George Richard Beymer, Jr. (born February 20, 1938) is an American actor, filmmaker and artist who is best known for playing the roles of Tony in the film version of West Side Story (1961), Peter in The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) and Ben Horne on the television series Twin Peaks (1990–1991, 2017).
George Richard Beymer, Jr.
February 20, 1938
Avoca, Iowa, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, painter, sculptor, novelist|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
In 1949 Beymer began acting in television in a Los Angeles TV series for children Sandy Dreams (1949-53(. He did it for three years, rehearsing after school during the week and recording it on Saturdays. The show ended when he was 13.
The contract with Selznick only lasted a year. Beymer found himself in much demand on television: Cavalcade of America (1954) and Johnny Tremain (1957). He guest starred in 26 Men, Zane Grey Theater, Make Room for Daddy, The Gray Ghost, Navy Log, Whirlybirds, Sky King, Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre, and Schlitz Playhouse. He auditioned unsuccessfully for the role played by Sal Mineo in Rebel Without a Cause (1954).
Beymer was put under contract to 20th Century Fox and started to be regarded as an exciting future star. Producer William Perlberg later said, "It's a thing that periodically happens out here. Somebody comes along and talk starts and agents and studios keep talking and talking. Like an avalanche, the talk gathers speed. Ultimately that 'somebody' turns out to be a big name in Hollywood only."
After appearing in Playhouse 90 he had a support role in High Time (1960), a comedy with Bing Crosby and Tuesday Weld at 20th Century Fox. "I wanted to be a very good actor," said Beymer later. "I wanted to work and let the work stand for something."
In June 1960 Beymer was cast in the lead role of Tony in West Side Story (1961), a huge hit. He shared a 1962 Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor with Bobby Darin and Warren Beatty.
Beymer later said he "was miserable in West Side Story. I didn't know enough at the time because I lacked certain knowledge in acting... I came out ridiculous. I didn't stand up for what I should have and I didn't know enough. The blame should be on me."
Beymer was reunited with Weld in the Fox comedy Bachelor Flat (1961). At Columbia he played the son of Rosalind Russell and Jack Hawkins in Five Finger Exercise (1962). Beymer later said he was "terrible" in that film.
Beymer was given the role of Nick Adams in Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man (1962) for Fox, with an all-star supporting cast. Producer Jerry Wald says he and director Martin Ritt agreed that Beymer was "the young actor I think stands the best chance of being the next Gary Cooper." During filming Beymer met Sharon Tate and it was he who encouraged her to get into acting. The film was a big flop.
Beymer had a significant role in the film The Longest Day (1962), which was successful, but he was unhappy with his acting in the film. "They tried to make me the nice kid next door," he said. "That's just not me. They said just play you - but I am not the all American boy."
In December 1962 Richard Zanuck of Fox wanted Beymer in Illicit based on a story by Vera Caspary but the story was not made. Neither was A Promise at Dawn with Ingrid Bergman after Fox studio shut down temporary due to cost overruns.
Beymer started attending daily classes at the Actor's Studio. "I just want to learn and be as professional as a I can," he said.
Producer Wald and director Franklin Schaffner cast Beymer in The Stripper (1963) with Joanne Woodward which was critically acclaimed but not a big hit. Beymer returned to New York. "I got sick of the whole thing and I left," he said.
He assisted Barney Frank in rescuing Freedom Democrat forms in a rental truck that had been confiscated from arrested Freedom volunteers in Canton, Mississippi on Freedom Day (July 16, 1964). During this time, he filmed the award-winning documentary A Regular Bouquet: Mississippi Summer (1964), documenting the efforts of volunteers registering African-Americans to vote.
In February 1964 he said all the films he had done except The Longest Day "should have been classroom work and never should have been shown publicly... I'm not a leading man. I"m a character actor. That is, I'm not a stereotyped leading man type. I'm kind of a schlepp at times... I don't care about billing and being a star. Being myself is the first thing."
Beymer guest starred in episodes of Kraft Suspense Theatre, The Virginian, Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, Dr. Kildare, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and Death Valley Days. he did The Country Girl on stage.
Beymer turned to filmmaking with The Innerview (1973), which he wrote, produced and directed as well as starred.
