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Grease
PG, Musical, 1hr 50min
Opened on June 1, 1978
Starring: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing
Synopsis
"Grease," said the poster and the Barry Gibb song, "is the word." Transferring its setting
from Chicago to sunny California, and adding a dash of disco to the ersatz '50s score,
producer Allan Carr and director Randal Kleiser turned this long-running Jim Jacobs -
Warren Casey Broadway smash into the biggest blockbuster of 1978. 1950s teens Danny
(John Travolta) and Australian transfer Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) spend their "Summer
Nights" falling in love, but once fall comes, it's back to Rydell High and its cliques. As one of
the bad boy T-Birds, Danny has to act cool for best pal Kenickie (Jeff Conaway) and their
leather-clad mates Sonny (Michael Tucci) and
Doody (Barry Pearl, in the role Travolta played
on stage). Despite befriending Frenchy (Didi Conn), one of the rebel Pink Ladies, virginal
Sandy is "too pure to be Pink," as the Ladies' leader Rizzo (Stockard Channing) acidly
observes. Declaring their devotion in such ballads as "Hopelessly Devoted to You" and
"Sandy," Sandy and Danny split, reconcile, and split again amidst a pep rally, dances,
drive-ins, and a drag race, before deciding "You're the One That I Want" at the climactic
carnival. With Travolta white-hot from Saturday Night Fever (1977), Grease soundtrack
singles climbed the charts and summer movie crowds poured in. With the presence of Joan
Blondell, Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, Edd "Kookie" Byrnes and Frankie Avalon appealing to
grown-up memories, Grease became the highest grossing film of 1978, the highest grossing
movie musical ever, and the third most popular film of the new blockbuster '70s after Star
Wars (1977) and Jaws (1975). Its sequel, Grease 2, did not exactly set the world on fire in
1982. ~ Lucia Bozzola, All Movie Guide
Cast
John Travolta
Olivia Newton-John
Stockard Channing
Jeff Conaway
Didi Conn
Eve Arden  
Joan Blondell  
Dinah Manoff  
Barry Pearl
Michael Tucci  
Kelly Ward  
Susan Buckner  
Eddie Deezen  
Lorenzo Lamas
Dennis Stewart  
Annette Charles
Dick Patterson  
Fannie Flagg
Darrell Zwerling
Ellen Travolta  
Frankie Avalon
Edward Byrnes
Sid Caesar  
Alice Ghostley
Dody Goodman
Sha Na Na
James Donnelly Jan
Steve M. Davison  
Daniel Levans  
Dennis Daniels  
Michael Biehn
Andy Tennant
Mimi Lieber
Sean Moran
Crew
Randal Kleiser
Allan Carr
Robert Stigwood
Bronte Woodard
Bill Oakes

John Farrar
Bill Butler
Pat Birch
Albert Wolsky
John F. Burnett
Ritchie Valens
Jim Jacobs
Warren Casey
Philip M. Jefferies
James I. Berkey
Barry Gibb
J. Scott Simon
Louis St. Louis
Danny Zuko
Sandy, Sandy Olsson
Rizzo
Kenickie
Frenchy
Principal McGee
Vi
Marty
Doody
Sonny
Putzie
Patty Simcox
Eugene
Tom Chisum
Leo
Cha Cha
Mr. Rudie
Nurse Wilkin
Mr. Lynch
Waitress
Teen Angel
Vince Fontaine
Coach Calhoun
Mrs. Murdock
Blanche
Johnny Casino and the
Gamblers
Gamblers
Leader of the Scorpions
Dancer
Dancer
Jock (Basketball Player)
Dancer
Dancer
Dancer
Director
Producer, Screenwriter, Adaptation
Producer  
Screenwriter
Composer (Music Score), Musical
Direction/Supervision
Composer (Music Score), Songwriter
Cinematographer
Choreography
Costume Designer
Editor
Featured Music
From Musical by, Songwriter
From Musical by, Songwriter  
Production Designer
Set Designer
Songwriter
Songwriter
Songwriter
Awards
PEO 1979
Best Film: Nominated


