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West Side Story - Making of a classic

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West Side Story - Making of a classic.
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James Horton (7 days ago)
Bernsteins daughter, Jamie, sure looks and sounds like the actress who played Velma, the blonde Jet girl in WSS film. I can almost picture her saying, "no thank you, oo obilio".
Jack English (7 days ago)
mariia.cas (1 month ago)
Rob Houchen will always have my heart. xx - María
ML. Vaughn (1 month ago)
The movie was 1961
Fleur Cowan (1 month ago)
OMG Oliver Ormson and Chris (fro. Heathers) and Rob Houchen so many links to Carrie Hope Fletcher I'm loving this!
pat yankouski (2 months ago)
Absolutely fantastic. Thanks
Emma Santillan (2 months ago)
That young man singing "Maria" at the end has some wonderful pipes!! Wow!
Emma Santillan (2 months ago)
I remember reading many years ago...probably 25 - 30 years...that New York City could not show this movie in the theaters because it would cause the gangs to act up...literally!! Can you imagine seeing a bunch of gang members dancing in the streets?? I thought they were kidding but they weren't! I can imagine a bunch of theater arts majors doing some West Side Story steps in the streets...but real gangs? They would get their butts kicked!
winsboy (2 months ago)
So happy this was made. So angry that the ending was so abruptly cut off!!
Jack English (2 months ago)
2eleven48 (2 months ago)
Oh, stop with this bollocks.
Craig Ezell (2 months ago)
Don't mean to be a snob but I don't want to see these young performers.I want to see the originals. Those who were there at the beginning. Those still alive. These hipsters today, they don't have it like they did back in the day.
james ruppert (1 month ago)
Craig Ezell Beautiful morning
RaymondHng (1 month ago)
+Christine McElfay It's difficult to get so many people to interview when they can be living in various parts of the country or world with their own busy schedules and you have a limited budget and production time. This is a BBC production. So they have to fly talent and crew from the UK to New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco to talk to these people.
Christine McElfay (2 months ago)
Yes, where's Russ Tamblyn, Richard Beymer, the rest of both casts. Would have been nice to hear their stories
Charles Smith (2 months ago)
Now suppose that I was Jerome Robbins and I try to do a choreographed fight by his book--BY HIS BOOK--BY THE BOOK---at the start of the incidental music of "The Rumble" in "West Side Story." What would I choreograph............? 1. Just before the music, Riff strikes Bernando down to the ground, and Bernando gets up quickly and is angered and honing in on Riff at a distance. (Then music for the "Rumble" begins.) 2. Riff then realizes that he is now going to have to fight, and he menances his face honing in on Bernando. (At that point, the two fighters need to be about a 20-feet distance from each other). 3. Bernando then goes into one of the pockets, and then quickly gets out a knife for everyone to see, but hones it directly at Riff. 4. Riff responds by getting out his own knife. (Now both knives are openly displayed - front and center!) 5. Now Riff and Bernando does slow cross-circles around,, keeping about a 10- to 15- foot distance....still with very strong eye contact with their own knives and knife-hands, being both aware that they can be injured or killed in seconds. 6. Tony tries to intervene but he is pushed back away from the fighters. 7. Bernando and Riff do more countercircles, coming closer to themselves so they are within injury-range or killing-range of themselves with the knives, and do some pump-fake stabs towards each other. 8. Then both fighters try to run away from their own knife attacks in their first running lunges towards another. 9. Riff then trips Bernando into the ground, causing Bernando to lose his knife to about 5 feet away. Bernando then crawls quickly to get the knife but Riff quickly intervenes and pushes him away that he cannot get the knife. 10. Somehow then, Riff is held up the Sharks members allowing Bernando to get the knife easily, and it is back to square one. (At that point, you hear the line "KEEP OUT OF THIS!") That is what I would choreograph fight-wise.
