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LadyMystique (ladymystique)
3-Pundit
Username: ladymystique

Post Number: 37
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 216.222.243.117
Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 12:05 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just purchased the Special Edition on DVD and was wondering if anyone remembers seeing the movie and how you felt about it...the movie is 43 years old and can help but notice how wonderful this movie is! :-)
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Larry (larry)
2-Debutant
Username: larry

Post Number: 14
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 67.101.111.177
Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 1:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

LadyMystique,

This is one of my favorite films. "Romeo and Juliet" recast on the streets of NYC. What a tearjerker. It has that combination of hard story line with a great film score. The result is emotionally charged scenes that pull on your heart strings, reflect the human condition and all our emotions. Epic Film.

A most complete synopsis of the film can be found here, but if you haven't seen the film, see it before you read this:
http://www.filmsite.org/wests. html

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Soulaholic (soulaholic)
2-Debutant
Username: soulaholic

Post Number: 17
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 68.41.40.105
Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 1:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

When your a jet your a jet all the way from your first 45 till the soundbite loops away...
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LadyMystique (ladymystique)
3-Pundit
Username: ladymystique

Post Number: 55
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 216.222.243.117
Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 3:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I liked the songs and dance sequences...more so the dance sequences...AMERICA, and the mambo dance scene...I love MARIA, Marvin Gaye did a remake that is found on ROMANTICALLY YOURS (COLUMBIA Records).

BTW, I wonder besides what I saw on the EXTRAS Disc if there are anymore survivors of this movie and what they are doing now...I haven't seen Rita Moreno since ELECTRIC COMPANY before seeing her on the documentary for this collection...I know that Natalie Wood has since passed.

(Message edited by LadyMystique on April 17, 2004)
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Morgan (leeway)
1-Arriviste
Username: leeway

Post Number: 2
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 152.163.252.166
Posted on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 8:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't know what's on the disc, as I don't have it. I own the movie and I know it by heart...I did see an interview with George Chakiris(sp?)(still looks good to me!) who played Bernardo, Russ Tamblyn (Riff) Rita M., Richard Beymer (Tony) all of them are still here.

I read a biography of Jerome Robbins (the choreographer) and Action(remember the little dark haired boy in the Jets who taunted Anita when she went to Pops looking for Tony) and the curly haired blonde Jet (who played the judge in the Officer Krupsky (sp?) skit?) those two are still alive (as of 2001 when the book was published). Jerome Robbins and Leonard Bernstein are dead. Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim are still alive (Laurents is like 85 yrs old!)as is Robert Wise (the director).

OH!!! remember the two girls who played the girlfriends of Riff(I want Riff!!!) and that other jet?? Those two are alive as is the tomboy-I forget her name??? I also read a autobiography of Arthur Laurents (he's credited as the co-producer or something like that) And he mentions that they're still around.
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Lady Mystique (ladymystique)
4-Laureate
Username: ladymystique

Post Number: 128
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 66.33.227.184
Posted on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 8:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh, Morgan...you NEED to get the Special Edition...you can leave in/take out the intermission and everything! George did look good in the movie...couldn't help but envy his character dancing with Anita in the mambo scene...I love a man who could dance! ;)

Yes, Russ, Rita (who still looks good), and Richard were on the documentary. Yeah, I remember Action and the other Jet...forgot his name. And the girlfriends and tomboy too? Wow! Arthur and Stephen were on the documentary as well! You must be a big fan like me! LOL
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Uptight (uptight)
1-Arriviste
Username: uptight

Post Number: 10
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 24.55.0.68
Posted on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 9:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Pardon me if this sounds absurd, but I heard that dancer Debbie Allen was one of the dancers in the Mambo scene. I don't have my VHS with me at the moment, but I don't remember seeing her in the background the last time I checked. And I am unsure whether all the dancers got screen credit. Can anybody confirm whether she was in the film or whether you had heard this same story?
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dvdmike (dvdmike)
2-Debutant
Username: dvdmike

