A 70mm presentation of West Side Story played last night at Santa Monica’s Aero. It’s a stodgy, dated, mediocre film in so many ways. But the Leonard Bernstein score (and the Stephen Sondheim lyrics) will always be beautiful, so I delayed a dinner date so I could drive over and buy a ticket in order to watch the first 20 or so minutes, which is the only part I can stand.
The rest of it is mixed to painful. The fresh red paint on the tenement walls is ludicrous. The casting of Richard Beymer as Tony and Natalie Wood as Maria was fatal. Even back in the day people were shocked — appalled — at the use of the term “daddy-o.”