Charles Smith (2 months ago)
MORE CHOREOGRAPHY IN THE FIGHT - Starting at the point where Riff is stabbed by Bernando. My thoughts.......... 1. Riff, just before he falls to the ground for the last time, gives the knife of his to Tony. Riff then falls down and dies. 2. Tony now looks at the knife's blood, realizing that he lost forever his best former-gang-friend of the Jets. 3. As the music starts up again after the pause in the music after the fatal stab and dying, Bernando is about to approach towards Tony. 4. From his good peripheral vision, Tony is quickly aware that Bernando is going to kill him, so as Bernando comes within 1 foot of Tony, Tony quickly stops Bernando in a clinch and stabs him immediately, and he falls dead quickly. 5. Then there is a free fight-for-all, and I would suggest that Chino punch, kick, elbow strike, and slam at Tony during the free-for-all fight until the police siren comes. Chino has to stop when the police siren wails, hold for 10 seconds, and realizing the surviving gang members - including his Sharks, are going to run for the hills away from the rumble site, I would suggest that Chino do a kick right into Tony's balls and then punch Tony into his face for good measure, and Chino then scales up the fence and runs away, leaving Tony stunned by the punches as he approaches towards the dead Riff and dead Bernando, and then, holding the knife as he kneels and stands up with knees still on the ground, he shouts "MARIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Billy Doyle (2 months ago)
Judy S. (3 months ago)
Who is the young man singing the role of Tony during and at the end? Never heard better.
RaymondHng (1 month ago)
Rob Houchen
Jack English (3 months ago)
Jack English (3 months ago)
Jack English (3 months ago)
Jack English (3 months ago)
Sasha Charnin (3 months ago)
What do i love about this if i haven't already said? My father-Martin Charnin-uncredited during Seth Rudetsky's radio show was an original, finger snapping Jet and my brother's father. (He also went on to direct and write the lyrics for some small show called "Annie") And his wife was a shark girl-Lynn Ross. My mother Genii Charnin, replaced Lynn in the show and in real life. She auditioned for West Side about 11 times? Her name then-Genii Prior-was on a cast breakdown-HERE! And it was x'd off! LOL. Have never seen that. So, thank you.
Wolfsky9 (3 months ago)
And, Richard Beymer's " ghost singer" was far better than this guy. --------------WolfSky9
DRIVEIN101 (2 days ago)
Jimmy Bryant
Wolfsky9 (3 months ago)
Marni Nixon sang better---------far better--------than any of the Maria's i've seen or heard. ---------------------WolfSky9
Frank Lesser (3 months ago)
Who is singing Tony and Maria, Tonight? They are wonderful. and him again, at 37.30.
RaymondHng (1 month ago)
+Frank Lesser https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFoy4eG9MW-iKN2vbEbNqKA/videos
Frank Lesser (1 month ago)
Thank you. He is a phenomenal talent! +RaymondHng
RaymondHng (1 month ago)
Rob Houchen
Ian Turner (3 months ago)
I hope Spielberg’s remake will be equally as impressive.
RaymondHng (1 month ago)
+M Mansky Rita Moreno will be serving as Executive Producer and Spielberg created a new role in the film for her. Filming is set to begin in the summer of 2019. https://variety.com/2018/film/news/rita-moreno-west-side-story-steven-spielberg-1203038311/ https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/rita-moreno-joins-steven-spielbergs-west-side-story-movie-1164273
KrazyOldKatLady 19 (1 month ago)
Some films can't be re-made and this is one of them
AzulaBlack (3 months ago)
That will be really difficult.
M Mansky (3 months ago)
Is Steven Spielberg doing a remake on Westside Story? Wow!!
pega17pl (4 months ago)
His lifetime Bernstein wanted to write an American opera. However, as he notes to his annoyance, the American language is not suitable. So all attempts remained stuck at musical or he could at least use the oratorio style (Mass). The American opera was not granted to him or he wasn't able to write his ideas to paper. Therefore his 'real master piece' doesn't exist. (Bernstein as composer, portrait, aired by German TV, August 25, Bernstein's 100th birthday.)
pega17pl (4 months ago)
Later: "Leonard Bernstein - Reflections" - by Peter Rosen
randomuser1105 (5 months ago)
The modern crap ruined this.
John Molloy (4 months ago)
exactly what I thought right off at 0:10, what happened to the "white gang"?  All productions have to have black male and strong female leads nowadays. Looks just like what I always pictured an Irish-Italian-Pollock street gang would look like, and the addition of the girl-Jet, damn a must see!..not!