Golden Globe 1978
Best Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominated
Best Original Song- John Farrar, Barry Gibb: Nominated
Best Actress - Musical or Comedy: Olivia Newton-John,
Nominated
Best Actor - Musical or Comedy: John Travolta,
Nominated


Academy 1978
Best Song: Nominated
Theatrical Release Information

US Theatrical Release Date: June 16, 1978
MPAA:  
Production Company: Paramount Pictures
USA Box Office: $181 Million
Worldwide Box Office: $380 Million
Budget Estimate: $6 Million
Filming Locations: 1100 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, California, USA| El Matador Beach, Malibu, California, USA| Huntington
Park High School - 6020 Miles Avenue, Huntington Park, California, USA| Huntington Park, California, USA| John Marshall
High School - 3939 Tracy Street, Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California, USA| Los Angeles River Basin - Between 1st and 4th
Street Bridges, Downtown, Los Angeles, California, USA| Venice High School - 13000 Venice Boulevard, Venice, Los
Angeles, California, USA| Virgil Jr. High School, Los Angeles, California, USA
Editorial Review

Amazon.com essential video
Riding the strange '50s nostalgia wave that swept through America during the late 1970s
(caused by TV shows like Happy Days and films like American Graffiti), Grease became not only
the word in 1978, but also a box-office smash and a cultural phenomenon. Twenty years later,
this entertaining film adaptation of the Broadway musical received another successful
theatrical release, which included visual remastering and a shiny new Dolby soundtrack. In this
2002 DVD release, Grease lovers can also now see it in the correct 2:35 to 1 Panavision aspect
ratio, and see retrospective interviews with cast members and director Randal Kleiser. All
these stylistic touches are essential to the film's success. Without the vibrant colors,
unforgettably campy and catchy tunes (like "Greased Lightning," "Summer Nights," and "You're
the One That I Want"), and fabulously choreographed, widescreen musical numbers, the film
would have to rely on a silly, cliché-filled plot that we've seen hundreds of times. As it is, the
episodic story about the romantic dilemmas experienced by a group of graduating high school
seniors remains fresh, fun, and incredibly imaginative.
The young, animated cast also deserves a lot of credit, bringing chemistry and energy to
otherwise bland material. John Travolta, straight from his success in Saturday Night Fever,
knows his sexual star power and struts, swaggers, sings, and dances appropriately, while
Olivia Newton-John's portrayal of virgin innocence is the only decent acting she's ever done.
And then there's Stockard Channing, spouting sexual double-entendres as Rizzo, the bitchy,
raunchy leader of the Pink Ladies, who steals the film from both of its stars. Ignore the sequel
at all costs. --Dave McCoy
Critic Review
David Abolafia  AMG
" One of the last of the big movie musicals, Grease succeeds in spite of itself, with singers who
can't act, actors who can't sing, and a plot so corny it should have a husk. But this tale of true
love and teen angst circa 1955 is sure to leave one's toes a-tapping, thanks to a dynamite
soundtrack of golden oldies, plus original music by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, with key
contributions by John Farrar (the Oscar-nominated "Hopelessly Devoted to You") and Barry
Gibb (the snappy title tune). Danny Zuko (John Travolta) is the leader of the
T-Birds, a goofball
gang who approach a possible "rumble" with a
water gun and a switchblade comb. They are
matched in their mischief (and romantic entanglements) with the Pink Ladies: Rizzo (Stockard
Channing), Frenchy (Didi Conn), Marty (Dinah Manoff), and Jan (Jamie Donnelly). It's all about
being cool, cutting class, and getting a date for the big dance -- except that Danny's still stuck
on his summer love, Sandy (Olivia Newton John), a "good girl" that his greaser cronies would
be hard-pressed to accept. Fortunately, neither Danny nor the audience has to think too hard
to find a happy ending. Along the way there are terrific dance sequences (choreographed by
Patricia Birch), appearances by a variety of old pros (Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, Dody Goodman,
Edd Byrnes, Alice Ghostley, and Fannie Flagg) and a winning performance by Channing --
ironically, the oldest of these high-school wannabes. ~ David Abolafia, All Movie Guide"
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