West Side Story

Continuity mistake: When Maria is hitting Tony while saying "Killer," her hair is across her left cheek. In the next shot, it is completely away from her face. (01:48:20)

Audio problem: During the opening overture, right when the orchestra starts "Maria", you can hear someone sneeze in the background. It's easier to hear on the soundtrack but you still can hear it in the movie.

Other mistake: During "Cool," there's a shot where they're doing a sort of knee turn, and you can see Tucker Smith in the background spinning too many times (you can see him start to stick out his arms to stop himself). (01:58:20)

More mistakes in West Side Story

Trivia: "West Side Story" was the first film to win the Best Picture Academy Award for two directors (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins).

Trivia: Rita Mareno was unable to hit the low notes in the song "A Boy Like That"; the entire song had to be dubbed. Natalie Wood was not told that all of her songs were going to be dubbed until after filming was completed; she went through the production thinking it would be her voice used in the songs when the film was released. Dubbing the songs after filming was completed posed an unusual problem. Normally when a song is dubbed, they play it during filming so that the actors can mouth the words so that they match the lyrics. The songs in West Side Story were dubbed after filming was completed, so it was the singers who were brought in that had to match their lyrics to the actors mouthing the words (from the documentary "West Side Memories", 2009).

BocaDavie Premium member

Trivia: Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood barely talked to each other in real life. They would say "Good Morning" to each other as if they'd just met, and then start making out when someone said "action." Whenever they finished a scene, Wood would go straight back to her trailer. She wasn't this cold toward many of the other actors in the film. Her ability to cover this up shows her great acting skills. This fact is also mentioned in the West Side Story Special Edition DVD.

More trivia for West Side Story

Maria: All of you! You all killed him! And my brother, and Riff. Not with bullets, or guns, with hate. Well now I can kill, too, because now I have hate.

Baby John: Hey... you gotta handkerchief first?
A-Rab: What's wrong with your sleeve?

Riff: Now move in and shake hands.
Bernardo: For what?
Riff: Well, that's the way it's done, buddy boy.
Bernardo: More gracious living. Everyone of you hates everyone of us, and we hate you right back.

More quotes from West Side Story

Question: Why did they use actors who couldn't sing in the leading roles? Wouldn't it be easier to cast people who could sing instead of dubbing with other singing voices?

Chosen answer: People would not come to the theater to see Marnie Nixon despite the fact that she has sung the lead roles in West Side Story, The King and I, and My Fair Lady. They'd rather see that darling girl from "Miracle on 34th Street" again (or Deborah Kerr or Audrey Hepburn) than an unknown with actual talent.

Myridon

Question: In the original musical of West Side Story, the song "Officer Krupke" is sung some time after the rumble when Riff was killed. Why was it changed to before the rumble?

Answer: Actually there were a number of changes made in the movie adaptation compared to the original stage version. There were cuts, new additions, and changes to music, lyrics, dialogue, and characters. A few of the musical numbers were switched around because it was felt the storyline flowed better on screen, for different reasons. Some examples are "Gee, Officer Krupke" and "I Feel Pretty" which are cheerful, light-hearted songs and were moved to before "The Rumble", and "Cool" was moved to after "The Rumble" which gives that song's lyrics gravitas.

Super Grover Premium member

Question: After "Gee, Officer Krupke," they're all going into Doc's candy store, and Snowboy is fiddling with something - what is it?

Chosen answer: A small radio.

More questions and answers from West Side Story

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