West Side Story - 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Set
by Brian Savage

The 50th Anniversary Edition set of West Side Story is a fabulous release of the 1961 Oscar winning performance. If you haven’t seen this in a while, it is an amazing piece of work with dance moves that seem incredible, not only for dance, but also athletically! The colors are vibrant and the music in 7.1 DTS-HD makes you want to get up and try some of the dances (which I wouldn’t recommend unless you want a trip to the hospital). This American Romeo and Juliet piece is still very moving fifty years later. It takes the classic story of Romeo and Juliet to the streets of New York in the late ‘50s as boy meets girl while each one is involved in a rival gang.

The three disc set contains Blu-ray Special Features including a slightly different take on commentaries…usually we just hear the commentaries from one or two members from the cast, while this version, has comments from experts in the dance, theatre, and movie industries. The shorter comments are worked into (with on screen appearances of the experts) in Pow! The Dances of West Side Story that runs while you watch the movie. The longer version A Place for US: West Side Story’s Legacy is on the second disc, which has two sub programs about the Creation and Innovation and A Timeless Vision.

You also are treated to West Side Stories Memories where many of the original cast, producers, writers and lyricists tell what their objective was in making the movie, how they approached the work, and the difficulties involved. An also interesting Blu-ray feature is the Storyboard-to-film Comparison Montage. I think it is always tons of fun to see how the original storyboards are brought to life in the film.

Don’t miss this trip back fifty years to a different era and time! I highly recommend that you add this Blu-ray set to your collection. The music and dance are timeless.