“Grease” is the Word. If you don’t love this movie and don’t feel compelled to sing-along, you may be dead inside. Check with your doctor.
Picture It: Hawaii 1978. At the time, I was a teen living in Japan on an Army base where we usually got movies and TV shows from the States a year late, but luckily I got a rare trip back to the Motherland where I was able to actually participate in late ’70s pop culture instead of reading about it (I still haven’t gotten over the year or so that it took me to finally see “Star Wars”). I also saw “Airplane” on that trip and although that was amazing, it didn’t rock my world the way “Grease” did.
Wow, who didn’t want to be Olivia Newton-John in those tight spandex pants and dance with John Travolta (before we knew the truth)? And there was the incredible cast including Stockard Channing, Didi Conn, Dinah Manoff, Eve Arden, Joan Blondell, Dody Goodman, and of course Frankie Avalon as The Teen Angel.
By some kind of miracle, it all worked. You see what a feat it was considering all the flop musicals that followed, trying to capture the magic, like “Xanadu”, “Can’t Stop the Music”, and even “Grease 2”.
And the songs! Along with the remarkable songs from the original musical such as “Summer Nights”, “Greased Lightning”, “Beauty School Dropout”, “Look At Me I’m Sandra Dee”, “Born To Hand Jive”, and of course “We Go Together”, the new songs made it even better: “You’re the One That I Want”, “Grease”, “Hopelessly Devoted To You”, and “Sandy”.
With the recent announcement of a “Grease” TV show, one can see the desire to recapture/extend/recreate the magic. But there’ll only be one “Grease”.