West Side Story (1961) (mini-review++)

(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

acting 5

directing 3

effects 8

editing 3

writing 2


0.5 out of 5 🐙


I had a typical self-indulgent super long post all loaded up but it just wasn’t up to my exacting standards. So I am posting this movie review of the famous “classic” West Side Story. I watched it as part of my project to watch every AFI Top 100 (American) Movies of All Time. It’s number 41 on the list. This abomination should not be on any list of any movies unless it was a list of movies that could be used to torture terrorist captives at Guantanamo Bay.

Here’s what I thought of it as I was watching it back in October of 2015.
This movie has been playing for less than 4 minutes and I already hate it. The things I’ll do to get through the AFI top 100.

I’m not a musical fan. I just know Shakespeare is spinning in his grave every time this movie is played.

(2018 past tense update: Do you remember that author who combined a literary classic with monsters; that series of books, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?  I wish zombies would show up and eat all the actors and the directors and writers of this movie “classic” before it was made. But that might be too post-modern.)

This movie is hurting every part of my body.

I wish everyone got stabbed in the opening credits.

(2020 past tense update: As a LatinX person, I cannot see how any LatinX person could support this movie. Maybe I’m missing the point here and I’m happy to be declared an idiot but this movie is filled with racial stereotypes. That probably explains why the Academy gave it Best Picture. This body isn’t exactly known for its unimpeachable record on race. And let’s not forget that this same Academy is generally comprised of the elite in Hollywood; the same industry that routinely cast white actors as LatinX and other ethnic minorities, this musical being no exception. If a 50s era take on race was this movie’s only fault, I would have been able to watch it in proper context. But the cloying songs, affected accents, ludicrous dance fighting, and nuance-free acting raise this movie to among the most hated in my personal estimation. Not only do I usually hate musicals but this might be the musical I’ve hated the most.)

Well, I only got through the first 2 hours last night. I finished the rest this morning. In between then and now, I had to take care of my roommate’s sick dog, who was coating our carpet in vomit. I enjoyed that more than watching that movie.







(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)


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