Post Number: 22
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 68.253.181.15
Posted on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 10:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Debbie Allen was not in "West Side Story." She would have been all of 11 years old at that time.
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Uptight (uptight)
2-Debutant
Username: uptight

Post Number: 12
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 24.55.0.68
Posted on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 10:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

LOL. Good point, Mike. Thank you!
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Morgan (leeway)
1-Arriviste
Username: leeway

Post Number: 3
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 205.188.116.138
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 12:49 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Debbie Allen was in one of the many thousands or revivals of West Side Story years ago (on braodway) she did play Anita. Sometime in the late 70's early 80's.

Lady M. I am most definitley going to get that dvd!! I just never seem to remember to get it when I am purchasing dvds! I'll have to write it down on my grocery list.

I am a huge fan of that movie, I even had a crush on Leonard Bernstein!

Yes Rita Moreno is ageless, very beautiful woman.(is it me, or did she seem to get better looking as she got older Maybe she just "polished" herself up once the money started coming in). I am gonna go out tomorrow and try to find that dvd Lady M.- you have piqued my curiousity!
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Arcadia (arcadia)
1-Arriviste
Username: arcadia

Post Number: 10
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 4.237.47.70
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 12:54 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Alive:

  • George Chakiris, 70 (Bernardo)
  • Russ Tamblyn, 70 (Riff) (Also, Father of Amber Tamblyn - "Joan of Arcadia" TV Series)
  • Richard Beymer, 66 (Tony/Defected from the Jets)
  • Rita Moreno, 73 (Anita)
  • Tony Mordente, 64 (Action/Jets) (Also, married to Chita Rivera who played Maria on Broadway)
  • David Winters, 65 (A-Rab/Jets)
  • Eliot Feld, 62 (Baby John/Jets)
  • Bert Michaels, (Snowboy)
  • David Bean (Tiger)
  • Robert Banas, 71 (Joyboy)
  • Susan Oakes (Anybodys, Tomboy)
  • Harvey Evans, 63 (Mouthpiece)
  • Gina Trikonis, 65 (Graziella, Riff's Girl, danced in gym sequence) (Sister of Director Gus Trikonis)
  • Carole D' Andrea (Velma, Ice's Girl, danced in gym sequence)
  • Gus Trikonis, 66 (Indio/Sharks)
  • Jay Norman (Pepe/Sharks)
  • Eddie Verson, (Juano/Sharks)
  • Jaime Rogers, (Loco/Sharks)
  • Larry Roquemore (Rocco/Sharks)
  • Nick Covacevich, (Toro/Sharks)
  • Andre Tayir, (Chile/Sharks)
  • Yvonne Othon, (Consuelo)
  • Suzie Kaye, (Rosalia)
  • Joanne Miya, (Francisca)
  • John Astin, Gladhand, 74 (Social Worker, Leading Dance in Gym)
  • Christopher "Kit" Culkin, 60 (Extra) (Also, Father of Macaulay Culkin)
  • Marni Nixon, 74 (uncredited singing voice of Maria) (was told to "never admit" to part, "or else")
  • Betty Wand (Anita (songs 'A Boy Like That' and 'I Have a Love')
  • Jimmy Bryant, 75 (singing voice for Tony) (Also, whistled for Elvis Presley in some roles)
  • Robert Wise, 90 (Director)
  • Arthur Laurents, 86 (Playwriter)
  • Ernest Lehman, 89 (Playwriter)
  • Walter Mirisch, 83 (Excecutive Producer) (Also, producer of In The Heat Of The Night)
  • Stephen Sondheim, 74 (composer-lyricist) Won the Pulitzer Prize for his musical "Sunday in the Park with George". Was taught by broadway legend, Oscar Hammerstein II. Provides the voice of Rose's father on the original cast album to "Gypsy" in the track "Some People." He reads the line "You ain't getting eighty-eight cents out of me, Rose" & it is practically snarled. Sondheim claims this is because he was incredibly frustrated with Ethel Merman (the actress who played Rose), who refused to read the line "& you can go to hell."


