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.
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."
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 /
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).