Tony M (5 months ago)
for crying out loud, just sing 'fucking street' .that is one thing that made the film ahead of it's time. sure the lyric sheet to the soundtrack says 'fuggin', but when audiences sat down to watch it they must've been shocked. even 'bat out of Hell' was risky then. I saw it during a re-release in I think, '65.
Tony M (5 months ago)
I'm a rock/blues fan, but this is some of the best music wrtten in the last century, or ever.when theWHO released TOMMY and toured behind the album (which included a set at Woodstock),LB showered the record w/ praise(and it was NOT perfunctory.) and showed up at the MET to watch and hear the'Oo,and told Pete Townshend what a milestone he'd reached. he was anything but a snob. PT was the first to admit it wasn't opera at all, really Leonard Bernstein was a towering talent. rest his soul
Scott Hamilton (6 months ago)
Fantastic documentary. But the “Somewhere” singer at 58:00 blows. Harsh and soulless. She is hanging on her notes rather than sitting on them. Shame. “Tony,” on the other hand, wow. Superb.
Erin Snape (1 month ago)
Yes! It really is dreadful, they should have stuck with their first Maria, she was far better and would have delivered a lovely performance
Manning Bartlett (1 month ago)
I was about to write one of those angry "you should let the artist bring their own interpretation" comments, but then I listened. And yes, that version of Somewhere utterly blows completely. I've heard highschoolers do it with more sincerity.
pega17pl (4 months ago)
At me (53:15). Even simple province theatres at Europe have better singer.
Stuart Lee (6 months ago)
Oh, there you are!!
Stuart Lee (6 months ago)
Irene Lane (2 months ago)
Stuart Lee ez
Al Grellet (6 months ago)
crowe bobby (6 months ago)
And of course when it came time to make the movie, they wouldn't pay the Broadway dancers enough to make it worth their while to go to Hollywood. Same as with "A Chorus Line."
crowe bobby (6 months ago)
48:30 to 48:36 that girl's technique in "placing" that note is thrilling to watch. You don't just open your mouth and sing because you were born with a beautiful voice. Not at this level.
Beth Tallman (6 months ago)
This is one of my all time favorite movies. I got to see it for the first time ever on the big screen this past Sunday night. I have seen it on TV and DVD so many times I have the movie memorized. Thanks for sharing
Jackie S (6 months ago)
Who ARE these amazing young singers and dancers? They are spectacular.
Regpasha (7 months ago)
Rita wasn't allowed to do her own singing....all leads were dubbed!
RaymondHng (1 month ago)
Rita Moreno was dubbed by Betty Wand in the song "A Boy Like That" because the song needed to be performed at a register that was too low for her. However, Moreno sang her own vocals in "America". Marni Nixon sang some of Moreno's parts in the "Quintet" when illness prevented Moreno from doing so. Wand was also ill on the day of final recording, and so Nixon recorded Anita's vocal line as well.
steve S (3 months ago)
no- Rita sang everything except "a boy like that" which was sung by Betty Wand
Michael Bandada (7 months ago)
Tony-romeo Maria-juliet Bernardo-tybalt Anita-nurse Riff-mercutio
xiomana xoxoxo (7 months ago)
Leonard Bernstein is the TRUTH.:)
Justin Williams (8 months ago)
Anyone doing the symphony band assignment rn
reddogg dier (8 months ago)
RIchard Davidson (9 months ago)
I love Rita Moreno. God Bless her.
Jack Jeffrey (9 months ago)
Most of the new performances are bland......
Nemisi pip (13 days ago)
Can't wait to hear your opinion on the New movie
Jack Jeffrey (9 months ago)
Not to be a negative Nelson but I hate all the new stuff except when he talks about the Tritones
Ida Dudenmanner (9 months ago)
Is Liz Hurley narrating?
PRR5406 (10 months ago)
The energy and power of the score never gets old. Jesus, what energy.
violetsoup (10 months ago)
John De los Santos (10 months ago)
Great documentary, this focused more on the making of the show, but wish Director Robert Wise was given more credit, more ppl know the movie than the show, and if the movie was not good I don’t know if the show would be as loved today, takes a lot of talent and experience to turn a great show into a great movie
Jefe Hoptosh (11 months ago)
No tiene sabor... Just watch the movie...
