West Side Story (film) released
West Side Story is a 1961 American film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins.
It is an adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name, which itself was adapted from Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. It stars Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, and it was photographed by Daniel L. Fapp, A.S.C., in Super Panavision 70.
The action was filmed largely in Los Angeles on sets designed by Boris Leven, although the film's opening sequence was shot on the streets of New York City, mainly in the area where the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts campus of Fordham University now stands. Jerome Robbins, who had directed the stage version, was responsible for planning and directing all music and dance sequences in the film, as well as all the fight scenes. When approximately 60% of principal photography was complete, the producers became concerned that the production was over-budget and Robbins was fired. His final contribution before leaving the film was to write the staging for the rumble.
The film was released on October 18, 1961 through United Artists. It received praise from critics and the public, and became the second highest grossing film of the year in the United States. The film won ten Academy Awards in its eleven nominated categories, including Best Picture, as well as a special award for Robbins. The film holds the distinction of being the musical film with the most Academy Award wins (10 wins), including Best Picture. The soundtrack album made more money than any other album before it.