West Side Story

1961 NR 2h 32m Blu-ray / DVD

West Side Story

1961 NR 2h 32m Blu-ray / DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Winner of 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture, this classic musical set among the tenements of New York City finds star-crossed lovers Maria and Tony caught in the midst of a turf war between rival street gangs.
Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, Simon Oakland, Ned Glass, William Bramley, Tucker Smith, Tony Mordente
Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins
Blu-ray DVD
Full Screen 1.33:1
English, French
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
English, Spanish (Neutral), French
English: DTS 5.1 HD, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 5.1, French: DTS 5.1 HD
NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA. NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA.
age 11+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 11+
age 11+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this updated Romeo and Juliet story explores race relations and immigration within a musical format. Street fighting and knifings are depicted, though some of the violence is lessened by the choreography. In one disturbing scene, a gang of boys physically abuses a young woman and a rape almost takes place. A major character is killed.

Sexual Content

Brief reference to prostitution. Some kissing.


Although choreographed with dance moves, the big fight scene leads to two characters being stabbed to death. Another is shot to death. A female character is nearly raped.


The words "hell" and "s--t" are used, as are derogatory names: "spic" and "polack."

Social Behavior

Explores themes of social injustice and judicial corruption in mid-1950s New York and encourages viewers to question the meaning of "liberty." Although America is known to be "land of the free," the movie portrays how incoming immigrants struggle and are discriminated against. There are frequent gang fights based on race, but in the end there's a sense that lessons are learned and love and understanding of people as individuals, rather than groups, conquers all.


Coca-Cola bottles and boxes are moved about, and classic Chevrolet cars line the streets.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

A musical number mentions drinking and the use of specific drugs. In dialogue, there are brief references to alcoholism. Many characters smoke cigarettes (accurate for the era).

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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