Based on the long-running Broadway musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, the 1978 film Grease delivered an homage to the 1950’s, with slick songs, slippery dance numbers, and a classic love story. Starring John Travolta, hot off his starring role in Saturday Night Fever, and Olivia Newton-John, already a pop icon , the film also included real-life 50’s icons Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, Edd Byrnes and Frankie Valli. Beloved by its many fans, each could attest that Grease, without question, was the word.

The film takes place at Rydell High School, where Danny Zuko, played by Travolta, is a member of the T-Birds, a gang sporting tight jeans and leather jackets. Newton-John’s Sandy Olsen is a good Australian girl who met Danny over the summer and the two fell in love. Sandy’s parents have decided to stay in America, and by a strange twist of fate, Sandy ends up going to Rydell where she meets Danny again. But sweet Sandy doesn’t fit into Danny’s greaser lifestyle at high school, and he’s torn between his feelings for her and the image he has to maintain.

Meanwhile, Sandy meets and befriends Frenchy, who’s a member of The Pink Ladies, a tough girl gang. Sandy doesn’t quite fit in there either, especially with the head of the Pink Ladies, Rizzo. Danny and Sandy try to figure out what to do in these newfound circumstances, while Danny takes on a drag racing challenge from The Scorpions, a rival gang. In the end, Sandy and Danny learn to follow their hearts, all with a big, choreographed musical number.

The film was the biggest hit of 1978 and one of the highest grossing films of the entire decade. The soundtrack spawned a series of hits, including “Summer Nights,” “Hopelessly Devoted To You,” “Grease,” “You’re the One That I Want,” “Greased Lightnin’,” “We Go Together” and more.

The sequel, Grease 2 (which was never a Broadway musical), bombed, but the original film was re-released in 1998 to mark the 20th anniversary. To no surprise, it did respectable box office numbers the second time around as well. Time and time again, the fans of Grease have proven themselves hopelessly devoted to this timeless story.

If you have fond memories of seeing Grease at the theater, perhaps you’re even one of those people that knows every word to every song, we hope you’ll take a moment to share your thoughts on this beloved film in our comments section.

3 Responses to “Grease”

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  1. Gina says:

    I never understood Grease, which we put on as a play in high school. What, a girl has to lower her standards to win her guy? She has to conform to his lifestyle? I think Grease sends out bad messages.

    • Emily says:

      I agree. Whenever Grease comes on TV, I always watch for five minutes or so, and then change the channel in disgust. The songs may be good, but the overall message is horrible.

  2. my favorite movie! i love greased lightining, your the one that i want, summer nights and the dance scene.

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