West Side Story parents guide

West Side Story

Overall B+

A young couple falls in love despite the fact they have ties to opposing gangs who are fighting for the same piece of New York's west side. This modernized (and musical) version of Romeo and Juliet won numerous awards.

Violence C+
Sexual Content B-
Profanity B
Substance Use C+

Why is West Side Story rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated West Side Story Not Rated

Run Time: 152 minutes

Read Our Full Review & Parent Discussion Questions Here

West Side Story
Rating & Content Info

Please read our content details for this movie to help determine if it is suitable. We also encourage you to check our full review.

Why is West Side Story rated Not Rated? West Side Story is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Overall: B+

A young couple falls in love despite the fact they have ties to opposing gangs who are fighting for the same piece of New York’s west side. This modernized (and musical) version of Romeo and Juliet won numerous awards.

Violence: C+

Gang violence including bulling, intimidation, verbal threats, and racial prejudice is depicted throughout film. Fighting sequences are highly choreographed with wrestling, hitting, punching, kicking, rock throwing and spitting. Police officers misuse their authority. Gang members mock and show little respect for the law. The use of weapons is discussed at a war council. Young men carry tools and other objects to be used as weapons. During a rumble, knives are pulled—injury and deaths from stabbing result (no blood is shown.) Distracted character narrowly escapes being hit by a car. A group of young men harass a woman. A character slaps another out of frustration. A character threatens others with a gun and one character is shot.

Sexual Content: B-

References to infidelity or prostitution are used as insults. A young woman wants to lower the neckline of her party dress. Some female characters wear 1950’s style tight-fitting, low-cut dresses, one is shown dresses in a slip and another shows a lot of leg while putting on nylons. Couples are shown dancing very closely, kissing and necking. Dance numbers include some mild sensuality. A sexual relationship between an unmarried couple is implied. Man’s bare chest is shown. A group of young men who are harassing a young woman appear to have some sexual motives (they are stopped before they can carry them out.)

Language: B

At least: 7 mild profanities and numerous instances of name-calling.

Alcohol / Drug Use: C+

Main and secondary characters are shown smoking cigarettes. Comments about drug and alcohol abuse are used as insults or mentioned in the lyrics of some songs.

Miscellaneous Concerns:

Gang members discuss the positive merits of belonging to a gang (although the negative realities are shown.) Racial prejudice and chauvinism towards women are portrayed. A character prays on two occasions.

Page last updated

West Side Story
Canadian Movie Rating Info
Province Rating Rating Descriptor
British Columbia Not Rated
Alberta Not Rated
Manitoba Not Rated
Ontario Not Rated
Quebec Not Rated
Martimes Not Rated
Canadian Home Video PG

News About "West Side Story"

Cast and Crew

West Side Story is directed by Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise and stars Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of West Side Story movie is November 15, 2011. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition

Release Date: 15 November 2011

On November 15, 2011, West Side Story releases as a 50th Anniversary Edition. This 2-disc Blu-ray set includes:

- Pow! The Dances of West Side Story   cast members, contemporary filmmakers, dancers and choreographers analyze and illuminate the film’s famous dance sequences (Prologue, Dance At the Gym, Tony and Maria’s Cha Cha, America, The Rumble, Maria’s Roof Dance and Cool).

- A Place for Us: West Side Story’s Legacy   a look back at the iconic film’s impact (Creation and Innovation, and A Timeless Vision).

- Song Specific Commentary by Lyricist Stephen Sondheim (for Prologue, The Jet Song, Something’s Coming, Dance At the Gym, Maria, America,  Tonight, Gee Officer Krupke

I Feel Pretty, One Hand - One Heart, Quintet, Somewhere, Cool and A Boy Like That / I Have A Love).

- Music Machine navigate straight to specific musical numbers.

- West Side Memories

- Storyboard to Film Comparison Montage

- Trailers (Original Theatrical Trailer, Original Issue Trailer, Reissue Trailer and Animated Trailer)

A Limited Edition Collector’s Set for the West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition is also available. It offers:

- Two-Disc Blu-ray

- Newly-Restored DVD

- Tribute CD

- Photo Book and Other Collectibles

Related home video titles:

Robert Wise, the producer and co-director of this film, also directed The Sound of Music. Other retellings of this Shakespeare -inspired tale include: Romeo & Juliet, Gnomeo & Juliet and Letters To Juliet.

Related news about West Side Story

Valentine’s Day Movies that don’t suck—or bite (2013).

Cuddle up with one of these classic romance movies...