West Side Story Original Movie Poster. 1961. Linen Backed
Based on the Shakespearean play Romeo and Juliet this popular film garnered ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture of 1961.Considered an American classic, it was selected in 1997 by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry.It is also ranked the 41st best ever movie by the American Film Institute.
Leonard Bernstein wrote the music,Stephen Sondheim the lyrics,Jerome Robbins directed it and Robert Wise was its producer. Both Robbins and Sondheim won Academy Awards. The film grossed 43 million dollars against a budget of just 6 million. The female lead actress, Natalie Wood, was actually offered the option of a straight salary or a percentage of profits on the "back end". She chose the former, much to her dismay, and regretted that decision the rest of her career---though it was a fruitful, prosperous career indeed.In addition to Wood, it starred Rita Moreno (she won the academy for Best Supporting Actress),George Chakiris (he won the Award for Best Supporting Actor) and the male lead was played by Richard Beymer.
We all know the plot--the Jets vs. the Sharks. The venue was a neighborhood on New York City's West Side that would later become Lincoln Center. Elvis Presley was offered the part of Tony, but his manager, Col. Parker, turned it down as "too violent" for his star (though Elvis had many on screen movie skirmishes in his career). Burt Reynolds and Warren Beatty even auditioned for the role, as did Jill St.John and Audrey Hepburn for the Natalie Wood role of Maria. Perhaps the best part of the movie is its music score, which includes favorites "Maria" and "Tonight", as well as "America" ; "Gee Officer Krumpke ; "I Feel Pretty" ; and of course..."When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way.... "
This original 27x 41 inch issue from the production company is among the most coveted of all American movie posters. Designed by renown graphics artist, Joseph Caroff, it offers the perfect depiction of this intense Manhattan love story. This poster is an original-first release from 1961 (and so dated), not one of the (typical) later-issued ones after the movie won the Best Picture Academy Award. Those posters were released in1962 and, though vintage, are not from the original release of the movie (They are nonetheless still valuable and collectible). This one is a very special type indeed. It is professionally linen backed for preservation purposes and ready to be mounted on the favorite wall in your home.
West Side Story posters are extremely popular and this particular one is sought after by all serious poster collectors. It will look great on the wall and guaranteed to make all visitors take that second look.