West Side Story ★★★★★

Robert Wise and Steven Sondheim take Shakespeare and set it in a moody New York City atmosphere. The sets appear like stages, giving viewers the impression that they are watching a Broadway musical, and not once does it ever betray the film's scale. From the opening whistle riff, the film is ripe with unforgettable moments. A "cool" opening number. Stylish choreography. Trouble at the big dance. MariaMariaMariaMaria. A classic Romeo & Juliet romance. The modernized balcony scene. Gee, Officer Krupke. I like to live in America. Cool.

I'll admit, the Mexican accents are really terrible. Some of the dialogue is just cringeworthy. But the musical numbers and the cinematography, not to mention the drop-dead gorgeous technicolor print, make this film what it is. This has been one of my favorite musicals for years, and I'm so glad to see it held up after so long. It's a truly underrated classic.

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