"I never left the movies," Beymer said, "I just made different kinds of movies."
Beymer returned to Los Angeles in 1982 to reactivate his career.
He appeared in Cross Country (1983). He had roles in Paper Dolls (1984), playing the husband of Mimi Rogers, and Generation (1985), Moonlighting, Dallas, The Bronx Zoo, Buck James, and Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out! (1989).
Beymer could also be seen in Under Investigation (1993), My Girl 2 (1994), State of Emergency (1994), The Disappearance of Kevin Johnson (1996), several episodes of 'Murder, She Wrote, A Face to Die For (1996), The Little Death (1996), Foxfire (1996), Elvis Meets Nixon (1997) and Home the Horror Story. He was in episodes of Flipper, The X-Files, Vengeance Unlimited, Profiler, and Family Law.
He was in Sadie's Waltz (2008) then focused on directing documentaries: The Passing of a Saint (2010), It's a Beautiful World (2014), Richard Beymer's Before... the Big Bang (2016), I Had Bad Milk in Dehradun (2017), and Behind the Red Curtain (2017).
The avant-garde film The Innerview, which he directed, produced, wrote the screenplay for and edited, won the Josef von Sternberg Award at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival in 1974. His 2010 film, The Passing of a Saint, chronicles the funeral rites of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In April 2014 his film of a trip to India with David Lynch, It’s a Beautiful World, was released.
In 2007 Beymer completed his first book, a self-published novel, Impostor: Or Whatever Happened to Richard Beymer?, a semi-autobiographical account of a young actor's struggle to find himself.
Beymer's photographs of Twin Peaks cast and crew were featured in the gallery of behind the scenes photos on the Definitive Gold Box Edition for Twin Peaks, released on October 30, 2007. He is also a painter and sculptor.
|1953||Terminal Station||Paul Stevens|
|1953||So Big||Roelf (Age 12-16)|
|1957||Johnny Tremain||Rab Silsbee|
|1959||The Diary of Anne Frank||Peter Van Daan|
|1960||High Time||Bob Bannerman|
|1961||West Side Story||Tony||Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy|
|1961||Bachelor Flat||Mike Pulaski|
|1962||Five Finger Exercise||Philip Harrington|
|1962||Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man||Nick Adams|
|1962||The Longest Day||Pvt. Dutch Schultz|
|1963||The Stripper||Kenny Baird|
|1964||A Regular Bouquet: Mississippi Summer||Documentary short; director and writer|
|1973||The Innerview||Also director, writer, producer, editor and cinematographer|
|1983||Cross Country||Evan Bley|
|1989||Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!||Dr. Newbury||Direct-to-video|
|1993||Under Investigation||Dr. Jerry Parsons|
|1994||My Girl 2||Peter Webb|
|1996||The Disappearance of Kevin Johnson||Chad Leary|
|2000||Home the Horror Story||Bob Parkinson|
|2008||Sadie's Waltz||Garvus||Short film|
|2010||The Passing of a Saint||Documentary; director, editor and cinematographer|
|2014||It's a Beautiful World||Documentary; director, editor and cinematographer|
|2016||Richard Beymer's Before the Big Bang||Documentary; director, editor and cinematographer|
|2017||I Had Bad Milk in Dehradun||Documentary short; director, editor and cinematographer|
|2017||Behind the Red Curtain||Documentary short; director, editor and cinematographer|
|1954||Cavalcade of America||Episode: "Gentle Conqueror"|
|1956–1957||Make Room for Daddy||The Boyfriend / Freddie Baxter||2 episodes|
|1957||The Gray Ghost||Luke Burnette||Episode: "An Eye for an Eye"|
|1957||26 Men||Tod Devers||Episode: "Dead Man in Tucson"|
|1957||Zane Grey Theater||Shep Jolland||Episode: "The Bitter Land"|
|1958||Navy Log||Ennis Thompson||Episode: "The Soapbox Kid"|
|1958||Whirlybirds||John Thompson||Episode: "The Brothers"|
|1958||Sky King||Joe Belden||Episode: "Man Hunt"|
|1958||Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre||Mark||Episode: "On the Brink"|
|1958, 1968||Death Valley Days||John Owens / Zeb Fallon||2 episodes|
|1959||Schlitz Playhouse||Episode: "On the Brink"|
