Steven Spielberg Did His Best To Ignore The First ‘West Side Story’ Film

Director Steven Spielberg and Rita Moreno as Valentina on the set of 20th Century Studios’ WEST SIDE STORY.

Most people are aware of West Side Story because of the legendary 1961 movie, which won 10 Academy Awards, including Best PIcture, and was the year’s top movie at the box office. But the story — and its songs — were first given life on the Broadway stage in 1957. (That explains why none of the film’s 11 Oscar nominations were for its songs, since none of them were written specifically for the screen.) When Steven Spielberg decided he wanted to do his own version of West Side Story, he tried very hard to forget he’d ever seen the movie, even though he’s watched it many times. Instead, he says, he tried to focus on bringing the original stage version to life in a cinematic way.(Click on the media bar below to hear Steven Spielberg)

 

West Side Story is now playing in theaters.

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