Carleigh Ethridge (11 months ago)
Philip Mahoney-Berg (11 months ago)
Wonderful to watch and learn so much about the show - thanks for sharing.
stanleycoleman (1 year ago)
they should release a soundtrack.
Tony M (5 months ago)
I grew up w/ it in our house w/ a lyric sheet and all. it should be at a record store if you can still find one.
RastaSaiyaman (1 year ago)
It's funny, when the movie came out, Leonard Bernstein himself said that he hated what the RCA orchestra did with the songs, describing the result as "Devout of all subtlety." But when Bernstein did his own version of the play with Jose Carreras in the role of Tony in the early eighties, he was constantly going "It's NOT good enough!" Because what the RCA orchestra did with the songs was give them a drive which the original versions of the musical didn't have and Bernstein, despite his hatred of the movie versions, was actually trying to nail the sheer drive those songs had in the movie version.
Jack English (3 months ago)
Jackie S (6 months ago)
Where did you get this information? I'm sincerely curious.
Richie B. (1 year ago)
They shot part of the movie in Italian Harlem. My play ground was the playground in the opening shot. The real gangs there were the viceroys that was the Puerto Rican gang there at that time. If you look close you will see the viceroy name in the play ground. The real gang at that time was an Italian gang called the Red Wings. On Lexington Ave their was a building called the red wing block. That is how they got their name very few people new that. Their was girls called the red wing debs for debutants. Everyone was very prejudiced at the time. My older brother picked up a Puerto Rican girl. She asked him for his number. When she called our Italian mother picked up the phone. She heard her Spanish accent and told her there is no Ralphie here and don’t call here again. My father was a Jewish guy from Lexington Ave who was sitting in his friends candy store and saw her coming out of the 110 street subway station. He told his friend he was going to marry that girl. It took him ten years of stalking her but he did. Right after the end of WW2 they were married. She told him no 1000 Times. On the last no he said he was going to enlist in the army. She would send him things during the war. His family disowned him after he married her. He converted to catholism. I still go back to the neighborhood for the lifting of the Giglio once a year. Last time was in August I met an older lady. Who told me she was an extra in the moving. They paid her 50 dollars a day. That was a lot of money then. The rent in the tenements was 25 to 30 dollars a month back then.
Ronald Hirsch (1 month ago)
From what I've read, most of the filming was done in the area adjacent to what is now The Lincoln Center. In fact, most of the buildings were torn down soon after filming in order to construct Lincoln Center.
randomuser1105 (5 months ago)
Cool story. Wouldn't mind hearing more.
sunnylilme (10 months ago)
Richie B. Thank you for sharing this story. I'm 41, my mother was a brilliant pianist.. And we watched this movie together incessantly. I saw it in local plays, and Pipes and Pizza restaurant sing-a-longs with a bouncing ball on the words. Being from small town Indiana, I never really knew if the backstory, or culture was true. Thanks! This paints quite a portrait that will help me enjoy it even more!💖
Dissily Mordentroge (1 year ago)
Oops ! Not 'Hamlet' but 'Romeo & Juliet'
Dissily Mordentroge (1 year ago)
I wish we could cease refering to West Side Story as a musical. It's so much more than that, with music that's essentially operatic, choreography that was a groundbreaking hybrid of classical and so many other styles all held together by Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. A musical? C'mon, that's not just underestimating Bernstien, Robbins and William S, it's downright insulting.
pega17pl (4 months ago)
Please see my comment above (August 27, 2018).
Kim Lloyd-George (5 months ago)
Romeo and Juliet/not Hamlet!
Kim Lloyd-George (5 months ago)
Its a masterpiece of Music, dance and libretto.
Ida Dudenmanner (9 months ago)
Dissily Mordentroge R&J not Hamlet. If it was Hamlet Tony would have been moping all around the West Side between appointments with his shrink and Maria would be the daughter of his family's.... butler or something, who loved Tony but had her own damn problems, hence why she drowned herself in the East river, and as for the Sharks and the Jets they would have gotten killed on a trip they took (Rosencrantz & Guildenstern? After I saw R&G Are Dead with Gary Oldman & Tim Roth I've been confused as to what exactly happened with Hamlet's buddies...). Suffice it to say that it would have been a COMPLETELY different show had it been based on Hamlet... speaking of which has anyone else seen the movie Hamlet 2? It's AWESOME. I think it's on the STARZ or the HBO app... not sure which, really.