|1959||Playhouse 90||LeRoy Cadman||Episode: "Dark December"|
|1965||Kraft Suspense Theatre||Werner Schiff||Episode: "The East Breach"|
|1965||The Virginian||Mark Shannon / Frank Colter||2 episodes|
|1966||Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre||Ralph Belmonte||Episode: "Guilty or Not Guilty"|
|1966||Dr. Kildare||Reverend Jack Elder||3 episodes|
|1967||The Man from U.N.C.L.E.||Harry Williams||Episode: "The Survival School Affair"|
|1975, 1980||Insight||Train Conductor / Josh / God||3 episodes|
|1981||The Girl on the Edge of Town||Television film; cinematographer|
|1982||The Juggler of Notre Dame||Television film; cinematographer|
|1984||Paper Dolls||David Fenton||13 episodes|
|1985||Generation||Allan Breed||Television film|
|1986||Moonlighting||Ray Adamson||Episode: "All Creatures Great... and Not So Great"|
|Murder, She Wrote||Various roles||6 episodes|
|1987–1988||Buck James||Max||2 episodes|
|1987||Dallas||Jeff Larkin||Episode: "Bedtime Stories"|
|1988||The Bronx Zoo||Mr. Locke||Episode: "The Gospel Truth"|
|1990–1991||Twin Peaks||Benjamin Horne||30 episodes|
|1992||Danger Island||Ben||Television film|
|1993||Star Trek: Deep Space Nine||Li Nalas||3 episodes|
|1994||State of Emergency||Dr. Ronald Frames||Television film|
|1996||A Face to Die For||Dr. Matthew Sheridan||Television film|
|1996||Flipper||Andrew Cantrell||Episode: "Sharks"|
|1996||The X-Files||Dr. Jack Franklin||Episode: "Sanguinarium"|
|1997||Elvis Meets Nixon||Bob Haldeman||Television film|
|1998||Vengeance Unlimited||Douglas Bradford||Episode: "Noir"|
|1999||Profiler||Martin Fizer||Episode: "Ceremony of Innocence"|
|2001||Family Law||Richard Collins||Episode: "Against All Odds"|
|2017||Twin Peaks||Benjamin Horne||6 episodes|
There is a TM center here in Fairfield, Iowa, so I would come here for two or three weeks and cool out.
The 19th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film for 1961 films, were held on March 5, 1962.Audrey Horne
Audrey Horne is a fictional character from the ABC television series Twin Peaks, played by Sherilyn Fenn. The character was created by David Lynch. She was introduced in the pilot. The daughter of Ben (Richard Beymer) and Sylvia Horne, sister of Johnny Horne (Robert Bauer) and half-sister of Donna Hayward (Lara Flynn Boyle), her storylines focused on her infatuation with the series protagonist Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), infiltrating the brothel/casino One Eyed Jacks and becoming an activist through civil disobedience.Avoca, Iowa
Avoca is a city in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, United States. The population was 1,506 at the 2010 census.Bachelor Flat
Bachelor Flat is a 1961 DeLuxe Color comedy film starring Terry-Thomas, Tuesday Weld, Richard Beymer, and Celeste Holm. Filmed in CinemaScope in Malibu, California, the film is a revised version of director Frank Tashlin's own Susan Slept Here of 1954.Benjamin Horne
Benjamin Joseph Horne is a fictional character in the television series Twin Peaks, created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, portrayed by Richard Beymer. His middle and last name is based on department store owner Joseph Horne, founder of Horne's in Pittsburgh where Mark Frost is from, while his and his brother Jerry's first names are based on the ice cream brand Ben & Jerry's.
The richest man in Twin Peaks, Horne is an archetypical 1980s cutthroat businessman, whose greatest desire in life appears to be the acquisition of wealth. As the series progressed, he was revealed, like many of the show's other characters, to have a hidden side; beneath his ruthless, greedy facade, he is a lonely, deeply depressed man who is disappointed with how his family and his life turned out.
For the first sixteen episodes of the series, he is one of the primary antagonists not directly linked to the series' main storyline of the Laura Palmer murder. He is consistently under suspicion for Laura's murder, of which he is wholly innocent, while never being suspected of the myriad criminal activities of which he is actually guilty.