Deceased:

  • Jerome Robbins (Director)
  • Natalie Wood (Maria)
  • Simon Oakland (Lieutenant Schrank)
  • Ned Glass (Doc)
  • William Bramley (Officer Krupke)
  • Tucker Smith (Ice, Riff's Lieutenant/Jets/played in the "Cool" number)(Also dubbed Russ Tamblyn's singing voice for the film)
  • Anthony "Scooter" Teague (Big Deal)
  • Tommy Abbot (Gee-Tar) (Also served as dance assistant in West Side Story)
  • Jose De Vega (Chino, Maria's Brother)
  • Robert E. Thompson (Luis/Sharks)
  • Rudy Del Campo, (Del Campo)
  • Penny Santon, (Madam Lucia, Bridal Shop) (Also played Mrs. Meeker in the movie, Funny Girl)


  • Leonard Bernstein, (Renowned composer) His song compositions include: "Maria", "Tonight", "Something's Coming", "I Feel Pretty", "Cool", "America", and "Gee, Officer Krupke". Served as music director of the New York Philharmonic from 1958 to 1969; took a one-year sabbatical leave in 1964-65. Was named laureate conductor for life when he stepped down from the music director's post. He became a prodigious pianist, conductor, composer, and lecturer, although he suffered from asthma throughout his life. Audiences often heard him wheezing above the orchestra.
  • Saul Chaplin, (Composer)



http://imdb.com/title/tt005561 4/fullcredits#writers
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funkcity (funkcity)
1-Arriviste
Username: funkcity

Post Number: 1
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 68.66.177.30
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 2:59 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One of Leonard Bernstein's regrets was not composing more musicals!

I did an analysis of this movie chapter-by-chapter (DVD)with my daughter for her music class.

The story, the lyrics, the structure and the very-unique melodic Bernstein music made it my favorite musical of all time to this day!
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Uptight (uptight)
2-Debutant
Username: uptight

Post Number: 14
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 24.55.0.68
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 3:39 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, Morgan for clarifying the Debbie Allen question. Now I don't feel too embarrassed, since you say she WAS in the show (albeit not in the movie).
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dvdmike (dvdmike)
2-Debutant
Username: dvdmike

Post Number: 23
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 65.208.234.61
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 6:57 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

David Winters was the choreographer for "Hullabaloo" TV series, 1964-66.
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Lady Mystique (ladymystique)
4-Laureate
Username: ladymystique

Post Number: 137
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 66.33.227.184
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 8:44 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Arcadia...thanks SO much for that extensive list!
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mel(andthensome) (mel)
3-Pundit
Username: mel

Post Number: 35
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 81.153.210.167
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 9:40 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The Jets and The Sharks
with outstanding choreography and musical score
throughout.

An absolute classic
gotta go have 'just met a girl named Maria'.............

Bernstein and co. outstanding

west side mel
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Edgar (edgar)
1-Arriviste
Username: edgar

