West Side Story (1961)

Directed by Robert Wise

First of all, as DVDs go, this edition of West Side Story is one of the best packages I’ve ever come across. (West Side Story — Special Edition Collector’s Set — released April, 2003.) I can’t believe it’s MGM!

Known for their barebones packaging, apparently when they want to do something up, not only can they do it, but they pull out all the stops.

This set even includes a 150 page book that includes the complete shooting script, amongst other things.

More to the point, the transfer is clean, almost flawless, making for a great visual look and fabulous sound (though dialogue remains centred, which is to be expected for a film from 1961.) West Side Story – Special Edition is worth having if only as a template for how a great movie should be presented on DVD.

As for the movie … Oh dear. I must confess. It’s one of the great America films, one of the great musicals, and I can barely stay awake through it.

What can I say? The staging, shooting, editing, choreography … they’re all spectacular. The music is fabulous; the film is everything anyone has ever raved about.

But … I just don’t like these kinds of musicals. However, if you’re someone who does, then this is a must-have set. And if you want a review that isn’t as inadequate as this one, I suggest taking a look at one of the following:

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