197 - Grease (1978)

Two summer lovers are surprised to find themselves in the same high school.

Danny Zuko (John Travolta) and Sandy Dee (Olivia Newton John) find themselves at the end of summer with Sandy having to return to Australia while Danny must return to High School. When the new term comes around and Danny learns that Sandy is at the same school, he becomes a different person to be around.

The two of them are joined by Danny's greaser friends, The T-Birds, and Sandy's new friends, The Pink Ladies. Danny must change the way he acts in front of his friends if he is to land to the girl he loved over summer.

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
I've never seen Grease before. OK, I lie. I've seen it a couple of times. OK, I lie. I can't think of a film on the 5-star list that I have watched more than Grease and I was already humming the songs as I put the disk into the DVD player.

Grease is a very American film. From the huge 1950's cars to the parades around the (American) Football team it epitomises everything that the outside world thinks goes on in American High School. Despite being from the other side of the Atlantic it is also engrained into British culture. There is not a school disco that goes by where the Grease Megamix isn't enjoyed by everyone on those su-uh-mmer n-aiiiiiiii-ights.

Sure, everyone knows Greased Lightning and Summer Nights and has probably listened to them so many times that they wish they lived in the 1950's, but no matter how many times I watch Grease I find myself becoming immersed in the corny love story too while hammering out the tunes at the top of my voice. My 15-year-old brother joined in too, proving that Grease is still not going away.

How Grease manages to still attract an older audience where films such as High School Musical don't is beyond me. Perhaps it is to do with the fact that the actors are clearly over-aged. Or then, maybe it is because the characters have a certain sex appeal (listen closely to the lyrics and you'll notice that 1978 wasn't such an innocent year for filmmaking). Crooning over those involved in High School Musical would just be creepy.

Even the 'minor' characters have a point to prove. The Principle of Rydell High and her secretary have some of the most hilarious lines in the film, proving that when the going is bad between Danny and Sandy, a song and dance and a few jokes from the headteacher are all it takes to cheer everyone up.

My second favourite musical of all time (second only to Les Miserables!).


  1. "I've got chills, they're multiplying, and I'm losing control. 'Cause the power you're supplying is electrifying."

    Sorry. Couldn't resist. :D

    1. No worries, after 34 years, Grease is still going strong. It's overlooked far too much on 'best movies' lists, I feel.

  2. Loved this, young Travolta's early start. There were some great songs in this musical. (Hand Jive was a favourite).

    Wasn't that a race in a type of aqueduct?

    1. Hand jive is brilliant! The race actually took place in Los Angeles River which is dry for much of the year.


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