Films featuring
Rita Moreno

West Side Story

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Day One of my own little Robert Wise Film Festival

It was just a coincidence that I had West Side Story in my DVD player the day that director Robert Wise passed away, but as long as I did, I thought it would be a good time to go through his films and include him in this diary. In the next few days, I’ll do The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Haunting, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Run Silent Run Deep, The Sand Pebbles, The Hindenburg, Citizen Kane and an update to my earlier review of The Andromeda Strain.

On with the review:

While I’m anything but a scholar on film musicals, it was instructive for me to watch West Side Story right after viewing Singin’ in the Rain earlier in the week. This wasn’t a conscious decision on my part. I use a computer program to track my DVD collection and it has the ability to spit out randomly picked titles that I haven’t watched recently. So, purely by coincidence, I watched the two most famous musicals in American movie history back to back (except for a few episodes of Lost in between).

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Singin’ in the Rain

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It would be unfair to review Singin’ in the Rain as if it were a normal movie with conventional parts and pieces like a story and character development. The plot of this movie is just a threadbare skeleton on which to hang some of the best musical numbers committed to film and, by itself, would seem thin as the basis of a 22-minute sitcom. You don’t even have to follow the plot in order to enjoy the musical interludes, either, since they have very little to do with each other. Virtually none of the songs were written for the project, but were existing tunes simply incorporated, very loosely, into the narrative.

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