'West Side Story,' Still Pretty And Witty At 50

The film version of the acclaimed Broadway musical West Side Story premiered 50 years ago. The production, which set Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet against the backdrop of 1950s New York City, wasn't always set on the West Side and wasn't always a smash hit.

Still, for many, the story holds up as well today as it did five decades ago. NPR's Neal Conan talks with two of the film's stars, Rita Moreno, who played Anita, and Georg Chakiris, who played Bernando, to talk about the film's enduring meaning.

And theater critic Misha Berson, author of Something's Coming, Something Good: West Side Story and the American Imagination, talks about the musical's evolution and its lasting influence on musical theater and pop culture.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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