has one, and sharing the experience with other people, whether one knows them or not. West Side Story always feels fresh and new to me, like I'm seeing it for the first time. While there are other films that I've liked a great deal, some old, some new, and some well enough to see more than once, none of them hold the same special place in my heart regarding movies as West Side Story.

As a devout fan of the film West Side Story who has also seen a number of very good stage productions of this great musical, including the more up-to-date Broadway stage revival, which I was more critical of, I have attended virtually every screening of the film WSS that has come to our area (the one exception being ten years ago last March, when an afternoon screening conflicted directly with an afternoon screening of West Side Story in our area, so I didn't go that afternoon.), and have also made road trips to neighboring states, including New York for screenings of this Classic film.

Five and ten years out, I still savor the two times that I drove from Boston down to the Big Apple specially to see the film West Side Story, as well as seeing old friends and relatives. In early October of 2001, roughly a month after 9/11, I had the good fortune, courtesy of some old friends (now passed on), who lived down in NYC for a number of years after moving down there from Boston some time ago, and who knew that West Side Story was (and still is) my all time favorite film. When I received a call from my friends down in NYC in mid-August of that year asking me if I wanted them to send off for some tickets for them for the special 40th-year Anniversary screening of West Side Story that was to take place in Radio City Music Hall, I immediately said yes, and, after a snafu, the tickets were obtained.

What a Saturday night out that was! Radio City Music Hall was packed with an exuberant, friendly crowd, and there was much finger-snapping and applause from the audience. Restored to its former glory and color, cleaned up, remastered and reprinted, West Side Story seemed to take on a magical, almost three-dimensional quality. The scenery seemed more expansive and one could see all of everything. The brilliant musical score by Leonard Bernstein seemed more intense, as did the richly-colored costumes and photography. So did the beautifully-choreographed dancing by Jerome Robbins. The various characters in West Side Story, from the romancing Tony and Maria to the warring Jets and Sharks, seemed to move much more freely and fluidly, and in a much wider, more open space. This was an evening to be savored, and it had even more meaning due to the fact that A) It was great, that, less than a month after the horrific 9/11 attacks on the WTC Towers, five or six thousand people were brought together for a wonderfully special and spectacular event, and (B) the whole trip, due to seeing old friends and relatives, as well as a great Classic film, provided me with a much-needed lift after a rough, sad year, especially since my dad passed away in late January of that year due to a long illness..

Five years later, I made another trip down to the Big Apple for another screening of the film West Side Story, this time at the Clearview/Ziegfeld Cinema, in midtown Manhattan. This time, my cousin (who'd never seen WSS on the great big, wide screen) took in that evening's screening together, and we both had a great time. In exchange for her hospitality (her obtaining the tickets for us online, when efforts on my part to do so had failed, and her letting me stay overnight in her apartment on the Upper West Side), I brought some homemade chocolate pound cake and cranberry juice to share, and tuned her piano for her the next morning when she went to work, which she was very appreciative of.

Whether one is a devout fan of the film West Side Story like me, whether they've seen in only on television or DVD, or not at all, if this great classic film ever comes to a movie theatre in your area, I say jump at the opportunity! It's a rich experience that you'll never, ever forget. The MGM adage "Unlike other Classics, West Side Story grows younger" is so true!


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Post by TexasBlue on Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:22 pm

I've never seen it before. I'm personally not a fan of musicals (Wizard of Oz being an exception). But hey.... maybe one day I'll watch the flick.


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“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
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Post by Guest on Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:59 pm

TexasBlue wrote:I've never seen it before. I'm personally not a fan of musicals (Wizard of Oz being an exception). But hey.... maybe one day I'll watch the flick.

Sounds cool! Would love to hear what you think of West Side Story if and when you watch this Classic film. I admit that I've seen the film West Side Story enough times that I've stopped counting, but it's still my all time favorite flick, nonetheless.

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Post by TexasBlue on Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:06 pm

One day I may check it out.

My fave is A Few Good Men.


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“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
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Post by Guest on Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:17 pm

TexasBlue wrote:One day I may check it out.

My fave is A Few Good Men.

Great! Would love to see what you think of West Side Story! I've never seen A Few Good Men, however.

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Post by TexasBlue on Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:24 pm

A Few Good Men is a great movie. Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson.


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“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
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Post by Guest on Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:38 pm

TexasBlue wrote:A Few Good Men is a great movie. Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson.

Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson are both very good actors, but we're starting to get off topic here, don't you think?

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Post by Guest on Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:38 pm

TexasBlue wrote:A Few Good Men is a great movie. Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson.

Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson are both very good actors.

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