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West Side Story Forum


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Movie vs. Stage 
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Young Hoofer
Young Hoofer

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Post Movie vs. Stage
I am a high school theatre teacher and want to do a unit comparing "Romeo and Juliet" to "West Side Story." The problem is that I can only find the movie version of WSS and I have only seen the stage version. I live in a small rural area in the middle of the bible belt. I will watch the movie before, but don't want to order it if it is questionable. See any reason why my 9th - 12th graders couldn't watch? It's not rated, so I'm trying to cover all my bases. Thanks for any input.

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Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:29 pm
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It should be fine for HS students.

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Sat Feb 02, 2008 11:28 pm
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Tony Winner
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Almost anything made under the Hays code should be fine for HS students. Seriously! There's very little that got by the film censorship of that era that would get more than a PG rating today.

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Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:04 am
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Broadway Legend
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I had a subsitute teacher in elementary. Whenever he filled in for music he always made us watch WSS. I think High school kids would be fine.


Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:43 pm
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Young Hoofer
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I watched it last year for my 7th grade music class.


Wed May 14, 2008 6:30 pm
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Fresh Face
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You might want to check out the attached Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute link entitled "Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story: Time Stands Still in Literature" (a curriculum currently being taught in middle schools all across the USA):

http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1986/1/86.01.06.x.html


Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:39 pm
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Chorus Member
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Post Re: Movie vs. Stage
popular wrote:
I am a high school theatre teacher and want to do a unit comparing "Romeo and Juliet" to "West Side Story." The problem is that I can only find the movie version of WSS and I have only seen the stage version. I live in a small rural area in the middle of the bible belt. I will watch the movie before, but don't want to order it if it is questionable. See any reason why my 9th - 12th graders couldn't watch? It's not rated, so I'm trying to cover all my bases. Thanks for any input.


Although I'm not a teacher or in any of the helping professions, but as a devout fan of the film version of West Side Story who's also seen a half-dozen really good stage productions of this great and dynamic musical, and who got introduced to and immediately fell in love with WSS's music back in the summer of 1962, the summer before I entered the sixth grade, and, later, as a high school senior, the film version, I see absolutely no reason what. so. ever[why your 9th-12th grade students should be deprived of watching this dynamic movie/musical classic. That being said, I'd say--feel free to order the film WSS and show it to your high school students, but that's my take on it. Good luck, and more power to you and your students. Hope I've been of some help.


Mon Nov 24, 2008 10:41 pm
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Tony Winner
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The movie's cleaner than the stage version, so I see no problem.

I'd probably rate the movie PG, none of the scenes are terribly graphic. There's a little blood on a knife at one point, but it's all highly choreographed. The attempted rape scene is also very stylized, and it's fast. All of the "graphic" moments go by very fast. The long, drawn out sequences are typically the fluffier parts of the show (Dance at the Gym, "Cool", "America", etc.)

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Last edited by Nettik on Sat Nov 29, 2008 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:53 am
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: Movie vs. Stage
popular wrote:
I am a high school theatre teacher and want to do a unit comparing "Romeo and Juliet" to "West Side Story." The problem is that I can only find the movie version of WSS and I have only seen the stage version. I live in a small rural area in the middle of the bible belt. I will watch the movie before, but don't want to order it if it is questionable. See any reason why my 9th - 12th graders couldn't watch? It's not rated, so I'm trying to cover all my bases. Thanks for any input.


We use it EXACTLY this way for our Lutheran High School. Not a problem.

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