The plot of "West Side Story" follows the romance between Maria and Tony, two teenagers affiliated with rival gangs in New York City. The movie is based on Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" and follows many of the same story beats.
"West Side Story" involves a rivalry between the Jets, a white gang, and the Sharks, a Puerto Rican gang. Tony, played by Richard Beymar, is the co-founder of the Jets but is no longer a member. However, Riff, played by Russ Tamblyn, Tony's friend and the gang's current leader, continually tries to convince Tony to return. The Sharks are led by Bernardo, played George Chakiris, who has a younger sister, Maria, played by Natalie Wood. Maria is engaged to Chino, played by Jose DeVega, but is unhappy with their relationship.
One day, Tony and Maria meet by chance and immediately fall in love despite being affiliated with opposite gangs. They continue to meet privately, as an increase in violence between the Jets and Sharks has forced them to keep their love completely secret. The film ends with Tony gunned down by Chino out of jealousy and revenge. Chino is taken into custody by Officer Krupke, played by William Bramley, and the Jets and Sharks finally achieve peace, as they work together to retrieve Tony's body for a proper burial.