How many of you remember this from Grease?
We go together like ramma lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong
Remembered forever as shoo bop sha whadda whadda yippidy boom da boom
Chang chang changity chang shoo bop that’s the way it should be
Grease is the word! Grease is an awesome movie from 1978 starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. For those of you who have been living under a rock, the movie is based on the musical of the same name (from 1971) and is about two lovers (played by John Travolta and Olivia Newton John) in the late 1950’s.
BTW, my high school did this musical and it was awesome! We performed it after the movie had already been a huge hit, so everyone knew what our musical was about. We even got to go on tour. It was a high school highlight for me. I was the drummer in the pit band and got to rock out on Hand Jive.
The movie Grease opened on June 16, 1978 and became the highest grossing movie of 1978. It surpassed 1965’s The Sound of Music as the all-time highest grossing movie musical. It remained in the number one position until 2017 when Beauty and the Beast took over the top spot.
In addition to John Travolta and Olivia Newton John, the movie also starred Jeff Conaway as Kenickie. When he was on Celebrity Rehab, he acted all superior because he had been in Grease. I remember not liking that. [Conaway died in 2011.] Frankie Avalon was the teen angel in the movie. Avalon is still kicking it at 78. A young Lorenzo Lamas was also in a few scenes.
The movie was good but the soundtrack was even better. It became one of the best-selling soundtracks in history. As of this writing, it’s listed as number 11 behind such great soundtracks as Titanic, Dirty Dancing, Footloose, and Saturday Night Fever. The title song was a number one hit in 1978. It was written by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees and sung by Frankie Valli.
- Henry Winkler and Marie Osmond were originally offered the roles of Danny Zuko and Sandy. Winkler turned it down for fear of being typecast (does he even sing?) and Osmond turned it down because Sandy turns “bad” to get the boy. I love Marie Osmond, but come on.
- Susan Dey was considered for the role of Sandy. She turned it down after her manager advised against it. I wonder if that person is still her manager. I don’t think she sings either but I guess she could have fake sung like she did as Laurie Partridge on The Partridge Family.
- This was a high school movie but none of the actors were of high school age. When filming began in June 1977, Olivia Newton John was 28, Travolta was 23, and Jeff Conaway was 26. That’s like Beverly Hills, 90210.
- Carrie Fisher was considered for the role of Rizzo.
- The scene in Frenchy’s bedroom while Rizzo is singing about Elvis Presley was filmed the same day that Elvis died. Creepy.
- Rydell High is a reference to teen idol Bobby Rydell.
- Future teen idols Greg Bradford and Michael Biehn have uncredited roles in the movie.
There was also a Grease 2 movie made with Michelle Pfeiffer, Maxwell Caulfield, and Adrian Zmed. This was the second Grease movie and there were supposed to be two more movies made, but Grease 2 didn’t do well. I guess all future Grease movies were scrapped once Grease 2 became a disaster at the box office.
I loved Grease but thought the ending was kind of silly. Why did they decide to have Danny and Sandy fly off in their car at the end?