Post Number: 8
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 200.46.13.147
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 11:12 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've always had a love-hate relationship with this play/movie, especially after living six years in Puerto Rico and visiting New York. The idea of adapting "Romeo and Juliet" was clever, but the execution was too one-dimensional, a sort of "Shakespeare Redux" (by the way, the same story was told before in the play “Callimachus” by the Saxon Benedictine nun Hrotsvitha –or Roswita- in the 10th century.) In Shakespeare’s tale, the Capulets and the Montagues were both rich and powerful families, and both were from the same land and belonged to the same ethnic group. In the stage play, Arthur Laurents almost turned the complex sociological aspects of the Puerto Rican subculture in New York, into caricature status, with Puerto Ricans shouting "Olé!" (an expression quite common in Spain, not in Latin America) and dancing something close to flamenco. Leonard Bernstein was a great composer, but he could have made a little research, and use the rich heritage of Puerto Rican music, including elements of the plena or the bomba, for example. Choreographer Jerome Robbins could have also take advantage of Puerto Rican dances, instead of using the by-then (1950’s) fashionable mambo. "America" is one of the most racist songs I can remember in a Broadway play, thanks to Stephen Sondheim's lyrics, who --quite obviously-- knew just the basics of the migration drama of Puerto Ricans to the United States. It was and still is a dramatic situation, but he reduced the motivation to hurricane blowin', population growin', money owin', sunlight screamin', natives' steamin' and whatever other silly rhymes came to his mind. And it goes on… Puerto Rican girls hardly would sing “I Feel Pretty”. Notice also that most of the songs are given to the Jets, perhaps due to the fact that alien culture was not the forte of Bernstein, Sondheim, Laurents and Robbins. It may be one of the great works of American musical theater, but it does have its limitations when significantly evaluated.
I saw the play a couple of years ago (the complete version, proudly declared its director, while he could have done some cutting), and it has aged badly. It’s almost a cartoon today, extremely long and quite boring.
On the other hand, the remarkable aspects of the movie are the screen adaptation by Ernest Lehman (“Sabrina”, “North by Northwest”, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”) and the direction by Robert Wise (“The Set-Up”, “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, “I Want To Live!”, “The Sand Pebbles”.) They would collaborate again in “The Sound of Music”, one of the best screen adaptations ever of a musical play. (Notice how the aerial prologue was used in both films.) I was too young to write film reviews when both films opened, but when I did I always made references to all the above said.
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tsaneladi (tsaneladi)
3-Pundit
Username: tsaneladi

Post Number: 37
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 68.32.91.222
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 11:59 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I kind of come from a place like Edgar. I too have a love/hate thing going on with this musical. I find that with musicals in general i allow a lot more "sugar-sweetness" than I would allow in any other artform I enjoy.

I also liked Sunset Blvd and Miss Saigon and my favorite is Whistle Down The Wind

(Message edited by tsaneladi on April 19, 2004)
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Edgar (edgar)
1-Arriviste
Username: edgar

Post Number: 9
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 200.46.13.246
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 12:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Among the clever things Lehman-Wise did with "The Sound of Music", I would include: leaving "The Lonely Goatherd" for the puppet show, and instead using "My Favorite Things" when the kids are scared during the storm; eliminate the Baroness' song, doing "Do Re Mi" in beautiful exteriors; adding the new song "I Have Confidence"...
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DyvaNaye (westside314)
3-Pundit
Username: westside314

Post Number: 45
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 209.212.74.216
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 12:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This, without a doubt is my favorite 'dramatic' musical...the King and I is second...I know every dance step, ever word to every song and even performed this play at my church...Man, I love W-S-S...(note my username...)

I think I will watch it tonight.......
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Arcadia (arcadia)
2-Debutant
Username: arcadia

Post Number: 11
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 4.237.17.44
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 4:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi LadyMystique, your welcome.

I wanted to "thank you" for the West Side Story topic. It is one of my favorite films.

It started me to thinking about the cast members, all brilliant, and who was still in our mist. I worked on the list Sunday and posted it last night.

Once again, thanks Lady Mystique.

A-
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Morgan (leeway)
1-Arriviste
Username: leeway

Post Number: 6
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 205.188.116.138
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 5:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just did a search for Tucker Smith (Ice), I was curious to know how/what he died from. Throat cancer in 1988. (I'm a little bit on the morbid side I guess!)
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Lady Mystique (ladymystique)
4-Laureate
Username: ladymystique

Post Number: 153
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 199.224.119.131
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 7:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You're welcome, Arcadia!

Gee, I should have thought about the "stereotypes" that I did notice in the movie Edgar and tsaneladi.
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janebse (janebse)
2-Debutant
Username: janebse

Post Number: 13
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 68.63.6.8
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 7:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Edgar, WOW!
All the comments show that we bring so much to our listening, our viewing, and our eventual reception of any artistic material. I wonder if it is ever possible to step outside of our own perceptions and view something completely independently and on its own merits.

