Tuesday, March 5, 2024

RICK’S REAL/REEL LIFE: Nonetheless the One That We Need: ‘Grease’ 1978

“Grease” from 1978 remains to be the phrase for enjoyable film musicals, 45 years later! 

The movie model of Grease—the
authentic Excessive Faculty Musical—got here out
June 15 in 1978, the summer time after I graduated from Manistique Excessive Faculty in
Higher MI. Grease can be set principally in
1959, the 12 months I used to be born. The ’50s nostalgia increase was in full bloom, plus
because of Mother, I used to be very conversant in the music and stars of that period.

Olivia Newton-John & Travolta as Sandy & Danny, opposites who appeal to, “Grease.”

The movie model of Grease
jogged my memory of TV’s pseudo ’50s smash Blissful
, with out the musical numbers. On the time, I discovered Grease light-weight enjoyable, and particularly loved
the singing and dancing. Having seen it twice since its launch 45 years in the past,
I am a bit extra important and basically settlement with the critics of the period: Grease feels a bit generic, a lot of the
forged are clearly of their early ’30s, the manufacturing is a bit sloppy, and the
humor sitcom-ish. BUT, there are numerous causes Grease remains to be a preferred movie favourite: the forged is profitable, songs
are memorable, dancing energetic, and perspective good-natured. PLUS, the 2
stars are most interesting. Olivia Newton John is fresh-faced, healthful, and has
the right ingénue spirit, particularly when singing, if not appearing. AND John
Travolta is the perfect motive to look at Grease:
his comedic robust man is caricatured, however charming and charismatic, and with
actual feeling when known as for. He is no Elvis vocally, however he has a nice method
of placing a tune over, and his dancing is energetic, glorious, and infrequently

Olivia Newton-John as Sandy, surrounded by the Pink Women, in 1978’s “Grease.”

Producer Allan Carr used the outdated casting trick that related
schlock-meisters Aaron Spelling and Ross Hunter utilized: Combine promising newcomers
with beloved veteran stars. The main focus is on relative children Travolta,
Olivia, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, Didi Conn, and Dinah Manoff; and it’s
nice enjoyable to see Eve Arden, Dody Goodman, Joan Blondell, Alice Ghostley, Sid
Caesar, and extra have their moments, too. To not point out Grease period heartthrobs like Frankie Avalon and Edd Byrnes in cameos,
and the title tune sung by Frankie Valli.

The T-Birds of “Grease,” with Jeff Conaway far left, & John Travolta, far proper.

Other than her age, Stockard Channing did effectively sufficient as
Rizzo, however I felt she was doing a Bette Midler shtick more often than not. Nonetheless,
Channing’s an excellent distinction to Olivia’s blonde Bambi, and Stockard was a powerful
vocalist. I learn that Carrie Fisher was thought-about for Sandy, but it surely occurred
to me that Fisher would have been an excellent Rizzo and a dozen years youthful than
30-something Channing. And do you know that Maude’s Adrienne Barbeau originated the function of Rizzo on

Stockard Channing because the lead Pink Girl, Rizzo, in 1978’s “Grease.”

Jeff Conaway as soon as performed within the stage model of Grease, as did Travolta. He is nice as
Kenickie and cherished him as Bobby on Taxi.
Certain, he needed to set his ego apart to play second lead within the movie Grease, particularly when his character’s “Greased
Lightning” went to John Travolta’s Danny, but it surely made film star sense. 

Jeff Conaway as Kenickie in “Grease.” Conaway & Travolta have been TV coronary heart throbs!

The Broadway present of Grease
was extra rough-edged than the movie and befell in Chicago. The film model
is meant to happen someplace much less city, but it surely certain seems like
California! Watching Grease at the moment, a
reunion at Rydell Excessive could look like pure fluff, but it surely’s nonetheless enjoyable fluff. Your toes shall be tapping
alongside from the primary musical quantity, “Summer time Nights.” It’s so nice
to see Olivia beautiful and singing like a chicken, John Travolta in his gifted
peacock prime, lovely Jeff Conaway, wise-cracking Stockard Channing, and Didi
Conn so endearing as Frenchy.

Eve Arden was excellent casting because the principal in 1978’s “Grease!”

John Travolta’s biggest-grossing film ever, which snowballed from the success
of Saturday Night time Fever. Plus the
soundtrack, the combo of the present and the brand new tunes, made for a 30 million
promoting double album.

John Travolta in his appreciable 1978 prime, within the “Greased Lightning” quantity.

I feel Travolta, the soundtrack, the nostalgia
for the ‘50s, and the celebs of the movie model promote this film, in any case
these years.
This film
is the ‘70s equal of Viva Las Vegas:
tacky however good natured enjoyable, with iconic stars which have stayed in our hearts.
So, take pleasure in a forty fiveth reunion with the Pink Women and T-Birds!

Olivia Newton-John spiced up her picture when Sandy acquired an attractive makeover, “Grease!”

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