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phillyfilmbuff

A West Side Story remake?!!

45 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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On 6/30/2018 at 11:18 AM, Zea said:

As I wrote here once before re this "WSS" redeux: Some directors egos are so huge they think they can remake a classic s-o- o-o-o well and s-o-o-o-o uniquely, it almost behooves them to tackle it.  Also, not to knock Spielberg's obvious talents, but lately, original ideas aren't quite his strong suit. Isn't he pretty much phoning it in and cashing in w/sequels? 

I do not plan on going to see Steve Spielberg's re-make of the 1961 film West Side Story, because I strongly feel that a re-make of this film is totally unnecessary.  As the well-known expression goes  " If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

That applies here--perfectly, imho.

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30 minutes ago, miki said:

I do not plan on going to see Steve Spielberg's re-make of the 1961 film West Side Story, because I strongly feel that a re-make of this film is totally unnecessary.  As the well-known expression goes  " If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

That applies here--perfectly, imho.

Are they really trying to fix the 1961 version? My understanding was they are just re-telling the story in a way that might be more accessible for today's younger generation.

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2 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Are they really trying to fix the 1961 version? My understanding was they are just re-telling the story in a way that might be more accessible for today's younger generation.

Of course a new adaptation does NOT attempt to 'fix' anything related to a prior adaptation.   That POV is just nonsense just like the POV that implies a new adaptation somehow 'harms' prior adaptations.  

 

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1 hour ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Of course a new adaptation does attempt to 'fix' anything related to a prior adaptation.   That POV is just nonsense just like the POV that implies a new adaptation somehow 'harms' prior adaptations.  

I see miki was replying to an earlier comment posted on the 30th of June...I guess to revive the discussion.

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8 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

I see miki was replying to an earlier comment posted on the 30th of June...I guess to revive the discussion.

Note that I edited my post;  I meant to say 'does NOT attempt'.   Anyhow,  you're correct that this is the same old discussion related to 'remakes' and what I find to be the silly over the top POV of 'OMG how could they!!'.

   

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7 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Note that I edited my post;  I meant to say 'does NOT attempt'.   Anyhow,  you're correct that this is the same old discussion related to 'remakes' and what I find to be the silly over the top POV of 'OMG how could they!!'.

I understand what you meant in your previous post, before you edited it. Actually I thought you were meaning to be humorously sarcastic. :) 

And yes, it's a discussion that has more than run its course (in my opinion). All these threads should be merged.

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I'm not at all sanguine about any WSS remake -- I've found almost all Spielberg movies I've seen to be ponderous and sometimes curiously disorganized.  And I'm no fan of WSS, I'm sorry to say.  I think it's plastic Hollywood at its worst.  I feel virtually nothing I believe the movie is aiming for me to feel when I watch this movie.

Is there anyone around these days who knows how to direct a movie musical and who has a big enough "name" to get this gig?

I never saw the original Broadway show, which people who did see it tell me was far superior to the movie.  I am familiar with the original cast recording, which to me has a lot more verve and immediacy than the movie version.

I just don't fall for the overblown sentimentality and self-conscious "why can't we all be brothers?" message of the movie.  And, except for Russ Tamblyn, those dancing gang members look pretty silly to me for the most part. 

I know there are hoardes of fans of WSS, I'm just not one of them.

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3 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I understand what you meant in your previous post, before you edited it. Actually I thought you were meaning to be humorously sarcastic. :) 

And yes, it's a discussion that has more than run its course (in my opinion). All these threads should be merged.

Also as I've said earlier, this section (Mad About Musicals) is virtually dead anyway. He/she is replying to accounts that probably don't even post here anymore.

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3 minutes ago, Gershwin fan said:

Also as I've said earlier, this section (Mad About Musicals) is virtually dead anyway. He/she is replying to accounts that probably don't even post here anymore.

Right. Though some of those people might check back in later and reply, it's highly unlikely.

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

Right. Though some of those people might check back in later and reply, it's highly unlikely.

The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. ????

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5 hours ago, Zea said:

The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. ????

Nice to see you posting. 

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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 know nothing about Ready Player One, or Lincoln.

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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). ? 

A total re-invention of West Side Story that's not really West Side Story any longer, on the part of Steven Spielberg (or anybody, for that matter!) is not something that I'd want to see, either.  Just because Spielberg and Tony Kushner are doing it doesn't mean that I'm jumping on board here in support of the re-make of West Side Story that Spielberg and Kushner are planning and doing.  Feel free to call me what you want, but I stand by my opinion.

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