Charlotte B (1 year ago)
Or another way of looking at it would be that ALL musicals should be like this, to deserve the name... Dancing, especially, is so often relegated to the rank of mere "decoration". In West Side Story, it is actually used as art and as a medium to tell the story. It's brilliant. No other musical I've seen even comes close.
Danny Boy (1 year ago)
Ok I hate to say this cause he is talented, but for some reason I really can’t stand the young blond kid in this video they have singing for Tony. He sings with too much vibrato and lacks the vulnerability needed for a part like Tony.
crowe bobby (6 months ago)
He's not Playing the Role, he's singing it.
fmbmrtjdpcmrtb (10 months ago)
Tony was not hispanic, he was white and part of the white Jets gang - watch the movie again
Jill S (10 months ago)
I like him. He does sing with more force but I liked the way he looked at Maria in rehearsal so sweet. His voice gives me the chills.
Peter Smith (11 months ago)
Danny Boy b
DONEGAL RICK (1 year ago)
Who is the blonde male Singer who sings Maria and Somethings Coming?
Jaqueline Abel (1 year ago)
Crazy Curlz (1 year ago)
Erin Snape (1 month ago)
+Natalia Hutchings same! I'd seen his documentary before but it was so good I thought I'd watch it again
Natalia Hutchings (1 month ago)
Lol I've just come from his latest video of him saying he was in a making of West side story documentary ❤️
Stephi (9 months ago)
Crazy Curlz lol I was wondering the same thing! I just ran into the vid, I think it's him!
Lewis Beck (1 year ago)
This is brilliant.
loge10 (1 year ago)
Best documentary on this sublime work of art I have ever seen.
Jack English (3 months ago)
ritaroad (1 year ago)
Ok Eric...now your true colors come out. You’re entitled to your opinion, no need to beat around the bush.
Cheryl Rinker (1 year ago)
Cheyenne Jackson!
Zeug Dings (1 year ago)
There were no blacks in WSS. Why is there now?
Samantha Wood GM 2015 (7 months ago)
Maybe cuz it’s the 21st century and blacks have rights now? Why shouldn’t there be black people in WSS?
Leigh Silver (1 year ago)
The story was Anglos vrs Puetro Ricans.
TheNavyJim (1 year ago)
An American Theatrical Classic! Simply marvelous! Thanks for sharing.
BettinaBalser (1 year ago)
Tony is OK.  Maria and Anita are terrible.  Stop scooping up to the notes and just sing the damn song.  Lack of training.
Ivan hall (1 year ago)
should b gcse subject for all drama students the best musical ever made no question no dout
Tique Holl (1 year ago)
Such a great respect for a true work of art in outer time, and one that carries meaningful impact and messages of real value for all!! Bravo! (I'll look for the DVD or other ways to purchase and otherwise support the makers of this rather than just enjoying it for free on YouTube.)
Edward Cibener (1 year ago)
Still relevant-such brilliant dancing, great songs, and has much to say about the we interact with each other, or should. Makes one feel forever young-it is more about love than hate ultimately.
Tony M (5 months ago)
it's love vs. violence.
hippiecheezburger (8 months ago)
Edward Cibener yes omg I wish people were elegant like they used to be I think that style of human interaction is so beautiful
Eric Blair (1 year ago)
Why are there black people in the cast now?
Eric Blair (1 month ago)
Or, to put it another way, when a White chick dresses like an injun for a Halloween party and looks good doing it, that's cultural appropriation. But when black guys pretend to be the White Founding Fathers in a crappy B-way rapping "musical," it'll cost you 600 clams to enjoy the insult.
Taytoy Addic7ed (2 months ago)
+Eric Blair Because this is just a recording, not a movie where visual accuracy is needed. They are not playing a role, they are a singing a role. WSS is played in many other parts of the world without having to be accurate about racial distinction. Also, theatre are more racially blind in terms of casting, I remember watching Les Mis in NY with some Asian and Black singers, nobody bat an eye. Movies are different.