It really doesn't matter what thread we are posting on. Our perceptions of anything depend so much on ourselves. It's rather humbling.
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Lady Mystique (ladymystique)
4-Laureate
Username: ladymystique

Post Number: 163
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 199.224.119.131
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 8:22 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

janebse...it sure is...and great to see you! :-)
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Arcadia (arcadia)
2-Debutant
Username: arcadia

Post Number: 12
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 4.237.17.44
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 8:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In 1951 Leonard Bernstein married Chilean-born actress Felicia Montealegre Cohn. I once read that she had a tremendous influence on his musical arrangements in West Side Story.

I found the following letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife, Felicia. For a moment, we are "in" the mind of the famed conductor:


97, Estate of Leonard Bernstein. By Permission of Amberson, Inc.

On August 8, 1957, Bernstein wrote this letter to his wife Felicia about his work on West Side Story.

".I missed you terribly yesterday -- we wrote a new song for Tony that's a killer, & it just wasn't the same not playing it first for you. It's really going to save his character -- a driving 2/4 in the great tradition (but of course fucked up by me with 3/4s and whatnot) -- but it gives Tony balls -- so that he doesn't emerge as just a euphoric dreamer.

"These days have flown so -- I don't sleep much; I work every -- literally every -- second (since I'm doing four jobs on this show -- composing, lyric-writing, orchestrating and rehearsing the cast). It's murder, but I'm excited. It may be something extraordinary. We're having our first run thru for PEOPLE on Friday -- Please may they dig it!."

http://www.leonardbernstein.co m/studio/element2.asp?id=96

http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~s an/bernstein.jpg
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Lady Mystique (ladymystique)
4-Laureate
Username: ladymystique

Post Number: 168
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 199.224.119.131
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 8:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wow great links!
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Edgar (edgar)
1-Arriviste
Username: edgar

Post Number: 10
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 200.46.13.146
Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 12:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

janebse, I don't think it's possible to subtract oneself from an evaluation of a work of art, no matter what theoreticians say. There are "objetctive" parameters that one uses to evaluate a book, a painting, a symphony or a film, but in the end –according to my experience as a film critic for more than 20 years- the best part of a review is when you add your personal view, admittedly tinted with what you have seen or experienced - as Pauline Kael admittedly used to do, and Vincent Canby too, though he made you believe he did not. This is what people call an impressionistic review. You take the risk of letting your personal information blind you from what, as you say, the work really is. But it seems art is that and more. One can try doing a description, as Susan Sontag suggested in her essay "Against Interpretation", which is fine, but I prefer to add my personal thoughts and to compare the film to what are the most advanced forms of filmmaking. Even when one does so, it's very difficult to adhere to a single aesthetics, because there are movies from all over the world, different languages, resources, styles, from which all filmmakers can and should learn. For me, after all I have said about its sociological shortcomings, "West Side Story" is more on the filmed theater side. It is more in the lines of the so-called "zero degree style" moviemaking. I am not judging it from a 2004 point of view, but from the perspective of its time of release - the early 60's, when the film world was taken by surprise by the freshness of movies like "Breathless", "Psycho", "Shadows", "Black Sunday", "Saturday Night, Sunday Morning", "La dolce vita", "The 400 Blows", "The Virgin Spring" or "Ivan’s Childhood," most of which have passed the test of time. I had to write what I did, in the same vein Isaac defends the African-American culture. The so-called Latino culture is as varied and rich as the whole land beyond the Rio Grande, so Chilean culture is quite different from the culture of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico.
I don't write film reviews in papers anymore. I hate to go to see all types of movies to write a weekly column. Now I see what I like. In case you're interested, a few of my reviews (in English!) can be read at Internet Movie Database (you'll see how much I love "Car Wash"), using this link:
http://uk.imdb.com/user/ur0347 711/comments
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Livonia Ken (livonia_ken)
1-Arriviste
Username: livonia_ken

