onyxlynx: BxW F. Lang & T. von Harbou each reading. (Fritz Lang Thea von Harbou)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 My, there is a lot of dust here!  Let me just brush some of it off...there.  That's better.

So.  West Side Story.  I saw it about 50 years ago; we were in Europe when it came out originally, but it was re-released somewhere around '64-'65.  It was a must-see movie.  My cousins, of course, saw it first-run and knew all the lyrics and half the dialog, and quoted and sung frequently.  I had obtained the Original Soundtrack record when I signed up for Columbia Record Club (I was under age) and ground every note deeply into my DNA.  There was a production in San Francisco several years ago where I had to be prevented from singing along.  Did I mention the "ground into the DNA" part?

The Suck Fairy, which has not only visited beloved old movies but moved in with furniture, did bring a few things into tighter focus.  (I of course know the backstory of the Broadway musical, that the film's location was a condemned neighborhood subsequently torn down to build Lincoln Center, etc.)  Somewhere along the line, I had noticed that the Puerto Rican gang gets the short end of the characterization stick; I hadn't noticed that most of them aren't even Puerto Rican.  (Yes, I know.)  The irony that the "American" gang is composed of previous immigrants is not lost on me now.  Tony (Richard Beymer)...I have to admit that I was laughing and shaking my head a lot.  These days, he comes across as stiff and a bit hammy.  And I could not believe that someone in an alley calling "Maria!" would not have had at least 10 other windows opening.  And the accent kept escaping Natalie Wood.  And apparently I managed to miss that the scene in the candy store is a near-rape.

The music, of course, still holds up very well, and I still know all the words to "Officer Krupke."  The dancing is still excellent.  

ETA:  I should have mentioned that the cartoon shown was a very early Bugs Bunny.
onyxlynx: BxW F. Lang & T. von Harbou each reading. (Fritz Lang Thea von Harbou)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 I am always of two or three minds about calling a movie from the '60s a "classic" film.  Certainly the '60s are between 40 and 50 years ago, which means the patina of age and funny hairstyles have settled on movies from those years.  On the other hand, I remember the ad campaigns and posters, and I could have gone to see them at the time.

However.  Let's knock this into the classic box.  James Mason's in it.

(Yes, I know.  I didn't remember anyone except Lynn Redgrave.  I don't think anyone has mentioned Georgy Girl without mentioning Lynn Redgrave for I would say 40+ years.  Here's the IMDb page.)

(Yes, Charlotte Rampling.)

In any case, I had actually not managed to see this movie.  Really.  I was ready to be charmed.


On the one hand, I am sooooo tired of Ugly Duckling Becomes Swan, and except for the scene at the party, she remains a duck.  (Hollywood would have glammed her up for the last third of the movie.  I'm grateful for small favors.)  On the other hand...  where to begin?  The creepy-but-rich father-figure.  The feckless young man.  The slim careerist sister who marries the feckless young man when she becomes pregnant but doesn't want the baby.  Guess who gets wrapped up with the baby.

I hope I'm not spoiling anything; I'm probably not the only person who never saw it.

I was at least occasionally entertained by the movie and pleased to discover that there were flickers of life on the street on the way home.


Classic Film: for the discussion of great cinema

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