Tony M (5 months ago)
I know a white woman who was born in Peurto Rico.
Jackie S (6 months ago)
Well, it would be an anachronism, as I suspect white gangs of the '50s would NOT include blacks, nor would blacks want to join them. But, if "Hamilton" could pull off a successful show with a mixed cast, why not? Enough people today might not remember the fierce segregation of 1950s New York. I don't.
Regpasha (7 months ago)
why not? Dumbest question anyone could ever ask.
lilgiggler35 (1 year ago)
I looked on Amazon and found a cast recording from the 2009 revival. Matt Cavanaugh is Tony and Josephina Scaglione is Maria.
Frankie Hernandez (1 year ago)
lilgiggler35 That's not this cast/group of singers. The recording you're talking about is actually from the Broadway revival.
Tuula Westra (1 year ago)
Best movie musical ever made, I've seen it many times, 40-50, also in theatre in London. Chita Rivera as Maria.
Alexis O'Hara (2 months ago)
Chita Rivera played ANITA in the original Broadway production. She never played Maria.
randomuser1105 (5 months ago)
Spanky de Bautumn They clearly stated that they were talking about a stage production of West Side Story. Pay attention.
crowe bobby (6 months ago)
Perhaps she meant Chita in the London theater.
Spanky de Bautumn (7 months ago)
After 40 - 50 times one should know that Natalie Wood was Maria and I only saw it once.
Brien Campbell (1 year ago)
Loved the genius that went into creating WSS. Beyond brilliant. As for the new cast shown, Maria's voice was pretty good. Tony's voice was wrong for the part. Too showy, too much vibrato, not enough feeling. Great documentary. Enjoyed it greatly.
Element Al (1 year ago)
Saw it when I was a teenager in the mid Seventies. I loved the clothes and the haircuts. We were so scruffy and uncool by comparison. Anyway, I've only seen it once. Too sad. I can't watch it
Element Al (1 year ago)
I saw the movie on English telly in about '74. I was 12 actually. By the time I was 16 you could get straight jeans in my part of England ( which my mum took in for me). I was going to Punk gigs at that time. I also got a pair of Converse and some brothel creepers. I fantasised that I was in New York circa 1959/60! I had a massive crush on Natalie Wood!
Madison Cardenas (1 year ago)
The movie
Tique Holl (1 year ago)
Madison Cardenas do you mean this documentary or the movie itself?
Madison Cardenas (1 year ago)
You can find it on DVD at Walmart or Walmart online!
Patricia Mitchell (1 year ago)
Wonderful! All these giant talents. This is moving in so many ways.
Metronoma1 (1 year ago)
Is there a release on cd or dvd with this cast singing? Thay are amazing!! :D
MrLouisajr (1 year ago)
There must be a CD with this cast singing these songs without interruptions?
RaymondHng (1 month ago)
No. This is a BBC documentary.
laminage (1 year ago)
I sometimes forget that Michael Jackson's Beat It was inspired by West Side Story as well as The Work of Bob Fosse (How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, Pippin, Sweet Charity).
Ian Turner (3 months ago)
Oh yeah, streets gang rivalry of course. Thanks for the trivia.
Kiko Li (1 year ago)
laminage Bad by Michael Jackson was also hugely inspired by WSS!
Alexander Zamora (1 year ago)
Rob houchen didn't get to finish the song, Maria. Is this being released on a cd?
Erin Snape (1 month ago)
The TV announcer cut him off when it first aired by saying what the next program was, it's really annoying but I was looking for his name so thank you for that
RaymondHng (1 month ago)
No. This is a BBC documentary.
Bonnie Chiaccio (1 year ago)
very informative
braitnicho (1 year ago)
Enjoy the vid.
Erin Snape (1 month ago)
+Thou Swell the TV did that, the announcer person started reading off the next program before they had finished the song, I was really annoyed about them ruining such a wonderful piece of art aswell (my entire family started shouting at the TV)
Thou Swell (1 year ago)
I enjoyed it until you lopped off "Maria" at the end ;-)

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