Post Number: 5
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 136.2.1.101
Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 2:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This movie is partially responsible for my existence as it was the film my parents took in on their first date. Don't let knowing that fact lessen your opinion of the film, though. :-)

Both Russ Tamblyn and Richard Beymer had recurring roles on the David Lynch television series "Twin Peaks". Beymer was "Benjamin Horne", and Tamblyn was "Dr. Jacoby". There was no choreagraphed gang violence, though. :-)

Marni Nixon also was the singing voice of Audrey Hepburn in "My Fair Lady" and Deborah Kerr in "The King and I". She was not only a talented singer with tremendous vocal range, but she was very skilled at acting through her singing voice which is tricky to do.

Regards,
Ken
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john c (john_c)
1-Arriviste
Username: john_c

Post Number: 10
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 12.2.233.107
Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 2:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Some trivia:

Marni Nixon's son is Andrew Gold who played on some of Linda Ronstadt's big '70's lps including all the instruments on her cover of Heat Wave. Many on the forum have expressed their distaste for that cover (great guitar solo though).

Also, I still have a crush on Natalie Wood.



(Message edited by john_c on April 20, 2004)
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Bong-Man (bongman)
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Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 3:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Natalie Wood did not have good memories of this movie. She could never hide the dissapointment of not singing her own part of Maria. She took voice lessons months before the movie doing the best she could, and then learned before production that someone else would be used. She was crushed by this for years, and never respect her own role in the movie because of it. From what I've heard, her singing wasn't all that bad. She was indeed beautiful.
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Morgan (leeway)
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Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 7:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have read that about Natalie Wood being disapointed about having her singing dubbed (As was my girl Audrey Hepburn she was livid!) and from all accounts that I read about it, pretty much everyone agreed- she wasn't good (her singing voice wasn't very strong- I read a bio on Leonard Bernstein- he described it as "thin").

Natalie Wood was dating Warren Beatty at the time, and she suspected he was cheating on her, I think that might have added to her not having a good experience on the film. She tried killing herself over him. (I'm not sure if it was before/during or after WSS.it was the early sixties).
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Soul Sister (soul_sister)
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Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 11:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

When that movie came out I saw it 7 & 1/2 times! I had a teenage crush on "Nardo".:-)
S.S.
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Morgan (leeway)
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Posted on Friday, April 23, 2004 - 8:10 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Some more trivia:

Jerome Robbins is listed in the credits as Director (or co-director). He actually was only on the movie set for 2 weeks, he was such a pain in the ass, that they barred him from the set. He insisted on the director's credit and at the end of the credits you'll see something like "conceived" by Jerome Robbins. He insisted on that also. The reason all the principal people involved in making the movie, gave in to his demands was because of his brilliant coreography(sp?) work and he had always been in the mix during the time in the 50's when Laurents and Bernstein first began collaborating on taking the play to braodway. Arthur Laurents is adamant that Robbins did not conceive it, nor should he have been given the credit as director. I guess I can see his point but, the dancing is an integral part of the movie and Robbins (by all accounts) was a very forceful, pain in the neck.

Bernstein was a very fair and laid back individual. Laurents (in his autobiography- which is very good) describes the relationship between Robbins and Bernstein, Bernstein always gave in to Robbins.