Up until the revelation of Laura's true killer, Horne was used by the writers as a red herring to prevent spoilers from leaking out; at least two scenes were filmed to lead people to believe that Horne was the real killer, so that the true identity of the killer could remain a secret.Episode 14 (Twin Peaks)
"Episode 14", also known as "Lonely Souls", is the seventh episode of the second season of the American mystery television series Twin Peaks. The episode was written by series co-creator Mark Frost and directed by series co-creator David Lynch. It features series regulars Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Ray Wise and Richard Beymer; and guest stars Frank Silva (uncredited) as Killer BOB, Hank Worden as The Waiter, Julee Cruise as Singer, and David Lynch as Gordon Cole.
Twin Peaks centers on the investigation into the murder of schoolgirl Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) in the small rural town in Washington state after which the series is named. In this episode, during the ongoing investigation into Laura's death, FBI special agent Dale Cooper (MacLachlan) and Sheriff Truman (Ontkean) continue to search for her killer, the demonic BOB, who has possessed a human host. Aided by Mike (Al Strobel), Cooper and Truman arrest Benjamin Horne (Beymer), believing him to be inhabited by BOB. Later that night, Cooper is warned by The Giant (Carel Struycken) that "it is happening again", while BOB's real host, Leland Palmer (Wise), murders Madeline Ferguson (Lee).
"Episode 14" was first broadcast on November 10, 1990, on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and was watched by an audience of 17.2 million households in the United States, about 20 percent of the available audience. The episode was well received, garnering positive reviews after its initial broadcast and in subsequent years, but it has been criticized for unduly prolonging the revelation of Laura's killer. Academic readings of the entry have highlighted the theme of duality and the cinematography in the revelation scene.Episode 16 (Twin Peaks)
"Episode 16", also known as "Arbitrary Law", is the ninth episode of the second season of the American mystery television series Twin Peaks. The episode was written by series co-creator Mark Frost, producer Harley Peyton and regular writer Robert Engels, and directed by Tim Hunter. It features series regulars Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Ray Wise and Richard Beymer; and guest stars Miguel Ferrer as Albert Rosenfield, Don S. Davis as Major Briggs and Al Strobel as MIKE.
Twin Peaks centers on the investigation into the murder of schoolgirl Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), in the small rural town in Washington state after which the series is named. In this episode, following the discovery of Madeleine "Maddy" Ferguson (Lee), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agents Dale Cooper (MacLachlan) and Albert Rosenfield, and Sheriff Truman (Ontkean) continue to search for the human host of the killer—the demon BOB (Frank Silva). With assistance from MIKE (Al Strobel), Donna Hayward (Lara Flynn Boyle) and The Waiter (Hank Worden), the three men discover that Leland Palmer (Wise) is BOB's host and form a plan to capture BOB.
"Episode 16" was first broadcast on December 1, 1990, on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and was watched by an audience of 12.4 million households in the United States, about 15 percent of the available audience. Critical response to the episode was positive.Episode 1 (Twin Peaks)
"Episode 1", also known as "Traces to Nowhere", is the second episode of the first season of the American mystery television series Twin Peaks. The episode was written by series creators David Lynch and Mark Frost, and directed by Duwayne Dunham. "Episode 1" features series regulars Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, and Richard Beymer.
Dunham was offered the role of directing the episode by Lynch, who wanted Dunham to edit his next film project, Wild at Heart (1990). Dunham continued to use several stylistic elements in his direction that he had observed in Lynch's work on "Pilot", including largely static camera work and the use of reddish color tints. The episode also marks the first appearance of Killer Bob, who was played by set decorator Frank Silva after Silva had been accidentally caught on camera.
"Episode 1" continued the investigation of the series' main plotline, the murder of schoolgirl Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), with Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Dale Cooper (MacLachlan) interviewing several suspects connected to the victim. The episode was viewed by approximately 14.9 million households upon its initial airing, which represented over a quarter of the available audience. Since its broadcast, the episode has earned positive reviews from critics.Episode 4 (Twin Peaks)
"Episode 4", also known as "The One-Armed Man", is the fifth episode of the first season of the American mystery television series Twin Peaks. The episode was written by Robert Engels, and directed by Tim Hunter. "Episode 4" features series regulars Kyle MacLachlan, Piper Laurie and Richard Beymer, and introduces series co-creator David Lynch in the role of Gordon Cole.
