RetroHound’s review published on Letterboxd:
Haven't seen this in ages (like maybe 30 years!) but have been wanting to watch it again as I love the music. My boys read Romeo and Juliet so I thought this was a good movie to show in addition to the Franco Zeffirelli version of Shakespeare. They want to watch the Baz Luhrmann one also.
The music is really great, but I was a bit surprised at how much dancing there was, and much of the singing parts were really short. I wanted more of "Tonight" and "Maria." "America" and "Cool it" were about the right length.
This is a really great movie, bringing to life perniciousness of prejudice. Bernardo is a proud, ambitious man, but he is thwarted by the systemic racism that keeps him from being more than a servant. Someone (one of the cops I think) makes the point that the white kids are all kids of immigrants also. What I've read of gangs back then, they were even more divided. Irish, Italian, and Poles, even though all "white," usually did not mix, but fought each other. Guns were very rare, so most fights didn't end in death like so many do now. To knife someone you have to be right up close. Same if you are going to hit them with a pipe or something.
Even though I knew how it ended, I was rooting for them to get away. that's how much I was into their world. I had tears in my eyes at Tony's death. Then, as we are sitting here in the mood, stupid Netflix pops the credits into a little box and only gives it 20 seconds before they force an ad for some stupid stand up comedy show! WHAT?!?! Thanks for that mood killer, idiots.
West Side Story was great and I'm super glad I watched it again.