Saturday, November 6, 2010

West Side Story (1961)




Sweet mercy.

What would Shakespeare think?

5 comments:

Amanda Evans said...

Now I'm wondring, what do you think? I really don't like Romeo and Juliette stories, though I did really enjoy the actual Romeo and Juliette when we watched the old 60's version. I just like "Dear Officer Krumpke."

Miss Pickwickian said...

Amanda,

I did not like it.
But you probably guessed that.

I'm not sure exactly what I think of Romeo and Juliet, but as any interpretation I thought this movie failed.

Ralph Smith argues that Shakespeare was not taking the Romeo and Juliet seriously and that it is an excellent example of two immature romantics.
(It's been several years since I listened to this lecture...I got it back out to listen too, but haven't had time yet. I might be misremembering.)
If you are supposed to be laughing at Romeo and Juliet, Westside Story pulls that off.

We studied Romeo and Juliet several years ago and I don't remember the older movie version. I do remember the Leonardo Dicaprio version and another we watched. The Leonardo Dicaprio one uses is symbolism very interestingly.
I would really like to study the play again.
We have it on tape with Joseph Fiennes as Romeo. It's pretty good.

I'd be extremely interested anything Leithart has to say.

As far as the movie...it was a long shot since I've never been able to deal with musicals.
(Except Les Miserables and those sorts, which are a pretty different category. I've been listening to Les Mis night and day ever since we got it on CD.)

Suzy and I had some pretty good laughs.

Thanks for commenting,
Miss Pickwickian

Amanda Evans said...

This is the version that we watched:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063518/

It's pretty darn accurate to the play and even has Renaissance costumes and is set in Italy. There is a bit of nudity, but the scenes with the relatives and that one guy that just likes to argue are really funny! It was very dramatic and Olivia Hussey does a fabulous job.

Esmeralda Gatsby said...

The first picture is slightly creepy....gang ballet dancers????
:-P

Elisabeth said...

I've never actually read Romeo and Juliet, so I haven't done a serious comparison with West Side Story. The movie is not one of my favorites even though I do love musicals, but more for the reason that the handling of the musical score was not as good as the original Broadway cast album. Whatever problems the story has, the music is brilliant. One of the best instrumental pieces was left out because it was part of the 'dream ballet' - which, however, I agree that the movie did not need. :)