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Grease
Grease ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Randal Kleiser
Produced by
Screenplay by Bronte Woodard
Starring
Music by Michael Gibson
Cinematography Bill Butler
Editing by
  • John F. Burnett
  • Robert Pergament
Studio
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) June 16, 1978 (1978-06-16)
Running time 110 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $6 million
Money made $366.2 million
Grease car race LA river
The car race in the film took place at the Los Angeles River.

Grease is a 1978 American musical movie directed by Randal Kleiser and produced by Robert Stigwood. The movie tells the story of high-schoolers Rizzo, Kenickie, Danny, Frenchy and Sandy.

Plot

Danny Zuko and Sandra Dee meet in Los Angeles, California in summer 1959 and they fall in love. When Sandy has to leave to go back to Australia, they believe it is the end of their romance. However, Sandy gets transferred to his school and they meet again. When Danny sees Sandy again he acts as if he does not care about her. He does this to keep up his reputation, but Sandy does not know this and wishes she has never met him. She and Danny date on and off, but Sandy becomes frustrated with him because of the way he treats her. At the end of the movie, Sandy transforms herself into the kind of woman Danny could truly love forever and they get back together.

Cast

Principal cast

Protagonists

  • John Travolta as Danny Zuko, who lives a double life as leader of the greaser gang called the T-Birds and as Sandy's boyfriend
  • Olivia Newton-John as Sandy Olsson, Danny's girlfriend and an Australian immigrant and ingénue, who transforms from square lady to female greaser

T-Birds

  • Jeff Conaway as Kenickie, Danny's best friend, Rizzo's boyfriend and the owner of Greased Lightnin’
  • Barry Pearl as Doody, a member of the T-Birds, who pairs with Frenchy at the school dance
  • Michael Tucci as Sonny LaTierri, a trouble-making wannabe and a T-Bird, who courts Marty with little success over the course of the film
  • Kelly Ward as Putzie, a member of the T-Birds whose relationship with Jan builds over the course of the film

Pink Ladies

  • Stockard Channing as Betty Rizzo, Kenickie's girlfriend and the cynical leader of the Pink Ladies
  • Didi Conn as Frenchy, Sandy's closest friend in the Pink Ladies and an aspiring beautician
  • Jamie Donnelly as Jan, a quirky member of the Pink Ladies who loves to eat, particularly sweets
  • Dinah Manoff as Marty Maraschino, a member of the Pink Ladies

Secondary cast

Students

  • Eddie Deezen as Eugene Felsnic, the class nerd
  • Susan Buckner as Patricia "Patty" Simcox, the head cheerleader and a rival for Danny's affections
  • Lorenzo Lamas as Thomas "Tom" Chisum, a popular jock, who competes for Sandy's affections
  • Dennis C. Stewart as Leo "Crater-Face" Balmudo, leader of the Scorpions, a rivalling greaser gang. Though not a student at Rydell High, he is likely a drop-out student, possibly from St Bernadette's
  • Annette Charles as Charlene "Cha-Cha" DiGregorio, Leo's girlfriend. She is a student at St Bernadette's

School Staff

  • Eve Arden as Principal McGee, who shows discomfort at the goings-on at Rydell High
  • Dody Goodman as Blanche Hodel, the school secretary, who enjoys even the wilder antics at the school
  • Sid Caesar as Coach Vince Calhoun, the tough-talking gym teacher and coach of all the school's perennially losing sports teams
  • Alice Ghostley as Mrs. Murdock, the auto-shop teacher who helps the T-Birds build Greased Lightnin'
  • Darrell Zwerling as Mr. Lynch
  • Dick Patterson as Mr. Rudie
  • Fannie Flagg as Nurse Wilkins

Others

Soundtrack

The soundtrack album ended 1978 as the second-best-selling album of the year in the United States, exceeded only by another soundtrack album, from the film Saturday Night Fever, which also starred Travolta. The song "Hopelessly Devoted to You" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music – Original Song. The song "You're the One That I Want" was released as a single prior to the film's release and became an immediate chart-topper, despite not being in the stage show or having been seen in the film at that time. Additionally, the dance number to "You're the One That I Want" was nominated for TV Land's award for "Movie Dance Sequence You Reenacted in Your Living Room" in 2008. In the United Kingdom, the two Travolta/Newton-John duets, "You're the One That I Want" and "Summer Nights", were both number one hits and as of 2011 are still among the 20 best-selling singles of all time (at Nos. 6 and 19, respectively). The film's title song was also a number-one hit single for Frankie Valli.

The song "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee" refers to Sal Mineo in the original stage version. Mineo was stabbed to death a year before filming, so the line was changed to refer to Elvis Presley instead. The references to Troy Donohue, Doris Day, Rock Hudson and Annette Funicello are from the original stage version. Coincidentally, this scene as well as the scene before and the scene after it were filmed on August 16, 1977, the date of Elvis Presley's death.

Some of the songs were not present in the film; songs that appear in the film but not in the soundtrack are "La Bamba" by Ritchie Valens, "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" by Jerry Lee Lewis, "Alma Mater", "Alma Mater Parody", and "Rydell Fight Song". "Alone at a Drive-in Movie (Instrumental)", "Mooning", and "Freddy My Love" are not present in the film, although all three are listed in the end credits in-addition to being on the soundtrack. (Both "Mooning" and "Rock'n'Roll Party Queen", the latter of which was played in the film as background music, were written in the musical for a character named Roger that was written out of the film, replaced by the non-singing Putzie. In general, all of the songs in the musical that were performed by characters other than Danny, Rizzo, Sandy, Johnny Casino, or the Teen Angel were either taken out of the film or given to other characters, including Marty Maraschino's number "Freddy My Love", Kenickie's "Greased Lightnin'", and Doody's "Those Magic Changes".) Two songs from the musical, "Shakin' at the High School Hop" and "All Choked Up", were left off both the film and the soundtrack.

The songs appear in the film in the following order:

  1. "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing"
  2. "Grease"
  3. "Alma Mater"
  4. "Summer Nights" – Danny, Sandy, Pink Ladies and T-Birds
  5. "Rydell Fight Song" – Rydell Marching Band
  6. "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee" – Rizzo and Pink Ladies
  7. "Hopelessly Devoted to You" – Sandy
  8. "Greased Lightnin'" – Danny and T-Birds
  9. "La Bamba"
  10. "It's Raining on Prom Night"
  11. "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On"
  12. "Beauty School Dropout" – Teen Angel and Female Angels
  13. "Rock n' Roll Party Queen"
  14. "Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay"
  15. "Those Magic Changes" – Johnny Casino and the Gamblers; Danny sings along onscreen
  16. "Tears on My Pillow" – Johnny Casino and the Gamblers
  17. "Hound Dog" – Johnny Casino and the Gamblers
  18. "Born to Hand Jive" – Johnny Casino and the Gamblers
  19. "Blue Moon" – Johnny Casino and the Gamblers
  20. "Sandy" – Danny
  21. "There are Worse Things I Could Do" – Rizzo
  22. "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee (Reprise)" – Sandy
  23. "Alma Mater Parody" (Instrumental)
  24. "You're the One That I Want" – Danny, Sandy, Pink Ladies, and T-Birds
  25. "We Go Together" – Cast
  26. "Grease (Reprise)"
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