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WSR Detailed DVD Review
West Side Story

Special Edition
Genre: Musical

Reviewed In Issue 72 (May 2003) Of Widescreen Review®

Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn & Rita Moreno

WSR Review Scores
WSR Picture Rating: 4
DD Sound Rating: 4
DTS Sound Rating: NA
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score: 5
Internet Links

Special Features
This DVD Collector

 DVD General Information

(Studio/Distributor): MGM Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number): 1004353
(MPAA Rating): Not Rated
(Rating Reason):

(Retail Price): $39.98
(DVD Type): Two Disc Set: DVD-9/DVD-5
(Widescreen Edition): Yes
(Full Screen Edition): No
(Anamorphic Widescreen): Yes
(Running Time In Minutes): 152
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Regional Coding): 1
(Theatrical Year): 1961
(Theatrical Release): Yes
(Direct-To-Video Release): No
(DVD Release Date): 04/01/03
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

 Credits Information

(Director): Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins
(Screenplay/Written By): Subscribe Now!
(Story): Subscribe Now!
(Music): Subscribe Now!
(Director Of Photography): Subscribe Now!
(Production Designer): Subscribe Now!
(Visual Effects): Subscribe Now!
(Costume Designer): Subscribe Now!
(Editor): Subscribe Now!
(Supervising Sound Editors): Subscribe Now!
(Re-Recording Mixers): Subscribe Now!
(Executive Producers): Subscribe Now!
(Co-Producers): Subscribe Now!
(Producers): Subscribe Now!
(Academy Awards): Subscribe Now!

  DVD Picture Information

(Principal Photography): Subscribe Now!
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): Subscribe Now!
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(Measured DVD Letterbox Aspect Ratio): Subscribe Now!

  DVD Sound Information

(DVD Soundtrack): Subscribe Now!
(Theatrical Sound): Subscribe Now!
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack): Subscribe Now!
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(Dolby Digital Bit Rate): Subscribe Now!
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  WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Winner of 10 Academy Awards

DVD Picture:
The anamorphically enhanced 2.20:1 DVD appears to be the same as the previously released DVD, with an image that will suffice until MGM decides to strive for a brand new restoration of this beloved musical. The picture certainly has a dated appearance, with some scenes appearing quite soft or smeared. Yet, most of the movie is very nicely rendered, with bold, nicely balanced colors. The source element is revealing of some dirt and grain, and the image can be slightly jumpy. Edge enhancement isn

The Dolby Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack is a new remastering effort and sounds smoother in midrange tonal resolution than the corresponding audio for the previous DVD release. There also seems to be a slight refinement in terms of spatial articulation, and background hiss is a little more subdued. Fidelity is noticeably dated, but the restoration of the audio is very impressive. The music score is fabulous and enchanting, and projects a palpably dimensional soundstage. The dialogue is a bit strident and its sonic character is indicative of the original, dated production. Like the original theatrical version, it is directional. The surrounds serve to fill in the ambience from the music of Leonard Bernstein, albeit being limited in stereo separation. The low-end provides for a nice deep bass foundation to the music, with LFE channel engagement. Considering that this is a 1961 musical, there is plenty of unforgettable enjoyment. (perry Sun/Gary Reber)