It’s time to celebrate one of the greatest musicals of all time. Today, West Side Story turns 55!
Yes, 55 years ago today, October 18, 1961, the musical film was theatrically released and it received high praise from critics and audiences nationwide. It became the second highest grossing film of the year in the United States. The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won ten gold Oscar statuettes, including Best Picture (as well as a Special Award for co-director Jerome Robbins), becoming the record holder for the most wins for a movie musical.
My favorite movie musical at the time (Rent is currently my all time favorite) when I first watched it on late night syndicated television in Chicago thanks to friends who suggested I see it after we saw Grease at the local movie theater. Both films dealt with similar social themes.
After all these years and countless times of watching West Side Story (even having the DVD in my film collection), it was until July 3rd of this year, I saw a tweet using the #UnderratedAsian hashtag as this:
The following is from a Los Angeles Times article [link] about FilAm actor, Jose De Vega, Jr.
Jose De Vega Jr.; Actor Worked to Eliminate Ethnic Stereotypes
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