In 1971, the year my parents were born, a musical called “Grease” opened in theatres. Set in The 50’s, the premise is about two teens named, Danny & Sandy who instantly fell in love with each other. Sandy gives Danny some bad news she has to move back to Australia. A few months later, Danny is a high school senior and leader of greaser gang. Suddenly, Sandy enrolls in the same high school Danny attends, when her family decides to stay in America. The pair reunite, but peer pressure ensues when it comes to Danny trying to maintain his bad boy image in front of his buddies. Sandy feels conflicted over Danny’s image. Both Danny & Sandy try to reconcile their relationship while struggling as polar opposites from different cliques. Grease became an instant hit selling many tickets. A film adaptation starring John Travolta (my mom’s favorite actor) & Olivia Newton-John was also an instant hit.
Grease was released in 1978. (same year Richard Donner’s Superman came out) It received critical acclaim from critics and movie goers alike alongside a huge success at the box office. Overtime, Grease continues to introduce new generations of movie goers. John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John attended a sing-a-long screening to celebrate the 40th anniversary and giving a Q&A to old and new movie goers about the movie. An underwhelming recycled sequel starring Michelle Pfeiffer came out in 1982. A prequel series titled, “Rydell High” will stream soon on CBS All Access/Paramount Plus.
I don’t give a rat’s behind if SPOILERS are listed. Let’s face it we’ve seen Grease countless times. It’s been referenced or parodied many times.
Sleek & Rusty Qualities
Sleek: John Travolta (who hasn’t made a hit since The People VS. OJ) & Olivia Newton-John (hasn’t been on the screen since the critical flop Xanadu) both did an excellent job for their respective performances as Danny & Sandy. As you know, they’re both talented in singing and dancing.
Other Cast Members such as the late Jeff Conaway, Stockard Channing & the rest of the cast all did a decent job for their respective performances. Can’t forget they all did their singing and dancing.
Before he played Kenickie, Jeff portrayed Danny in the Broadway version.
Fun Fact: Famous faces including Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams & Emma Watson stated Grease is one of their favorite movies.
Chemistry between Danny & Sandy served as one of the main highlights.
Cinematography never suffered from a bad case of Shaky Cam.
Costume Designers designed signature costumes to reflect The T-Birds & Pink Ladies’ personalities.
The Time Period recaptures The 50’s.
Funny Moments that managed to crack me up such as Danny’s fake laugh, a T-Bird describing a Pink Lady’s hairdo as a “beautiful blonde pineapple,” Danny’s failed attempts trying out sports in order to impress Sandy, the televised high school dance with The T-Birds mooning and Danny’s reaction to Sandy’s makeover saying her name.
When I was a kid, I never understood most the risque moments. Now that I’m older, I understand some of the jokes went over my head.
My favorite line is “Don’t make me laugh ha ha ha.” I also laughed at Danny singing “Come back to me please.”
Musical Numbers like “Summer Nights,” “Look At Me I’m Sandra Dee,” “Hopelessly Devoted To You,” “Greased Lightning,” “Sandy,” (my favorite out of all of them) “We Go Together” and last but not least, “You’re The One That I Want.”
When three of The T-Birds horse around, Danny tells them to be cool. John later starred in a sequel to “Get Shorty” called, “Be Cool.”
Danny sums up an unpolished car as a hunk of junk. Perhaps a reference to Luke Skywalker calling The Millennium Falcon “a piece of junk” from “Star Wars: A New Hope.”
Character Development involving Danny & Sandy. As the film progresses, their relationship has gone from turmoil to finally recoiling near the end. Kenickie, Rizzo, The T-Birds & The Pink Ladies also earn themselves Character Development finally getting along with one another.
“Grease Is The Word” is played in both the opening and end credits. The song was written by The Bee Gees frontman Barry Gibb. If Barry were singing Grease Is The Word, his signature high note sounds like he’s passing a kidney stone. The Four Seasons singer Frankie Valli performed the song. Speaking of “Jersey Boys,” Frankie makes an appearance in the film singing “Beauty School Drop-Out.”
In Beauty School Drop-Out, one of the Pink Ladies sports a pink wig. Reminds me Aelita from “Code Lyoko” whom I used to have a crush on back when I was kid.
Danny’s rival Leo, is the closeting thing as the main antagonist. I think he’s one of the most underrated villains in cinema.
Danny’s race with Leo takes place in The Los Angeles River. This place always reminds me of the chase scene from “Terminator 2: Judgement Day,” ranked as one of my Top 12 Films Of All Time. Rockstar Games’ “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” & “Grand Theft Auto V.” They included The LA River as a location along with many landmarks based on LA.
Then unknown Michael Biehn appears as an athlete when Danny tries out basketball. I’m not kidding, look it up on Kyle Reese’s IMDB page.
Another then unknown Eddie Deezen (voice of Mandark from Dexter’s Laboratory) appears as a nerd. You can see him throwing a pie.
50’s themed musical group Sha Na Na make an appearance performing at the high school dance.
Rusty: One thing that made me grind my gears is in fact, Danny & Sandy literally fly away in their car. The final scene doesn’t make any gosh darn sense. Whoever thought about this crazy idea, must’ve been on dope.
The Final Verdict: A-
From my point of view, Grease is a timeless classic with movie goers continuing to introduce future generations. If it weren’t for gripe, Grease could’ve earned my highest grade an A, FOR APEX. If you want to introduce your kids to this masterpiece, go ahead and start a watch party.