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Grease (Widescreen Edition) (1978)

A movie directed by Randal Kleiser

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The highest grossing movie musical of all-time.

  • Jul 16, 2009
When the idea for making a motion picture version of "Grease" was approved by the moguls at Paramount back in 1977 the studio gave producers Robert Stigwood and Allan Carr a budget of $6,000,000 to complete the project.  The conventional wisdom in Hollywood was that the film would generate lots of enthusiasm initially, make a neat profit and gradually fade away as the vast majority of films do.  No one could have ever predicted the magnitude of the hit they would have on their hands.  "Grease"  opened in over 800 theaters on March 27, 1978.  The critics were not that impressed but audiences loved it.  They still do. Not only would "Grease" become the top grossing motion picture of 1978 but when all was said and done "Grease" would become the highest grossing movie musical of all-time with a worldwide gross of some $387,000,000!    

I think the main reason that "Grease" has remained so popular over the decades is that it truly is a fun movie.  There are so many films out there featuring blood and guts that a film like "Grease" is a welcome oasis for many of us.  This is a film that features a fabulous musical score, innovative choreography and a remarkable chemistry among the members of a highly talented cast.  Everyone seemed to love the performances by the film's two stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton-JohnTravolta loved the stage play and lobbied hard to play the part of Danny Zuko in the film.  Meanwhile, Olivia Newton-John was intrigued when offered the role of Sandy by the producers but insisted on a screen test to make sure she was right for the role.  As it turned out she was just perfect.  The chemistry between these two and their enthusiasm for this project is quite apparent from the very first scene in the film.  Meanwhile,  Jeff Conaway, who played Danny Zuko in the Broadway production of "Grease"  adds his considerable talent to the mix in the role of Danny's
best buddy Kenickie.  And let us not forget the noteworthy contributions of  Stockyard Channing and Didi Conn in the roles of Rizzo and Frenchy.  Finally, the producers added to the appeal of this film by including several 1950's icons in the cast including Sid Caesar, Edd Byrnes, Eve Arden, Joan Blondell and Fannie Flagg.  It was a nice touch.

I think most folks would agree that what makes "Grease" so doggone appealing  is the sensational  music.  The film spawned four Top Five singles in 1978 including "Hopelessly Devoted To You", "Summer Lovin" and the #1 smash "You're The One That I Want".    At the same time the soundtrack LP was a monster hit as well.  Other notable tunes from the film include Stockyard Channing's surprisingly powerful "There Are Worse Things I Can Do",  John Travolta's "Sandy" and 50's teen idol Frankie Avalon (playing a teen angel) doing"Beauty School Dropout".   The film concludes with the entire cast  cut loose at an amusement park singing "We Go Together".   I enjoy these tunes just as much today as I did  then!   Furthermore,  I would be remiss if I failed to make mention of the incredibly innovative animated open to this flick that goes a long way in getting viewers in the proper frame of mind  to enjoy what follows. 

More than 30 years after it's release "Grease" continues to delight audiences of all ages.  It possesses a universal appeal that is rare in motion pictures these days.  In addition, it is that rare movie that the whole family can enjoy together.   I recently purchased the "Rockin' Rydell Edition"  that was released by Paramount in 2006.  This disc contains tons of extra features that really did enhance my enjoyment of this film. Some months ago, I gave "Grease" a +3 rating on Lunch.  I had not seen the film in quite some time.   After seeing it again I am going to bump that up to a +4.  Highly recommended!  
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July 17, 2009
This film ranks as one of my all-time favorites. It makes me smile each time I watch it....much fun and really entertaining, the way a movie should be.
July 16, 2009
This was a really fun film. I liked it a lot better than Urban Cowboy but not quite as much as Saturday Night Fever.
July 16, 2009
It is such a fun movie! This was my favorite growing up. I knew every single word to all of the songs:) My other favorite was Top Gun (my brother watched it practically every night as a child).
July 16, 2009
I've probably seen this movie easily a hundred times... it's one of my absolute all time favorites. I'm a total sucker for a musical, and I'm sure this film played a huge part in establishing that. Also, really enjoying your new formatting style, by the way!
More Grease (1978) reviews
Quick Tip by . June 14, 2010
My favorite musical ever. I watched it for the first time when I was 6 and was immediatley hooked. Great storyline, and the movie version is incredible.
review by . August 30, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
My wife really loves this movie. I don't like it quite as much as she does but I find that even after having seen it a few times, it's hard NOT to watch it when it's on.The Widescreen edition is really well done.
review by . February 05, 2001
posted in Movie Hype
Whereas this movie is not overly deep, it does deal with the fun times of high school. Friendships and relationships are portrayed in a amusing manner. John Travolta and Olivia Newton John fit their parts like a hand in a glove. Thesongs seem to blend in nicely from scene to scene and the special effects of the day work real fine. Especially like Frankie Avalon's moment in the spotlight. The time period is a bit helter skelter it seems like the movie jumps from the beginning of the school year to …
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Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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About this movie


Riding the strange '50s nostalgia wave that swept through America during the late 1970s (caused by TV shows likeHappy Daysand films likeAmerican Graffiti),Greasebecame not only the word in 1978, but also a box-office smash and a cultural phenomenon. Twenty years later, this entertaining film adaptation of the Broadway musical received another successful theatrical release, which included visual remastering and a shiny new Dolby soundtrack. In this 2002 DVD release,Greaselovers can also now see it in the correct 2:35 to 1 Panavision aspect ratio, and see retrospective interviews with cast members and director Randal Kleiser. All these stylistic touches are essential to the film's success. Without the vibrant colors, unforgettably campy and catchy tunes (like "Greased Lightning," "Summer Nights," and "You're the One That I Want"), and fabulously choreographed, widescreen musical numbers, the film would have to rely on a silly, cliché-filled plot that we've seen hundreds of times. As it is, the episodic story about the romantic dilemmas experienced by a group of graduating high school seniors remains fresh, fun, and incredibly imaginative.

The young, animated cast also deserves a lot of credit, bringing chemistry and energy to otherwise bland material. John Travolta, straight from his success in Saturday Night Fever, knows his sexual star power and struts, swaggers, sings, and dances appropriately, while Olivia ...

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DVD Release Date: September 24, 2002
Runtime: 110 minutes
Studio: Paramount Home Video
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