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phillyfilmbuff

A West Side Story remake?!!

32 posts in this topic

On 7/1/2018 at 9:16 PM, BreeInGilbertAZ said:

Why not remake Casablanca with modern language set against refugees from Syria or immigrants to our southern border with Coyotes? 🙄 The love song was set against a background of prejudice and hatred. WSS is essentially a modern Romeo And Juliet. Btw, it’s shown in high schools with gangs and STILL elicits emotional responses. If they were to remake it, perhaps include the ostracized LGBTQ 🏳🌈 community, constantly bullied, especially, those of us who are Transgender. Honestly, Spielberg would make this into a flop worse than his disastrous 1941.

What you're saying is quite true, BreeInGilbertAZ.   Teachers do show the film all the time.  I could see another movie that was done along the same overall theme as West Side Story, but not a re-make of it.  I don't understand the purpose of a re-make of West Side Story.  The best way to introduce it to younger viewers is to show the original film, not only in classrooms, but to periodically re-release it, on a national basis, in selected movie theatres.  

Steve Spielberg has done a number of wonderful films, but if he has as much affection for the 1961 film West Side Story as he claims to have, he'll leave this classic alone and go onto something else.

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On 7/3/2018 at 12:36 AM, Jim K said:

That's all true, except that I disagree about the value of restaging.  But I don't see anything in the Vanity Fair article that indicates that he is either restaging it or reinventing it.  The only hint to his intentions is that "he's dreamt of adapting this material 'for decades'."  And the 60's movie is already an adaptation of the 50's play.  It is impossible to tell from this article what Spielberg has in mind.  I would love to see the glorious "Somewhere" ballet restored.  And recent revivals have successfully addressed racially-inauthentic casting that marred the original cast and the movie.  As long as Spielberg is doing it, I prefer to hope that he will do it well.

Then there was that odd casting in the 80's CD where Maria was played by a New Zealander (Kiri Te Kanawa) and Tony was played by a Spaniard (Jose Carreras). 🙂 

Frankly, just because Spielberg and Kushner are doing it, doesn't mean that a re-make of the 1961 film version of West Side Story will turn out to be a good one.  Ever heard the expression, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"?  That applies here, to a tee.

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On 6/30/2018 at 3:26 PM, Languorous Lass said:

 

At the same time, I am not at all a fan of Steven Spielberg.  His approach to films is a bit too glossy for me, and I'm concerned that the result will be mediocre as a result.

Steven Spielberg has done a number of good films (i. e. The Post, Munich, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and E. T. Extraterrestrial), but I sincerely believe that a re-make of the 1961 film West Side Story by anybody, including Steve Spielberg,  would just cut the heart and soul right out of it.  I see nothing but disaster no matter who re-makes it, because, to re-iterate what I've said in some other posts, West Side Story, as a movie, is far too much in a special class by itself.  The people who said that there'd never be a film like it again were 100% right on their money.

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On 7/3/2018 at 3:57 AM, MarkH said:

Even though that deluxe recording of WSS’s complete score was Bernstein’s dream project, it was very expensive to make and for commercial reasons those very unfortunate casting decisions were forced on him by Deutsche Gramophon (for global sales). This is what I’ve read, anyway. I believe Bernstein wanted Jerry Hadley for Tony, who would have been perfect. It still has a lot to offer, that record, but it really is a sadly lost opportunity to have done something much greater.

Actually, Elvis Presley (yup, the late Elvis Presley!) was the first one that Robert Wise approached for playing the role of Tony in the 1961 film version of West Side Story.  Due to an overly controlling manager, however, Elvis Presley was compelled to turn it down, and he was said to have regretted doing so after the 1961 film version of West Side Story was released in movie theaters and became a hit, both nationally and worldwide.

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On 6/30/2018 at 11:29 AM, MarkH said:

I would have to say no to that. Ready Player One, The Post, Lincoln, I wouldn’t call those phoning it in. Or sequels.

The Post was quite good, but I never did see Lincoln, and, from what I read about Ready Player One, it didn't sound appealing to me, at all.  

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On 6/30/2018 at 3:47 AM, phillyfilmbuff said:

I was just told by a friend (another film buff with connections) that -

Are you sitting down?? -

Steven Spielberg wants to do it!! With Tony Kushner writing the adaptation??    I’m so scared!! 

That’s like Gus Van Sant remaking Psycho! 
 
Where’s Leonard Bernstein when you need him! 
 
Then I found this!:
 

 

For all kinds of reasons that I've already posted on tcm.com, i'm absolutely and totally against a re-make of the film version of West Side Story.  Nobody or nothing will replace the cast, the orchestra, or the cinematography, or the dancing in this great, golden oldie-but-keeper of a classic film.

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2 hours ago, miki said:

For all kinds of reasons that I've already posted on tcm.com, i'm absolutely and totally against a re-make of the film version of West Side Story.  Nobody or nothing will replace the cast, the orchestra, or the cinematography, or the dancing in this great, golden oldie-but-keeper of a classic film.

That post was made months ago and this section hasn't been used in MONTHS. Give it a rest already. :wacko: 

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