Taglines: Grease is the word.
In the summer of 1958, Sandy Olsson (Newton-John) meets local boy Danny Zuko (Travolta) at the beach while on vacation and they soon fall in love. As the summer comes to an end, Sandy worries about returning home to Australia and never seeing Danny again, but he assures her that it is only the beginning for them.
On the first day of their senior year at Rydell High, Danny, the leader of a greaser gang known as the T-Birds, meets with his fellow T-Birds, Kenickie (Jeff Conaway) (second-in-command and Danny’s best friend), Sonny (Michael Tucci), Doody (Barry Pearl), and Putzie (Kelly Ward), and they all catch up on what they did over the summer. Danny briefly mentions that he met a girl and they joke around with it.
Sandy, meanwhile, enrolls at Rydell after an apparent change in her plans but is unaware of Danny’s presence, as is he of hers. Sandy has made friends with Frenchy (Didi Conn), a member of the Pink Ladies, an associated female equivalent of the T-Birds. Frenchie introduces Sandy to fellow Pink Ladies Rizzo (Stockard Channing), the group’s leader, Jan (Jamie Donnelly), and Marty (Dinah Manoff). Rizzo notes she looks “too pure to be Pink.”
At lunch, Sandy tells them about meeting an amazing boy over the summer and falling in love (“Summer Nights”). After Rizzo discovers she is speaking of Danny, her ex-boyfriend, she deviously arranges a surprise meeting at a pep rally. Despite his excitement at seeing her, Danny acts indifferently in an effort to protect his cool reputation, causing Sandy to run off in disgust. Frenchy invites Sandy over to her house to join the rest of the girls for a slumber party that night to cheer her up
At the party, Rizzo mocks Sandy (“Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee”) and the other girls join in, until Sandy overhears and goes outside to be alone where she laments missing Danny (“Hopelessly Devoted to You”). The T-Birds crash the party and Rizzo ends up driving off alone with Kenickie. Later, their makeout session is interrupted by Leo (Dennis C. Stewart), the leader of the Scorpions, a rival greaser gang from another high school. Leo rear-ends Kenickie’s car, insults them, and drives away.
After the T-Birds help repair Kenickie’s car (“Greased Lightnin'”) in autoshop class, Danny asks Coach Calhoun (Sid Caesar) to help him find a sport so he can impress Sandy, who has begun dating Tom (Lorenzo Lamas), one of the school’s football players. After trying various sports, Danny eventually discovers an aptitude for track and rekindles his relationship with Sandy.
They attempt a date at the Frosty Palace, a local malt shop hangout, but their date is crashed by both the Pink Ladies and the T-Birds, who are gradually pairing off. Kenickie and Rizzo have an argument and the two groups depart, leaving Frenchy alone to ponder the wisdom of dropping out of high school to attend beauty school after a mistake in hair dyeing class turned her hair bubblegum pink. She is then visited by her guardian angel (Frankie Avalon), who urges her to return to high school (“Beauty School Dropout”).
A few weeks later, the school dance arrives. Rydell High had been picked for a live national TV broadcast on National Bandstand, hosted by DJ Vince Fontaine (Edd Byrnes) (a fictional version of Alan Freed), who flirts with Marty throughout the night. Rizzo and Kenickie attempt to score off each other by bringing Leo and his on-and-off girlfriend Cha Cha (Annette Charles), who was with Leo when he interrupted their makeout session, respectively as their dates, while Danny and Sandy go together. During the final dance, Danny and Cha Cha (who were also once boyfriend and girlfriend) perform together and win the national dance-off (“Born to Hand Jive”), which hurts Sandy’s feelings. She leaves alone.
Grease is a 1978 American musical romantic comedy film directed by Randal Kleiser and produced by Paramount Pictures. The film is an adaptation of Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs’ 1971 musical of the same name about two lovers in a 1950s high school. The film stars John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing and Jeff Conaway.
Released on June 16, 1978, the film was successful both critically and financially at the box office, becoming the highest grossing film of the year. As of 2016, the film remains the highest-grossing movie musical in the United States. Its soundtrack album ended 1978 as the second-best selling album of the year in the U.S., behind the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever, another film starring Travolta. The soundtrack is also the top-selling soundtrack in history. The film was nominated for one Academy Award for Best Original Song. A sequel, Grease 2, was released in 1982, featuring few cast members reprising their roles.
Directed by: Randal Kleiser
Starring: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, Barry Pearl, Michael Tucci, Kelly Ward, Dinah Manoff, Eve Arden, Frankie Avalon
Screenplay by: Bronte Woodard
Production Design by: Philip M. Jefferies
Cinematography by: Bill Butler
Film Editing by: John F. Burnett
Costume Design by: Albert Wolsky
Set Decoration by: James L. Berkey
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: June 16, 1978