Bernstein also did something quite wonderful for Marni Nixon. She sang the songs for Maria, well she wasn't credited on the movie soundtrack album (which at one time was the best-selling movie soundtrack ever) so she wasn't receiving royalties. Of course she was upset and was making a huge fuss about it (rightfully so) so Bernstein gave her 1% of his royalties (something like that) and while I don't know anything about royalties, she was quite pleased with that. I thought that was a decent thing for him to do. How it got to be that she wasn't credited, or signed off on royalties(?) I don't know that story...gotta get to work!!!
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Edgar (edgar)
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Posted on Friday, April 23, 2004 - 10:57 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Morgan, in the 1992 re-issue of the soundtrack, Marni Nixon finally got the credit, as well as Jim Bryant (dubbing Richard Beymer) and Betty Wand (dubbing Rita Moreno.) It also includes the overture, the complete "Dance At the Gym", the a capella fragment of "Somewhere" that Maria sings in the end, and the end credits music. According to the CD's notes, Russ Tamblyn did his own singing, Robbins was the one who had the initial idea of making a modern musical version of "Romeo and Juliet" (in 1949 he approached Bernstein, with whom he had created "On the Town"; Laurents entered the scene later) and the Mirisch brothers (producers of the film) wanted the involvement of Robbins in the production, deciding to give him co-director credit. I don't mean the CD booklet has the final word, but here's a different version.
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dvdmike (dvdmike)
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Posted on Friday, April 23, 2004 - 12:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm not a big fan of musicals, but my all-time favorite is "West Side Story." I remember my 8th grade teacher playing the Broadway soundtrack in class one day. I also liked "Porgy And Bess", but we're not likely to see it anytime soon. The Gershwin estate put in on lockdown.
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Uptight (uptight)
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Posted on Saturday, April 24, 2004 - 5:59 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Edgar, I enjoy the 1992 CD re-issue more than the original. It contains much more music from the film and was re-mixed to include both the session master tapes and the four-track 35mm mag film audio for a much cleaner and more dynamic sound that probably would not have translated so well on an LP 30 years earlier.

(Message edited by uptight on April 24, 2004)
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Morgan (leeway)
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Posted on Saturday, April 24, 2004 - 7:31 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Edgar,

I could be wrong with the conceived by story, Robbins did come to Bernstein with the idea (initially he thought Jewish-Catholic instead of Puerto Rican-American.) If i'm not mistaken, Laurents came up with the Puerto Rican-American angle after reading about several conflicts between the two groups in New York city at the time he wrote it. Maybe that's why he challenges Robbins conceived by credit. I don't know, there are two sides to every story. I just know Laurents wrote the play and he relayed the story of Robbins being kicked off the set of the movie in his book.
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LoveChild (lovechild)
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Posted on Saturday, April 24, 2004 - 10:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Morgan,

When Natalie was filming "WSS" she was still very much married to Robert Wagner.

She didn't learn of the dubbing until AFTER her scenes were shot. She in fact filmed all her scenes lip-synching to her actual vocal tracks.

She was concerned over her accent and the cold reception accorded her by some of the cast (Moreno being one of them) and this I believe may have had something to do with her unhappiness on this film.

I loved her performance and her dubbing does nothing to distract me from enjoying what I consider to be a very well-rounded performance. She took on a major, major part and IMHO she just nails that last scene when she's confronting all the gang members for all the hate that leads to the deaths of her brother and her lover.

Many of her detractors insist that a Latina should have been cast in the role. I disagree, the role just needed a competent actress and Natalie was a competent enough actress (not to mention a major box office draw) to handle the role. After all the original actress to portray Maria on Broadway - Carol Lawrence, wasn't Latina either.

Just my 15 cents :-)

