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.


Classic Film: for the discussion of great cinema

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