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West Side Story

Magnum’s Ernst Haas produced some gorgeous colour work from the set of this stupendous musical, which will be shown here in a beautifully restored version supervised by director Robert Wise. The film was actually co-directed by Jerome Robbins, who conceived the hit Broadway musical inspired by Romeo and Juliet, which follows the escalating tensions between rival teenage gangs the Jets (who are white) and the Sharks (who are Puerto Rican) as they battle for turf in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. West Side Story became one of the most popular film musicals in history, largely on the strength of its youth appeal and Robbins’s often brilliant choreographyoa spectacular combination of ballet, acrobatics and jazz excitingly adapted for the camera. The score by Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein has become an acknowledged and much-beloved classic.

U.S.A., 1961.
153 mins.

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