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Edgar (edgar)
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Posted on Saturday, April 24, 2004 - 10:37 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What was Benicio del Toro in "Traffic"? Colombian? Mexican? Puerto Rican? Although he is Puerto Rican and I think his character was Mexican, for some strange reason Benicio decided to adopt the way Colombians talk. Depending on the region or the country, Latin Americans have different ways of speech, just as there are regional differences in the way people speak in big countries like Brazil, China and the USA. Most Puerto Ricans, for example, usually replace the R before another consonant for an L (many say "algumento" instead of "argumento") and they have a special cadence in their speech. I was very surprised that around 8 out of 10 persons in Puerto Rico sing very well.
Anyway... what am I saying??? Maybe Rita Moreno was echoing the old protest that African-Americans should be played by African-Americans (not white actors with painted faces as in "The Birth of a Nation"), native Americans by native Americans (and not Burt Lancaster or Debra Paget.) Eventually things have fallen into place, and today most Latin Americans are played by Latin Americans (not Antonio Banderas, who is a neo-conquistador, lol, as many Spaniards behave in our countries.) Homosexuals reject non-homosexuals playing homosexuals and so on: maybe that should also apply to heterosexual characters... I don't know. What I know is that when I did in Panama "Sexo, pudor y lágrimas" ("Sex, Shame and Tears") -a Mexican play about today's heterosexual couple, turned into a 1999 movie distributed by Fox- I wanted heterosexual actors to play the male characters, but I was not able to assemble the cast I wanted. One of the roles was given to a homosexual. Unfortunately, it did not function although he tried hard; he was acting, he wasn't feeling.
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Arcadia (arcadia)
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Posted on Saturday, April 24, 2004 - 6:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The scenes that I loved the most in West Side Story was the "The Jet Song" (Prologue) and the exhilarating ballet like dancing of the two street gangs, the dance at the gym (again, great dancing), "The Rumble" (Sharks/Jets prepare for fight), and "America" (sexy Rita on top of a NYC roof). If I saw a flaw in the movie, I would "think" Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins (yes, even in his limited role, less was more IMO) and the positive would outweigh the negative. The music and dancing was so provocative. So romantic.


**Arthur Laurents: "You couldn't have a story about murder, violence, prejudice, attempted rape, and do it in a traditional musical style." So he outlined the prologue, without dialogue, allowing Robbins to establish the street gangs, show their pecking order, celebrate their swagger in the street, demonstrate their physical grace, and establish their hostility -- all in a ballet scored by Bernstein with music, finger-snapping and anger.**

That "finger-snapping" reminds me of the resourceful Funk Brothers/Cholly Atkins and how they used the most natural means of accomplishing the body as an instrument be it finger snapping, hand clapping, foot stomping and anything else they could find in their mist. It was raw physical percussion and it was unique....beautiful!

Trivia. George Chakiris, who played the role of "Bernardo" was Greek, not hispanic. Yet, he brought so much dimension to the role.

Here's another interesting bit of trivia. The role of "Tony" was offered FIRST to none other than Elvis who, of course, could sing his own songs. The offer was turned down by his manager, Tom Parker, because he felt the beach-boy flicks were better suited to his persona. A young Elvis singing the Disney-esq "Somewhere" was not cutting it with the "Colonel".

After WSS, Natalie Wood went on to star in "GYPSY" (1962). Does anyone know if her voice "dubbed" in that film?

A-
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Lady Mystique (ladymystique)
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Posted on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 5:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did you know that George Chakiris played RIFF in the play version before playing BERNARDO in the film version? I found that very interesting!

Also to bring up a point, Anthony Quinn played a multitude of characters...Mexican, Greek, you name it...that for a while, I didn't know what nationality he was! :-)
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Edgar (edgar)
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Posted on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 8:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, yes, lol. He was Greek not only once as Zorba, but he played Onassis, he was Zeus on TV series "Hercules" and he was in "Ulysses", he played Attila the Hun, he played Frenchmen (painter Paul Gauguin and poor Quasimodo), he was a Skimo, Caiaphas in "Jesus of Nazareth", Italian (one of his most famous roles, Zampano, in "La Strada"), he played Chinese and Arabs, and of course he was Mexican many times, as his Oscar-winning role playing Emiliano Zapata's brother in "Viva Zapata!" I remember when I was a kid that going to see one of his movies was always fun. There were some actors my friends and I enjoyed as if they were funny characters, even if in real life they were different, people like Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters, Edward G. Robinson and Thelma Ritter...
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LoveChild (lovechild)
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Posted on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 9:09 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Arcadia,

Natalie Wood did her own singing in "Gypsy".

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