WEST SIDE STORY

MGM Home Entertainment, $39.98

This beloved 1961 film adaptation of the Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim musical is treacly, and the Puerto Rican Sharks appear to have ethnic makeup on top of their ethnic makeup, but it's also an irrefutable classic, something that this two-disc set satisfyingly packages for salivating hard-core devotees.

Debuting on DVD April 1 (OK, we were slow getting to it!), Story comes with a copy of the film's script and a reproduction of the original lobby brochure. The movie itself still often dazzles in this gorgeous wide-screen transferright from the breathtaking opening that co-director Robert Wise would later crib for the iconic Julie-Andrews-swirl-on-the-mountaintop in The Sound of Music.

The real goodies are on the second disc, complete with trailers (including a rare one that's nothing but animated graphic images) and the mini-doc West Side Memories, which features compulsive behind-the-scenes footage and recollections from most of its major players (though, dammit, they don't do any audio commentary on the first disc). Rita Moreno bemoans the vocal dubbing that turned her gritty Anita into an opera star in the "A Boy Like That/ I Have a Love" duet; Russ "Riff" Tamblyn shrugs about his clearly unnecessary dubbing (you get to hear his own confident take on "The Jet Song"); and, deliciously, Natalie Wood's original recorded vocalsshe was at first slated to sing for herselfare synched to shots from the film ("I Feel Pretty" is charmingly inept; "Tonight" is ouch). Steve Wiecking

Moving back to May, the sixth greets Kevin Kline in The Emperor's Club and Woody Harrelson in Milos Forman's 1996 The People vs. Larry Flynt; among extras on the latter, Harrelson, Edward Norton, and Courtney Love (!) join Forman on commentary tracks. (How did they get her in the studio?) Among older fare, both coincidentally dating to 1955, there's the romance Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (with Jennifer Jones and William Holden) and the wonderful monster movie It Came From Beneath the Seawith stop-motion creature animation by Ray Harryhausen. From 1965, King Rat takes a fairly cynical look at prisoners of war in a World War II prison camp (that was back when you were allowed to be cynical about war). Crap alert: Analyze That debuts on disc May 3.

dvd@seattleweekly.com

 
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