One of the greatest film musicals, West Side Story remains emotionally affecting due mainly to the strength of its music. Musical-theater legends Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim transported Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to inner-city New York and, in the process, created a legendary piece of theater. For a musical, it's pretty dark stuff, filled with racial tension, gang battles and murder, but its incredible choreography, set design and performances propelled the film to rare critical heights, winning 10 of the 11 Academy Awards for which it was nominated. Though many people have seen the film at home, its Super Panavision 70 photography practically demands a giant screen to be fully appreciated. If only our modern gangs would dance their problems out . . .
Wed., July 2, 7:30 p.m., 2008