Review: ‘West Side Story’

No film deserves a top-shelf DVD arrival more than "West Side Story," and MGM's treatment comes close. As the original trailer intones, the 1961 Oscar winner "grows younger" each year -- especially in this lush transfer complete with 5.1 sound, which helps the years fall away.

No film deserves a top-shelf DVD arrival more than “West Side Story,” and MGM’s treatment comes close. As the original trailer intones, the 1961 Oscar winner “grows younger” each year — especially in this lush transfer complete with 5.1 sound, which helps the years fall away. The docu “West Side Memories” is one of the best yet produced on disc, coaxing even the hermitic Stephen Sondheim to reminisce about the chaotic shoot. Regrettably, however, there are glitches. The docu, which is the bulk of the bonus material thanks to a conspicuous lack of commentary tracks, dodges the issue of race. How can a 2003 viewer not cringe at Natalie Wood’s not-so-preety accent?

Hefty physical package favors quantity over quality. The shooting script and lobby brochure are cool curios, as is a new introduction by screenwriter Ernest Lehman. But the effect is filler, not serious archival study. And it seems a crime not to have an objective commentator appraise the film anew, especially in light of “Chicago” and “Moulin Rouge” reinvigorating the genre.

West Side Story

MGM, $39.98
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Digital News from Variety

Loading