West Side Story (1961 film)

West Side Story (1961 film) Quotes and Analysis

"In America, nothing is impossible."


Bernardo directs this towards Lieutenant Schrank after Riff suggests that the bloody stains on Baby John's jacket were actually caused not by a Puerto Rican, but by a cop. Bernardo ironically suggests that in America, nothing is impossible, meaning that a cop could very well be the perpetrator of violence. He illuminates the fact that Americans believe that America is a faultless place of possibility, but it is also a difficult and corrupt place to live in many ways.

"Don’t push me."


Tony says this in the rumble and it pushes the fight over the edge. It is ironic because Tony has been sent to diffuse the tension between the two gangs, but actually he gets caught up in the fighting.

"Stay cool, boy!"


After Riff's death, Ice takes over as leader of the Jets, and he encourages his fellow gang members to keep it cool and not get too hot-headed, lest it creates more chaos and violence. His insistence leads to a big song and dance in a dark parking lot, in which the Jets try and put a cap on their rage and dismay.

"Te adoro, Anton"


On the first night of their affair, Tony recklessly tells Maria that he loves her. She simply says "Yes" and sends him on his way, but as he walks down the alleyway, she calls to him and says this line, admitting her own love for him in her own language.

"Chino found out about them and shot her. She’s dead!"


When Anita goes to Doc's store to deliver a message to Tony that Maria is being detained at home, she is heckled and attacks by members of the Jets. Pushed to her limit, she becomes enraged and tells this lie to the Jets as a way of getting back at them. She knows that Chino did not actually kill Maria, but she wants to hurt the Jets and Tony.

Doc: When do you kids stop? You make this world lousy!

Action: We didn't make it, Doc.

Doc: Get out of here.

Doc and Action

After Anita delivers her devastating lie, Doc scolds the Jets for treating Anita so poorly, but Action reminds Doc that they are not responsible for the world—that they have inherited it from the adults in their lives. Doc is impatient, and sends them all away.

"I am the village idiot."


When Lieutenant Schrank comes into Doc's store to investigate whether or not the Sharks and the Jets are planning a rumble, Doc stays quiet, self-deprecatingly calling himself the "village idiot" as a way of avoiding having to reveal anything.

"All of you! You all killed him! And my brother, and Riff. Not with bullets, or guns, with hate. Well now I can kill, too, because now I have hate!"


At the end of the film, after Chino has shot Tony, the pure-hearted Maria is filled with despair and rage and delivers an impassioned monologue to the shocked members of both gangs. She sums up the problem in the neighborhood, saying that they are all driven by hate rather than by acceptance and love, and that this has what has created all the violence in their community. She is scolding them as much as she is expressing her own intense grief.

"I'm an American girl now, I don't wait."


Right before the war council, and following the playfully contentious "America," Anita tells Bernardo that she wants to have a date that night. She justifies her impatience for the date by insisting that she is American now.

Tony: I didn't believe hard enough.

Maria: Loving is enough.

Tony: Not here. They won't let us be.

Maria: Then we'll get away.

Tony: Yeah. We can?

Maria: Yes.

Tony: We will?

Maria and Tony

This is the final exchange between Maria and Tony before Tony dies in her arms. They discuss the fact that they wanted to get away to an idyllic elsewhere where they could finally be together in romantic bliss. Maria still holds out hope that they will be together, and speaks words of love, even as Tony is dying.