Movies: West Side Story: One Big Iconic Moment for Me:

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

 

There are so many seemingly smaller iconomic moments in my alltime favorite movie, West Side Story, which I’ve written about mucho times on here, as well as on a number of other forum/message boards, that they’re all combined together in one dynamite package to make this great golden oldie but keeper of a film classic what it is;  one big iconic moment, for me and probably many, many other average moviegoers as well.     Due to my intense love for this great, golden oldie but keeper of a movie-musical classic, I have a really tough time naming any favorite scenes/songs/characters from West Side Story, but I will say this:

There were many exuberant scenes, such as Dance at the Gym, America and Cool, as well as the beginning Overture, the aerial shots of NYC’s West Side and the gradual zeroing in on the Jets while they were snapping their fingers on the playground, and Officer Krupke, too was exuberant and made me smile, despite what they would all  eventually lead up to.  The tenser scenes, such as the playground fights, the pre-Rumble War-Council between the Jets and Sharks at Doc’s Candy Store, the Quintet, and the Rumble itself were very tense scenes that kept me on the edge of my seat.  The Something’s Comin’ scene, where Tony’s predicting something good and great was coming meant that something good, and yet very bad was about to go his way, but he didn’t know what it was.  

The I Feel Pretty scene, where Maria was happily preparing for her meeting with Tony at the Bridal Shop was a sign of Maria’s happiness and unawareness of what was to come later, and it’s  not really clear whether or not Maria’s friends/co-workers in the Bridal Shop where she worked were acting happy for Maria due to her being in love, or if they were making fun of Maria for acting somewhat vain.  The One Hand, One Heart scene, where Tony and Maria stage a mock wedding in the Bridal Shop to pledge their love using the various mannequins at hand was tender and sentimental, but it, too, was part of the story, as was I Feel pretty.

At the beginning, when Riff was planning on getting Tony to be his lieutenant at the rumble, he said   He (meaning Tony) always come through for us and always will”,  little does anybody know that there’d be a certain amount of irony after the rumble, when Baby John said  “He(meaning Tony, again) really come through for the Jets” after Tony had stabbed the Sharks gang leader, Bernardo to death, in retaliation for his old friend Riff’s death at the hands of Bernardo.  There was a certain amount of irony to it.  

One scene in West Side Story which was particularly funny goes kind of like this, in the wake of a conversation between Tony (who’s quit the Jets in search of another life) and his old buddy, Riff, who’d come to visit him at Doc’s, to persuade him to help out at the rumble, but manages to get him to come to the dance that night instead.:

Riff:  Four and a half years I live with a buddy and his family.  I think I’m diggin’ a guy’s character.   Boy, am I a victim of disappointment in you.

Tony:  End your sufferin’, little man!  Why don’t you pack up your gear and move out?

Riff:  ‘Cause your Ma’s hot for me!

At this exchange, Tony moves in quickly and twists Riff’s arm, until Riff cries out:

No..Cause I hate livin’ with my buggin’ uncle…uncle….UNCLE!  

That scene was funny, and it made me laugh out loud.

There was yet another scene, when Anita is busy altering an old white communion dress for Maria to wear to the dance that night, and Maria is pestering Anita to lower the neck just slightly, which Anita refuses to do.  Maria tries to convince Anita that the dress is now to be worn for dancing and not for praying, whereas Anita says  


“Listen, with those boys, you can start in dancing and end up praying.”

That also made me laugh out loud, as did the scene when Maria tries to distract Anita with questions about what h

“It’s when I don’t look that it happens”

West Side Story has all sorts of funny, sad, tense and exuberant and gentle scenes at the same time, and what’s so iconic about it is that it’s always fresh, at least to me, every time I watch this great classic.  The fact that so many different emotions can be expressed through dance, the beautiful cinematography by Daniel Fapp, the richly-colored costumes, the brilliant Bernstein musical score, the very story behind it, and the wonderful cast seem to all bind together to make West Side Story, with all the tensions, sad events, and exuberance,  the great, dynamic movie/musical classic that it is:  One very big iconic moment.  

Please note:  This thread is cross-posted at imdb.com, firefly-dreaming.com, and at writingintheraw.com

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    • mplo on May 17, 2011 at 3:27 pm
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  1. It was the first musical that as a kid I could actually sit through and enjoy.

  2. Tony don’t belong any more.

    Cut it, Action boy. I and Tony started the Jets.

    Well, he acts like he don’t wanna belong.

    Who wouldn’t wanna belong to the Jets!

    Tony ain’t been with us for over a month.

    What about the day we clobbered the Emeralds?

    Which we couldn’t have done without Tony.

    He saved my ever-lovin’ neck!

    Right! He’s always come through for us and he will now.

    When you’re a Jet,

    You’re a Jet all the way

    From your first cigarette

    To your last dyin’ day.

    When you’re a Jet,

    If the spit hits the fan,

    You got brothers around,

    You’re a family man!

    You’re never alone,

    You’re never disconnected!

    You’re home with your own:

    When company’s expected,

    You’re well protected!

    Then you are set

    With a capital J,

    Which you’ll never forget

    Till they cart you away.

    When you’re a Jet,

    You stay a Jet!

    I know Tony like I know me. I guarantee you can count him in.

    In, out, let’s get crackin’.

    Where you gonna find Bernardo?

    At the dance tonight at the gym.

    But the gym’s neutral territory.

    I’m gonna make nice there! I’m only gonna challenge him.

    Great, Daddy-O!

    So everybody dress up sweet and sharp.

    Oh, when the Jets fall in at the cornball dance,

    We’ll be the sweetest dressin’ gang in pants!

    And when the chicks dig us in our Jet black ties,

    They’re gonna flip, gonna flop, gonna drop like flies!

    Hey. Cool. Easy. Sweet. Meet Tony and me at ten. And walk tall!

    We always walk tall!

    We’re Jets!

    The greatest!

    When you’re a Jet,

    You’re the top cat in town,

    You’re the gold medal kid

    With the heavyweight crown!

    When you’re a Jet,

    You’re the swingin’est thing:

    Little boy, you’re a man;

    Little man, you’re a king!

    The Jets are in gear,

    Our cylinders are clickin’!

    The Sharks’ll steer clear

    ‘Cause ev’ry Puerto Rican’s a lousy chicken!

    Here come the Jets

    Like a bat out of hell.

    Someone gets in our way,

    Someone don’t feel so well!

    Here come the Jets:

    Little world, step aside!

    Better go underground,

    Better run, better hide!

    We’re drawin’ the line,

    So keep your noses hidden!

    We’re hangin’ a sign,

    Says “Visitors forbidden”

    And we ain’t kiddin’!

    Here come the Jets,

    Yeah! And we’re gonna beat

    Ev’ry last buggin’ gang

    On the whole buggin’ street!

    On the whole!

    Ever!

    Mother!

    Lovin’!

    Street!

    Yeah!

    Actually I don’t much like Bernstein’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, but I am a big fan of show tunes.

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