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“West Side Story (1961) is set in New York City and depicts characters struggling to achieve the American Dream - a myth expressed so well in Hollywood’s characteristically exuberant film musicals. The film undermines the conventional romance plot of the classic musical to emphasize the real social problems it depicts. It shattered the utopian version of so many of the musicals that preceded it. Indeed, so startling did the opening of West Side Story seem at the time of its release that one reporter rhapsodized, ‘the neorealist musical is about to be born’.”

One of the few things that I disdained while filming the movie was the makeup used to paint the Puerto Ricans the same color. We Sharks were all the same homogenous brown! Our gang, including me, was a uniform tobacco color, and that was just plain wrong and inaccurate. Puerto Ricans, with their varied genetic ancestry – Spanish, Taino Indian, Black, Dutch – are born with a broad palette of skin colors, from outright white to true black.
—  Rita Moreno on filming West Side Story in her memoir Rita Moreno

 'To say that he was a great lover — sensual, generous, delightfully inventive — would be gravely understating what he did not only to my body, but for my soul. Every aspect of being with Marlon was thrilling, because he was more engaged in the world than anyone else I’d ever known,’- Rita Moreno on her relationship with Marlon Brando in an upcoming memoir