West Side Story (1961)

West Side Story (1961) movie poster

directors Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins
viewed: 09/06/2015

Of all the movies I’ve been catching as I work my way through the odd films that I hadn’t seen from the BBC’s 100 Greatest American MoviesWest Side Story is doubtlessly the most ubiquitous, famous, most-glaring omission from my film-watching history.  What can I say?  What I’ve always said: Nobody has seen everything.  But how could you have missed this?  Dunno.  It happened.

Until now.  Finally.

Fantastic movie.  Beautifully shot.  Gorgeous.  Great songs.  Classic.

It’s so weird, how familiar almost every song is.  This is one of those musicals that has been inflected and reflected through pop culture so much, such an array of images, that seeing it even for the first time, it’s still amazingly familiar.  But of course, I hadn’t seen it and I guess I was surprised how much I liked it.

I watched it with Clara.  She enjoyed it.  One of the music teachers at the kids’ school apparently has this as an all-time favorite movie, a go-to for the substitutes, and so Felix had seen it a few times already and Clara was familiar with the music too, even at 11 years old, the ubiquity of West Side Story is profound still.

One of the best American movie musicals?  I won’t argue.

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