West Side Story Movie Review Summary

Actors: Natalie Wood

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of West Side Story

In 1950s' New York, The Jets and the Sharks are the two rival gangs. The Jets are the dominating gang, being from America. The Sharks are from Puerto Rico. The Jets challenge the Sharks to a rumble.
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In the midst of all the gangs' fighting, a love story is begun between Tony (of the Jets) and Maria (of the Sharks). The gang leaders see their dancing and snatch them away into their respected gangs. But, the two continue to meet, and plan to eventually wed.

Each gang is to choose their best fighter for the rumble. Tony has decided not to take part in any of the fighting, but goes to the rumble, intending to stop it.
The review of this Movie prepared by B. N. Beasley

The Jets are a gang of white teenage boys, the Sharks are a gang of Puerto Rican teenage boys, and they are sworn enemies. A school dance at the gym brings them together, and there Tony, former leader of the Jets, sees Maria, sister of the Sharks' leader, Bernardo, and it is love at first sight for both of them. They promise to meet that night, but meanwhile the Jets and the Sharks have had a war council and agree to rumble.   

At Maria's pleading, Tony goes to stop it, but things go wrong, Bernardo accidentally kills Riff, the Jets leader, when Riff runs into his knife. Tony, devastated by the death of his friend, who is like a brother to him, rushes at Bernardo and knifes him in retaliation.    He escapes the scene and hides in the basement of Doc's candy store. Anita, Bernardo's lover, goes to the store to give Tony a message from Maria, but the Jets are there, and they work themselves into a frenzy, finally setting up a mock rape, holding a young gang member over her.   Doc interrupts them, and Anita starts to leave.   

But she is furious at the humiliation, so she tells them that Chino (Maria's intended suitor, who was rejected by her) found out about Maria and Tony and shot Maria, she was dead!   Doc goes down to the basement to tell Tony. Tony thinks Maria is dead, and rushes outside to seek Chino out, and yells for Chino to come and get him.
The review of this Movie prepared by Barbara

WEST SIDE STORY is a beautiful movie/musical about a love and romance that grew and developed amid conflict between two warring street gangs on the pulsating, fingersnapping west side of 1960's New York City: the White Ethnic American JETS, and the newly-arrived Puerto Rican SHARKS. When TONY, the founder and ex-JET leader, who is looking for something beyond gang life and the streets, but doesn't know what he's looking for, meets and falls in love with MARIA, the sister of the SHARK gangleader, BERNARDO, at a dance at the local gym that night, tensions and hostilities escalate.
The review of this Movie prepared by Miki

"West Side Story" follows the tale of two rival gangs, the Jets (American) and the Sharks (Puerto Ricans). The two gangs constantly fight in New Yorks. However, the Americans have the advantage because of their ethnicity. Meanwhile, the two gang leaders, Riff and Bernardo, have decided on a date for a rumble to see who rules. Riff asks former gang member Tony to come join the fight. Tony refuses, but he agrees to go to the dance. That magical night, Tony and Bernardo's sister Maria meet. They immediately fall in love, but Bernardo hates Americans and has arranged for Maria to marry Chino, the person she hates. Later that evening, Tony and Maria sing a sweet duet and fall into a secret and forbidden relationship. Maria then tells Tony to stop the rumble between the two gangs. Tony promises Maria that he would stop the rumble, but he couldn't. When Tony reaches the site of the rumble, Bernardo and Riff are ready to fight each other. Tony tries to stop them, but he is pushed aside. Immediately, the fight begins. Riff strikes first, giving Bernardo a bloody nose. Then, Bernardo pulls a knife, and Riff accidentally runs into it. Tony takes Riff's knife and accidentally stabs Beranrdo. Both gang members die, and Tony rushes back to see Maria. During the visit, Maria and Tony both decide to elope. The plan was simple. Tony would hide in his boss's cellar, waiting for Maria to go to the store. Then, they would run off together. However, things would change. A police detective shows up at Maria's apartment inquiring about Bernardo. Fortunately, Maria's best friend Anita was in her apartment and willingly goes to the shop to tell Tony about Maria's delay. When she reaches the shop, Anita is met by members of the Jets, still angered at the death of Riff. The gang attmepts to gang rape Anita, but Tony's boss stops the rape. Angered at their barbaric behavior, Anita angrily informs the gang that Chino killed Maria. Tony hears the sad news and refuses to believe it. Maria and Tony both run together and meet each other. Before greeting each other, Chino appears with a gun and shoots Tony. This movie ends tragically with Maria walking away from Tony's body sadly and mournfully.
The review of this Movie prepared by DW

West Side story is a fantastic movie about two tragic lovers, Tony, who is american, and Maria, who is Puerto Rican. The two of them struggle to love as the American and the Puerto Rican gangs battle for power. This movie has wonderful songs, fantastic dancing, great acting, and it never fails to make me cry.
The review of this Movie prepared by Beth

In the streets of New York two gangs existed: The Jets, and The Sharks. But when the sister of the leader of the Sharks falls madly in love with the former leader of the Jets, trouble erupts. A rumble to be exact, resulting in the unfortunate death of both gangs leaders and the lover of Bernardo's sister who is shot by her former lover. With the combination of Irene Sharaff's costume's, Jerome Robbin's Coreography, and Robert Wise's directing, this is a truely unforgettable classic.
The review of this Movie prepared by Katy

This is a Broadway style Romeo and Juliet romance set in 1950's New York City. Captivating dance sequences mixed with a tear jerking, tragic love story. Truly a classic for all races and ages.
The review of this Movie prepared by Kristal Haynes

The Broadway play by Arthur Laurents, with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and choreography by Jerome Robbins, was brought to the screen in 1961 by Robbins and fil director Robert Wise. Rival gangs -- the white Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks -- fight over turf in the streets of New York. When a sometime member of the former, Tony (Beymer), and a sister of the leader of the latter, Maria (Wood), fall in love, the pressure builds to a crisis. A pedestrian plot (taken from Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet) soars on an awesome score and thrilling choreography. The film won 10 Oscars, from Best Picture and Direction to Costumes and Set Decoration, plus a special award for Robbins's work.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus

The Jets and Sharks, two gangs in West Side New York, battle each other to gain property. When they decide to have a rumble to finish it, Tony and Maria meet and fall in love. Romeo and Juliet set in the 50's.
The review of this Movie prepared by Michael Gookin

Script Analysis of West Side Story

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1930's-1950's Romance/Love/Hugging    -   Yes Crime & Scandal    -   Yes Story of    -   gang conflict Lover is...    -   of another race (interracial loving!)

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male    -   Female Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American    -   Hispanic/Latinic


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York    -   dirty, grimy (like New York)

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing If lots of song/dance...    -   lot of singing and dancing Is this movie based on a    -   play

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