Audio problem: During the opening overture, right when the orchestra starts "Maria", you can hear someone sneeze in the background. It's easier to hear on the soundtrack but you still can hear it in the movie.
West Side Story (1961)
Directed by: Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins
Starring: Natalie Wood, Russ Tamblyn, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris
A musical Romeo and Juliet story.
The Sharks and the Jets are two feuding street gangs in 1950's New York, the Jets being White and the Sharks being Puerto Rican. At a dance at a gym, Jet Tony falls in love with a Shark's sister, Maria. They know they can't be together because of the gang's war, but that doesn't stop them.
Meanwhile, The two gangs prepare for a rumble, and Tony tries to stop it out of love for Maria. In the process, his best friend and Jet leader Riff is killed by Maria's brother, Bernardo. In anger, Tony kills Bernardo. HE then realises his mistake (killing his love's brother) and begs for forgiveness, which, of course, Maria gives him. They decide they have to leave the city, and the pointless hate, behind them. They plan to meet at Doc's Candy Store and take a bus to the country.
Maria asks Anita, Bernardo's fiancé, to tell Tony she will be a little late meet him at Doc's Candy Store, but when Anita is mauled by the Jets, she angrily tells them that Maria is dead, murdered by Chino, which is, of course, a lie. Doc overhears this and reluctantly tells Tony. Tony is devastated and furious, and hunts Chino down so he can be killed too.
Tony runs into Maria at the playground and is overjoyed. As soon as they embrace, Chino runs in with a gun and shoots Tony. Tony tries to stay alive but is overcome by the bullet and dies. Maria bursts into tears, devastated, and when the police come, both Jets and Sharks help carry Tony away. Baby John places Maria's headscarf on her head and Maria is the last to walk out.
Doc: Why do you kids live like there's a war on?
Trivia: "West Side Story" was the first film to win the Best Picture Academy Award for two directors (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins).
Question: In the original musical of West Side Story, the song "Officer Krupke" is sung some time after the rumble when Riff was killed. Why was it changed to before the rumble?
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Answer: Actually there were a number of changes made in the movie adaptation compared to the original stage version. There were cuts, new additions, and changes to music, lyrics, dialogue, and characters. A few of the musical numbers were switched around because it was felt the storyline flowed better on screen, for different reasons. Some examples are "Gee, Officer Krupke" and "I Feel Pretty" which are cheerful, light-hearted songs and were moved to before "The Rumble", and "Cool" was moved to after "The Rumble" which gives that song's lyrics gravitas.