If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
Tonight, tonight, the critically-acclaimed musical update of West Side Story finally hit the silver screen, and dances onto Disney+ and HBO Max on March 2. After being delayed for nearly a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, West Side Story premiered in theaters on December 10th.
Steven Spielberg’s take on West Side Story touts all-star Broadway veterans like screenwriter Tony Kushner, choreographer Justin Peck and composer Jeanine Tesori, as well as Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who re-recorded the film’s legendary Leonard Bernstein score.
The musical drama is actually the second feature-length adaptation of the 1957 stage musical, with the last adaptation premiering in 1961. This West Side Story snagged seven Oscar nominations, and is now up for Best Director (Spielberg), Best Supporting Actress (Ariana DeBose), Best Costume Design, Best Sound Design, Best Cinematography, and Best Production Design.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new film, where to watch the previous film, and how to watch West Side Story online.
How to Watch West Side Story: Is West Side Story 2021 Available to Watch on Disney+?
West Side Story is available to stream on Disney+ on March 2, with the one-hour special Something’s Coming: West Side Story – A Special Edition of 20/20 is already on the streamer.
West Side Story is also simultaneously being released on HBO Max thanks to an ongoing deal to share exclusive rights between Disney+ and 20th Century Studios. But here’s how you can sign up to watch West Side Story online free when it becomes available.
How to Stream West Side Story 2021 on Disney+
If you want to stream West Side Story, you’ll need a Disney+ subscription. Pricing for a Disney+ subscription starts at just $7.99 a month and will include instant access to watch West Side Story online when it comes to the streamer, as well as all of Disney+ slate of original shows, movies and exclusive offerings.
Sign up for Disney+ here for $7.99 and log in with your subscription to stream West Side Story from your phone, laptop, tablet or connected TV.
Your best value is to grab the Disney+ Bundle, which includes access to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for just $13.99 a month. That’s less than the price of a movie ticket and gets you unlimited streaming on all three services for under $14.
The Disney+ Bundle is a great deal if you want to watch West Side Story on Disney+ and other movie musicals, like the Sondheim Into the Woods adaptation and the live action-filmed Hamilton, which are both streaming on Disney+.
How to Watch West Side Story Online Free
Disney+ doesn’t currently a free trial, but there are a couple of other ways to watch West Side Story online free.
If you are a Verizon subscriber, you could be eligible for their “Disney+ on Us” deal, which gets you six months of Disney+ for free with select phone and Internet plans. Sign up for the the free Disney+ deal or see if your current Verizon plan qualifies here, then use your subscription to watch West Side Story for free online.
Another way to stream West Side Story for free online? Subscribers to Amazon Music Unlimited can also get six months of Disney+ for free. Sign up for Amazon Music Unlimited here and use the deal to watch West Side Story for free online on Disney+.
You can use the deal to not only watch West Side Story online, but to stream their catalog of music on Amazon as well, including the West Side Story (2021) Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and the soundtrack from the 1961 film.
West Side Story 2021 Rating, Runtime, Cast, and Description
The runtime for West Side Story 2021 is 2 hours and 36 minutes, and the film has a PG-13 rating. In addition to newcomer Rachel Zegler as Maria and Ansel Elgort as Tony, the film stars Ariana DeBose (Anita), David Alvarez (Bernardo), Mike Faist (Riff), Josh Andrés Rivera (Chino), Ana Isabelle (Rosalía), Corey Stoll (Lieutenant Schrank), Maddie Ziegler (Velma), and Brian d’Arcy James (Officer Krupke). The film also switches the role of kindly shopkeeper Doc to a Puerto Rican matriarch named Valentina, played by former cast member Rita Moreno.
The plot of West Side Story is based on the 1957 stage musical of the same name, and is loosely-based around the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet. In the midst of a battle between two rival street gangs in 1950s Upper West Side New York City, the Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks, Tony and María fall in love despite their affiliations. As the star-crossed lovers’ relationship grows, so do tensions between the gangs, and they end up paying the price.
How to Watch the Original West Side Story Online
If you want to catch up on the story (although the new film includes a few key updates), the 1961 version is currently only available to stream on Curia, a relatively new streamer. Another option? One streaming platform you can currently rent or buy West Side Story 1961 on is Amazon Prime (the film is even available to stream in 4K HD). Watch the film online, and then catch the latest Spielberg adaption to see how the iconic story has spanned decades.