West Side Story (1961) Movie Poster

Goofs from West Side Story (1961)

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  • Tony's arm jumps up from his side between shots at the end of the balcony scene.
  • After the war council, Schrank says that he rebuked the Jets the same day. That means that all events before the war council were on that day too. The dance started at 10 PM, and that leaves very little time for the "America" song, the balcony scene and the war council.
  • At the beginning of the movie, behind the first close-up of Riff on the playground, snapping his fingers, you can see a young boy riding his bike behind Riff, the boy wasn't there in the previous shot (from above).
  • In the final scene there is a male onlooker dressed in blue on the left near Schrank's car. In the next wide shot he is standing on the right near the uniformed police car
  • There are several instances of gang members (most notably the Jets) mouthing the wrong words during the songs. However, this is due to the use of dubbing.
  • Riff changes position in his chair between shots when the Jets and Sharks are sitting down for the War Council.
  • In the final scene, they show Maria, then pan over to the Jets and Sharks. When they come back to Maria, a large portion of her hair has magically come out of place.
  • The length of Riff's cigarette in the lead up to the Jets song/dance. It starts out short and stubby, and just before they start singing and he flicks it away, it is much longer.
  • When Doc says, "What are you doing there?" after stopping the Jets from taunting Anita in the drugstore, his lips actually mouth, "What are you doing now?" which was the line in the original stage script.
  • At the end of "America" the top of the backdrop can be seen in the upper right corner of the screen.
  • The door of Doc's store has a screen to keep out thieves, but the windows do not.
  • Near the end, when Maria yells "Don't you touch him!", two different voices can be heard at the same time in the first half of the phrase (in fact, this is singer Marni Nixon overdubbing for Natalie Wood).
  • The Jets sing "The Jets are gonna have their day tonight. The Jets are gonna have their way tonight". One of the voices sings "way" instead of "day" in the first line, so the result sounds like "dway".
  • Chino visits Maria on the rooftop, saying that there was no-one home. Maria tells that her parents are at work. Only a few moments afterwards we hear voices: "¡Mamá, Mamá! ¡Bernardo está muerto!" "¿Bernardo? ¿Muerto?", the latter apparently said by the mother. This post is actually incorrect. Maria says to Chino that her parents are at the store, not work. In addition, the building is populated by several families, not just Maria and Bernardo's. Had it been their mother talking to the boy at the bottom of the stairwell, there would have undoubtedly be more of an emotional response from the woman as Bernardo was her child as well.
  • The shape of the dry patch of ground in the final scene is inconsistent between shots.
  • At the end of the film, hard-nosed policeman Schrank lets witnesses and perpetrators simply walk away from a murder scene.
  • In the opening number, which was shot on location in NYC, the playground is easily 300 feet x 300 feet in size. Later on, when it is obvious they were on the studio back lot, the playground has shrunk to around 30 feet by 30 feet.
  • When we first see The Jets in the playground as they are snapping their fingers to the music, it is very bright and their shadows face towards the screen, but when they cut to the next shot as they start walking and the camera moves behind the fence, the sunlight is not the same as the scene is not as bright and even the shadows positions are different, pointing away from the screen.
  • Towards the end of the America number, there is a shot of a side view of the dancers and there is a metal structure to the right of the screen that has 3 people standing in front of it, one of them a lady with a blue skirt, but when the shot changes to the front and the structure is now in the back, those 3 people standing there have vanished from the shot, instead seeming to appears now towards the left side of the screen off-camera.
  • After the war council meeting, everyone leaves; then soon after, Tony and Doc close and lock up the candy store and are shown walking away in different directions down the street. Then, before the rumble while the rumble song is being sung, they show various people, and Tony and Doc can be seen back in the candy shop again.
  • A knife cut on Baby John's face changes sides.
  • During the "Tonight Quintet" when Richard Beymer is singing his part in the doorway of Doc's Candy Store... you can clearly see the back part of the store is missing the tables, chairs and the pinball machine that were there during the war council scene.


  • In the final scene, as Tony's body is carried away, there is no blood on the ground from the gunshot wound. This is probably due to censorship regulations back in 1961.
  • Maria's necklace jumps about between shots as she leans over Tony's body.
  • During the rumble (the big fight between the Jets and the Sharks), Bernardo gets cut in the back by Riff. During the fight, there is no cut on the back of Bernardo. Whilst lying on the ground after he's killed, there is a big cut across his back.
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