West Side Story Essay

766 Words Oct 19th, 1999 4 Pages
In 1961, West Side Story, a filmed version of the hit Broadway musical that was inspired by William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," was released to viewers, who just could not resist the energy and excitement of the movie. Thirty-eight years later, viewers, like myself, still cannot resist it. I had never seen the film, which was directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, before, but I had always wondered why people loved this multi award-winning movie so much. After viewing the film, I think that it deserved the ten Academy Awards that it won because it has withstood the test of time and it truly is a remarkable film. It still has the same flair and ability to lure the viewer into the plot as it did when it was first shown in theaters. …show more content…
I never knew when the actors were going to start singing and dancing, which added a delightful element of mystery to the film. The directors and cinematographer, Daniel L. Fapp, worked together to change the way musicals were traditionally shot. Instead of using traditional long shots, they used quick cuts and varied angles to enhance the appeal of the musical numbers. I was fascinated by the way the colorful costumes, which won the Oscar for Best Costume Design, fit together perfectly with the dance numbers to enhance the entire scene. The way the women tossed the skirts of their frilly, bright dresses around to fit the beats of the music truly made the scenes wonderful. The scenery in the film was perfect for the West Side of New York City. The rooftops, alleys, and secluded spots are what won West Side Story the Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color Oscar. The songs are unforgettably beautiful, especially "I Feel Pretty," "Tonight," and "America," and they can make anyone start singing and dancing along regardless of whether or not he or she actually knows the lyrics. In fact, one of the best examples of effective cinematography in the film involves a song. There is a split screen effect between several characters as they all sing the song, "Tonight," as they march to the rumble. Even today, people rent West Side Story to see why it won so many awards and received so much acclaim. In my