Grease

GREASE IS THE WORD.

greaseIn 1958, Danny and Sandy (John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John) return to high school after summer, but their fling becomes complicated. An adaptation of the Broadway musical that found favor among both audiences and critics, especially since its period setting was popular at the time. This colorful movie has a dreamy quality in its musical numbers, as in the irresistible fantasy where former teen star Frankie Avalon makes an appearance. The film’s narrative is thin and bloated, but the choreography and music is consistently so good that you won’t care. This one also cemented the two leads’ star status, especially Travolta’s the year after his Saturday Night Fever breakthrough.

1978-U.S. 110 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Allan Carr, Robert Stigwood. Directed by Randal Kleiser. Screenplay: Bronte Woodard. Book: Jim Jacobs, Warren Casey. Songs: ”Summer Nights”, ”Greased Lightning” (Jim Jacobs, Warren Casey), ”Hopelessly Devoted to You”, ”You’re the One That I Want” (John Farrar), ”Grease” (Barry Gibb). Cast: John Travolta (Danny Zuko), Olivia Newton-John (Sandy Olsson), Stockard Channing (Betty Rizzo), Jeff Conaway, Didi Conn, Eve Arden… Sid Caesar, Joan Blondell, Lorenzo Lamas.

Trivia: Carrie Fisher was allegedly considered for the part of Sandy. Followed by Grease 2 (1982).

Last word: “I had never directed a musical before, but when I was a student at USC Film School I worked as an extra on many musicals and got to watch how the directors broke down the numbers and filmed them. My education was on the sets of movies like ‘Camelot’, ‘Hello Dolly’, and ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’. But the best preparation for directing ‘Grease’ was being in the background of three Elvis Presley musicals. John based a lot of Danny Zuko on Elvis.” (Kleiser, Xecutives.net)

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