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Spielberg's West Side Story

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  • Spielberg's West Side Story

    Remakes of classic films are challenged from the very inception: Cinema purists are a tough audience to win over. How could a cinema classic be re-made and stand up to the original? In most cases they don't . The scene for scene Psycho remake comes to mind. David Cronenberg used a different approach in his The Fly re-make bringing the premise into then modern times and created a superior horror film...Having seen the trailer for Speilberg's West Side Story I have the feeling we are in for a new treat. Will it be as good as the original or something different and better?

  • #2
    Burton, you make a good point!

    However, being a traditionalist, I think that any accepted 'classic' should be left alone so as not to detract from the well-deserved reputation that they have built up since their original release.


    • #3
      Yep I think it would be pretty hard to beat this.......but you never Know


      • #4
        Brilliant video Graham!

        I very much doubt that you could beat Rita Moreno and George Chakiris for those superb routines 🙂

        I wonder what the late, great Bernstein would think of his masterpiece of a score being re-filmed? 🤔


        • #5
          I'm looking forward to receiving a cut down of Gold Diggers of 1933. Apparently, this too is a remake. Possibly overshadowing the earlier films, two I think. I'm guessing the Ginger Rodgers 1933 is the Classic. Possibly any remake can become the defacto classic, time will tell.
          I do like that clip of West Side Story though.


          • #6
            The Fly remake was a totally different type of film, the original was much more a mystery of what happened as it started with the the inventor being found dead, as that film had given the game away at the end the remake had to be more of an outright horror film starting with the development of the equipment.


            • #7
              I agree with All on this, but if anyone could pull it off, it would be Speilberg. I'm curious as to why he would want to, though. It'll be PC friendly, though, to be sure.


              • #8
                I'm disappointed it wasn't shot in 65mm as was the original. If you've never seen West Side Story in 70mm you haven't seen it. It's a totally different experience. I'll go see it just out of curiosity. I like Maria's singing voice, and I believe it's her own. But I just don't care for the actor playing Tony. We'll see. I know Lance's theater is opening back up in December and I'm hoping it will have this version on film.


                • #9
                  IMDB's review of the 1961 version of West Side Story notes:

                  Crazy credits
                  There are no opening credits; a stylized, tinted aerial still of Manhattan is shown as the overture plays. The background changes color as the themes change throughout the overture. As the overture ends, the tinting is blue, the title appears, and the shot segues to aerial photography of Manhattan streets and landmarks.
                  Attached is a copy of the original note created to aid the 70mm projection staff in setting up, and how the presentation should begin.

                  Technical Information bulletin for West Side Story.pdf

                  The cheat sheet for the 2021 version will read, "Press the green 'start' button' and turn off the auditorium lights"

                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    If I had to pick out five movies never to be re-made, this one would be in that list. It's such a standard it's as if trying a remake is sacrilege! (-even if it really isn't)

                    -doesn't mean I won't go see it!

                    (Do you think Derann will re-form and make a new set of extracts?)

                    Larry, Maria's singing voice came from Marni Nixon. There's a story that on the day they were going to shoot "A Boy like That", Rita Moreno had a head cold and Marni Nixon sang for BOTH Rita Moreno and Natalie Wood. All by herself she was a duet!


                    • #11
                      Excellent comments from all! Steve, I think Larry is referring to the voice of the NEW Maria. I share his opinion of the NEW Tony as well. I have never seen the film in the cinema, let alone 70mm. That would be something! The Super 8 Kempski scope feature is a stunning print though!


                      • #12
                        Yes I meant the NEW Maria. I saw West Side Story when it was first released probably only in 35mm as it was at a 2nd run theater. I saw it in 70mm much later in the 90's and about 6 or 7 years ago. The image is so clear it's like you're there on the streets of New York. I also saw the play during High School and the film switched 2 songs around.


                        • #13
                          Must have been great to see it in 70mm Larry - so who needs Digital HD? 😉

                          Steve - I saw a great documentary on the BBC a few years ago on Marni Nixon - she certainly was a well kept secret for a number of years, hope she got well paid for all of her work....but probably didn't ☚ī¸


                          • #14
                            OK! (-understood!)

                            -I seriously doubt they'd have the nerve to dub Maria and Tony again!

                            A review of the 1961 West Side Story described them "mouthing like fishes" during their duets.

                            Sometimes it's fun to read the reviews of classic movies done at their premier. Quite often you learn they've become beloved with time, but weren't always.

                            If my life was a movie, I'd have several people dubbed, in many cases bring in a writer too!


                            • #15
                              I have the original on DVD and hope to be seeing the new version at our local cinema next week so "watch this space" for my own personal comments. Ken Finch.