21 June 2010

Bernardo muerto?! OH THE HORROR

Being a huge Natalie Wood fan (TCM's star of the month oh my god the yay's), I feel I have a right to make fun of West Side Story. Don't get me wrong, I think its one of the greatest movies ever made, but it's soooo over the top sometimes that I just have to chortle to myself.
As much I love Richard Beymer, and as much as Millie hates him, at certain points in the movie I'm like, "Stop smiling with your perfect little Colgate smile and STOP KILLING PEOPLE." His group, the Jets, are equally redonk. I mean...they are supposed to be a tough New York gang, and they just wear brightly colored tight pants and prance about. "Maria" is one of my favorite songs off the soundtrack, but the scene that contains it is a little snoozeworthy. He's just strolling through some greenscreened "streets" and then WAH-LA the sky turns pink! WOW!
From Tom & Lorenzo; read this post on WSS, you will die.
Anybodys is like the little Jet wannabe, who happens to be a girl with ill-fitting clothes and a botched Mia Farrow haircut. I pity her. Her fake but mighty powerful New York accent makes me giggle.
Graziella. Oh Graziella. She's Riff's number one gal. Then he dies. So she needs to milk her three lines for everything they're worth and sob to the heavens, "RII-HE-HE-FFFFFF" and bury her face in her pal Velma's arms. Then she proceeds to dance it out in a scene that MJ ripped off a few years later.
When Chino tells Maria that "He keeled your brrrother!" the music climbs into some crashing violins as he swoops away leaving the door swinging behind him. I laugh every single time. The line itself is already dramatic, but then it was like someone said "No. Something is missing. CALL LEONARD BERNSTEIN, WE NEED DRAMATIZED STRING QUARTETS"
Then Maria is in disbelief. She runs down the stairs, skirts blooming, and someone offscreen says "Bernardo muerto?" Maria clutches her head and screams. That minute long cinematic adventure is probably one of my favorites ever just because it is SO ridiculous.
I do love George Chakiris in this, though. He can stay.
PS: Thank God for Marni Nixon. This film would have tanked if she didn't step in not only for Natalie, but for Rita Moreno in a few songs.
PPS: I hope you liked my random bolded names.


Millie said...


This post is too much! NOW I'M STINKIN' CHORTLING! ;-D

Seriously, WSS made me laugh quite hard when I saw it, except when Riff died...THEN I CRIED (well, like one little tear).


It was quite disheartening.

So, really, you shouldn't be making fun of his awesomely colored clothing! Haha!

BTW, apparently Bobby Darin was considered for a role in WSS (:-O ?!?!). This quite confounds me. I can imagine him snapping his fingers and singing the Jet's song, but otherwise I feel like he'd be making jokes throughout the movie. IDK?! ;-D


Oh my gosh! I SAY THIS ALL THE TIME! Usually, just when I'm feeling lonely, but still..


Jennifer said...

Omgsh! This post is sooooo funny! I'm a big fan of Natalie Wood too, but I do agree that there are a lot of things in West Side Story that are way over the top! I love how you describe them, you do much better than I would be able to. I wouldn't be nearly as funny as you are. Great post! =D

Sarah said...

YAY thank you so much! :)

Java Bean Rush said...

When Tony is crazy in love in Doc's cellar and is going on about his plans like he's hopped up on caffeine, my whole family laughs.

A friend of mine saw me watching the dance moves and said "I've been to the West Side and nobody does that."

Amanda Cooper said...

Great post, Sarah! (And hilarious, too!)

Although I love West Side Story, it certainly does have it's weirder (to say the least) moments.

Elisabeth said...

The music, which is really the one great thing about the movie, is not half as good as it was on the original Broadway cast album, and as for the lip-syncing, little Gretl in The Sound of Music did a better job than any of the leads in WSS. Listen to the OBC album, or even just the orchestral suite. Bernstein's brilliant score is what makes the show if it's properly performed. One of the best instrumentals, the 'Scherzo,' from the dream sequence in the play, was totally cut from the film.

The one time we watched it, the first time the Jets appeared my mother said, 'Is his hair real?' Meaning the Jet in the bright red shirt...I can't remember his name. In short, it wasn't...Robert Wise evidently had an eye for a balanced color pallette and making sure there were even numbers of blond and brown heads in his musicals. As a matter of fact, I did a post recently on the similarities between the two films (http://elisabethscorner.blogspot.com/2010/06/second-times-charm.html), but I forgot to mention that point.

Sarah said...

@Java - I think Tony was just hyper all the time! "Somethings Coming" was like a "I have a ton of energy so I'm gonna dance around and show off my teeth!!!! WHEE" song. I still like it nonetheless.

@Amanda - thanks! :D

@Elisabeth - The red shirted Shark was Maria's brother Bernardo, and yes his hair is is so Dippity-Do'd it looks fake.

Elisabeth said...

Oh, no, I meanted the yellow-haired Jet. Action, I think.

Ceylan said...

Great write-up. Haven't seen the film in a long-while, but I agree about the 'Maria' sequence. Great song, strange treatment of it. Love the screencap you've used.

Merriam said...

LOL Sarah, you are divinely funny! You should make fun of more movies. :)

Sophie said...

HAHAHAHAHA *continues laughing*

This is amazing! ♥ I love the film but hate the plot. Is that even possible? I absolutely detest the Jests, but I have always adored the Sharks :')

It's my Aunty's favourite film, so I saw it loads when I was little, but only re-watched it again recently. It.is.so.bizarre. But you kind of have to love it (:

Oh, and Richard Beymer is disgusting. *shudders* I have strong feelings against him. Gah. BUT, George Chakris is awesome. Big loveages for him!! ♥

Fabulous post! (: