The photographer was Leo Friedman and the location was in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City in 1957. In the cover we can see howTony (Larry Kent) playfully chasing after his girlfriend Maria (Carol Lawrence). This is one of the most famous images in the music and movies history.
West Side Story is the soundtrack album to the 1961 film West Side Story, featuring music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Released in 1961, the soundtrack spent 54 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s album charts, giving it the longest run at No. 1 of any album in history, although some lists instead credit Michael Jackson’s Thriller, on the grounds that West Side Story was listed on a chart for stereo albums only at a time when many albums were recorded in mono. In 1962, it won a Grammy award for “Best Sound Track Album – Original Cast.” In the United States, it was the best-selling album of the 1960s, certifying three times platinum by the RIAA on November 21, 1986.
Though the album was released just a few years after the release of the original broadway cast recording, it is according to musical theater historian Ethan Mordden preferred by some to the earlier version both sentimentally, as the film succeeded in establishing the musical as a “popular masterpiece”, and musically, as it contains “beefier orchestration”.
West Side Story is a 1961 American musical romantic drama film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. With a screenplay by Ernest Lehman, the film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was inspired by Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. It stars Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris, and was photographed by Daniel L. Fapp in Super Panavision 70. The music was composed by Leonard Bernstein, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
Released on October 18, 1961, through United Artists, the film received high praise from critics and viewers, and became the highest-grossing film of 1961. It was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 10, including Best Picture (in addition to a special award for Robbins), becoming the record holder for the most wins for a musical. West Side Story is regarded as one of the greatest musical films of all time. The film has been deemed “culturally significant” by the United States Library of Congress and was selected for the National Film Registry in 1997. A new film adaptation of the same name by Steven Spielberg is set to be released on December 10, 2021.
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