West Side Story: Movie vs. Play

Topics: Puerto Rico, West Side Story, Jerome Robbins Pages: 2 (578 words) Published: October 29, 2012
The play, West Side Story, was written by Arthur Laurents. West Side Story, the movie, was produced in 1961, featured Natalie Wood as Maria, and was directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. There are some major differences between the two works. For example, some of the musical numbers switched places in the movie. Also, the song “America,” is different in the movie than in the play. In the movie many of the characters were different, and some of the lines differed as well.

In the movie, the musical numbers were different than that of the play. For example, “Gee, Officer Krupke” and “Cool” switch places. In the movie, “Cool” takes place in an alley way after the brawl, and later a warehouse, after a man throws a glass at them and yells for them to be quiet. In the play, it takes place after Action says, “I swear the next creep who calls me a hoodlum-.” The music starts immediately after Riff says, “You wanna live? You play it cool.” In the movie, “Gee Officer Krupke” takes place while the Jets are waiting for the Sharks to show up for the war council, and Officer Krupke tells them to go home. They start singing after he leaves. In the play, it takes place after the brawl when Snowboy says, “Hey you[Imitating Krupke].”

The song “America” is very different in the two works. In the movie, it occurs after Bernardo and Anita argue over Maria dancing with Tony. The argument progressed to them arguing over whether America or Puerto Rico is better. The scene occurs on the roof top with all of the Sharks and the Shark’s girls. In the play, the song starts after Anita says, “At home, at home. If it's so nice "at home," why don't you go back there,” to Rosalia. Rosalia then begins dreamily singing of Puerto Rico, calling it a “lovely island.” Anita then mocks her and Puerto Rico, by calling it an “ugly island”, but her comments go unnoticed by absentminded Rosalia.

In the movie, many of the characters names were changed or excluded completely. Rosalia from the...
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