Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated adaptation of “West Side Story” will be hitting theaters on December 10, which gives you plenty of time to catch up on the original film released in 1961. The Oscar-winning musical starring Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, and Russ Tamblyn, was directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins with music from the late composer Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, who died this past Friday at 91.
To relive all the musical magic of the original film, you can rent “West Side Story” on Amazon Prime for $3.99 or purchase a digital copy for $1 more. You can also learn about the making of the film via this 1985 documentary that features Bernstein conducting his own score.
If you’d rather have a physical copy of the original musical film, pick up the “West Side Story” 50th anniversary Blu-ray box set featured below.
This four-disc set features the film remastered in 1080p with 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, song-specific commentary by Sondheim, musical tributes, and other special features. The box set also comes with post cards, and a hardcover book filled with photos and stories about the 1961 movie.
As for Spielberg’s “West Side Story,” the dazzling remake stars Rachel Zegler as Maria and Ansel Elgort as Tony. Maddie Ziegler, Ariana DeBose, Mike Faist, David Alvarez, and Moreno round out the cast.
“West Side Story” the musical debuted on Broadway in 1957 prior to making its silver screen debut. Remaking the beloved film was a passion project for Spielberg, the Oscar-winning director told audiences during a screening this week. “I was 10 years old when I first listened to the ‘West Side Story’ album, and it never went away,” he reportedly said. “I’ve been able to fulfill that dream and keep that promise that I made to myself. ‘You must make West Side Story.'”
For more theater-related content, be sure check out our list of the best gifts for musical lovers.