Hunter's directing of the episode was inspired by Otto Preminger's 1945 film Fallen Angel, making use of small sets and long depth of field shots. Engels has identified several 1960s television series—The Wild Wild West, Mayberry R.F.D. and The Fugitive—as being influential to the series as a whole.
First airing on May 3, 1990, "Episode 4" was viewed by approximately 19 percent of the available audience during its broadcast, marking an increase in viewers from the previous week. "Episode 4" has received positive reviews from critics.Episode 5 (Twin Peaks)
"Episode 5", also known as "Cooper's Dreams", is the sixth episode of the first season of the American mystery television series Twin Peaks. The episode was written by series co-creator Mark Frost and directed by Lesli Linka Glatter. "Episode 5" features series regulars Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean and Richard Beymer, with guest appearances by Chris Mulkey and David Patrick Kelly.
Glatter has noted that the episode exemplifies the themes of longing and desire which she feels characterize the series; she has also called to attention its careful balance between tragic and comic elements. Exterior scenes in the episode were filmed in California's Angeles National Forest and blended with stock footage of Washington to enhance the setting.
FBI agent Dale Cooper (MacLachlan) and Twin Peaks sheriff Harry Truman (Ontkean) continue to investigate a murder in the small mountain town, while local businessman Benjamin Horne (Beymer) schemes to burn down its sawmill to further his property empire. First airing on May 10, 1990, "Episode 5" was viewed by approximately 18 percent of the available audience during its broadcast; it has received positive reviews from critics.Episode 9 (Twin Peaks)
"Episode 9", also known as "Coma", is the second episode of the second season of the American mystery television series Twin Peaks. The episode was written by Harley Peyton, and directed by series co-creator David Lynch. It features series regulars Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Ray Wise and Richard Beymer; and guest stars Chris Mulkey as Hank Jennings, Miguel Ferrer as Albert Rosenfield, David Patrick Kelly as Jerry Horne. Don S. Davis as Major Garland Briggs, Victoria Catlin as Blackie O'Reilly, Don Amendolia as Emory Battis, Frances Bay as Mrs. Tremond, Grace Zabriskie as Sarah Palmer, and Catherine E. Coulson as the Log Lady.
Twin Peaks centers on the investigation into the murder of schoolgirl Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), in the small rural town in Washington state after which the series is named. In this episode, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent Dale Cooper (MacLachlan) continues his investigation on Laura Palmer's murder together with Sheriff Truman (Ontkean), and FBI Special Agent Albert Rosenfield (Ferrer). In the meanwhile, Donna Hayward (Lara Flynn Boyle) and Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) continue their separate attempts at investigating, respectively by taking Laura's place in the Meals on Wheels, her community service, and by working undercover in the "One Eyed Jack's", a brothel where Laura has worked in the past.
"Episode 9" was broadcast on October 8, 1990, on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and was watched by an audience of 14.4 million households in the United States. Critical response to the episode was mainly positive.Five Finger Exercise
Five Finger Exercise is a 1962 American drama film made by Columbia Pictures, directed by Daniel Mann and produced by Frederick Brisson from a screenplay by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, based on the play by Peter Shaffer.
The film stars Rosalind Russell, Jack Hawkins, Richard Beymer, Maximilian Schell, and Annette Gorman, with an early screen appearance from Lana Wood, the sister of Natalie Wood.
