In West Side Story, director Steven Spielberg and choreographer Justin Peck deliver a clever bit during the performance of the “Jet Song,” which is mostly sung by Mike Faist‘s Riff. Call it a form of engineered rhythmic punctuation.

Early in the tune there are four beats that accentuate the chorus — i.e., “When you’re a Jet (beat) you (beat) stay (beat) a (beat) Jehhht!” Except Spielberg and Peck arrange it so that Riff and the other Jets (Ice, Diesel, Big Deal, Baby John, etc.) are crossing a busy boulevard when the chorus is sung, and four cars hit their brakes (screech!) at the exact beat moments — “When you’re a Jet (screech!) you (screech!) stay (screech!) a (screech!) Jehhht!”

This bit knocked me right out. From that point on I was sold.