The play premiered at the Comedy Theatre in London's West End in February 1959, and opened at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway on December 2, 1959, and closed October 1, 1960, after 337 performances. The young Juliet Mills, a teenager at the time, played the role of Pamela Harrington, and was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance.Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man
Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man is a 1962 20th Century Fox film directed by Martin Ritt based on Ernest Hemingway's semi-autobiographical character Nick Adams, and featuring Richard Beymer as Adams. A.E. Hotchner wrote the screenplay, originally calling the film Ernest Hemingway's "Young Man". The cast includes Diane Baker, Jessica Tandy, Ricardo Montalban, Eli Wallach, Arthur Kennedy, and Paul Newman. The 145 minute-long film was released in July 1962.Jimmy Bryant (singer)
James Howard Bryant (born June 2, 1929) is a singer, arranger and composer. He is most well known for providing the singing voice of Tony (played onscreen by Richard Beymer) in the 1961 film musical West Side Story. While he received no screen credit, he states that Beymer was "a nice guy, and every time he did an interview he would mention my name." He also sang for James Fox in the 1967 film musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, and sang in "The Telephone Hour" number in Bye Bye Birdie. He also sang in the group that performed the theme song of the TV series Batman.Bryant was born in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up in Tarrant, Alabama. He attended Birmingham Southern College and the Birmingham Conservatory of Music before receiving a Scholarship in Composition at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. He then moved to New York City in 1953 where he worked as a background singer. He later moved to Los Angeles and played bass in the house band at Puccini's, a Beverly Hills restaurant owned by Frank Sinatra.His work as an orchestrator includes the movies Not with My Wife, You Don't!, Penelope and the TV series Lost in Space. He also composed music heard at Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland.Bryant also scored the music for numerous radio and television commercials for clients such as Lone Star beer, Tecate, Chrysler Imports, and Toyota Motor Cars.
He was a friend of Jimmy Bryant, the famous guitar player, with whom he is often confused.Something's Coming (song)
"Something's Coming" is a song from the 1957 musical West Side Story. It was composed by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and is sung solo in a tenor voice by the male lead character 'Tony'. The part of Tony was played by Larry Kert in the original Broadway production and by Richard Beymer (voiced by Jimmy Bryant) in the 1961 film.State of Emergency (1994 film)
State of Emergency is a 1994 American drama film directed by Lesli Linka Glatter and written by Susan Black and Lance Gentile. The film stars Joe Mantegna, Lynn Whitfield, Melinda Dillon, Paul Dooley, Jay O. Sanders and Richard Beymer. The film premiered on HBO on February 12, 1994.The Stripper (film)
The Stripper is a 1963 American drama film about a struggling, aging actress-turned-stripper, played by Joanne Woodward, and the people she knows. It is based on the play A Loss of Roses by William Inge.
This was the feature film debut of director Franklin J. Schaffner, and co-starred Carol Lynley, Robert Webber, and Richard Beymer. Also appearing as Madame Olga was real-life stripper Gypsy Rose Lee. It was the first Schaffner film to feature a score by prolific composer Jerry Goldsmith, who would later work with Schaffner on such films as Planet of the Apes, Patton, Papillon, and The Boys from Brazil.William Travilla was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Black-and-White.
The film was first designed to be a vehicle for two Fox contract stars, Marilyn Monroe and Pat Boone, with Monroe dying in 1962 and Boone turning down the film on moral grounds.West Side Story (1961 film)
West Side Story is a 1961 American romantic musical drama film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. The film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was inspired by William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. It stars Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris, and was photographed by Daniel L. Fapp in Super Panavision 70. Released on October 18, 1961, through United Artists, the film received high praise from critics and viewers, and became the second highest grossing film of the year in the United States. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won ten, including Best Picture (as well as a special award for Robbins), becoming the record holder for the most wins for a musical.
The film has been deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and was selected for the National Film Registry in 1997.West Side Story (soundtrack)
West Side Story is the soundtrack to the 1961 film West Side Story. Released in 1961, the soundtrack spent 54 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's album charts, giving it the longest run at No. 1 of any album in history, although some lists instead credit Michael Jackson's Thriller, on the grounds that West Side Story was listed on a chart for stereo albums only at a time when many albums were recorded in mono. In 1962, it won a Grammy award for "Best Sound Track Album – Original Cast" and Johnny Richards orchestrations of the movie score (on Kenton's West Side Story) also winning a Grammy in 1962 for "Best Large Ensemble Jazz Album" further bolstering the popularity of the movie and soundtrack. In the United States, it was the best-selling album of the 1960s, certifying three times platinum by the RIAA on November 21, 1986.
Though the album was released just a few years after the release of the original broadway cast recording, it is according to Broadway Babies preferred by some to the earlier version both sentimentally, as the film succeeded in establishing the musical as a "popular masterpiece", and musically, as it contains "beefier orchestration".