Grease (1978)

Genres - Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Rock Musical, Teen Movie  |   Release Date - Jun 16, 1978 (USA)  |   Run Time - 110 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by David Abolafia

One of the last of the big movie musicals, Grease succeeds in spite of itself, with singers who can't act, actors who can't sing, and a plot so corny it should have a husk. But this tale of true love and teen angst circa 1955 is sure to leave one's toes a-tapping, thanks to a dynamite soundtrack of golden oldies, plus original music by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, with key contributions by John Farrar (the Oscar-nominated "Hopelessly Devoted to You") and Barry Gibb (the snappy title tune). Danny Zuko (John Travolta) is the leader of the T-Birds, a goofball gang who approach a possible "rumble" with a water gun and a switchblade comb. They are matched in their mischief (and romantic entanglements) with the Pink Ladies: Rizzo (Stockard Channing), Frenchy (Didi Conn), Marty (Dinah Manoff), and Jan (Jamie Donnelly). It's all about being cool, cutting class, and getting a date for the big dance -- except that Danny's still stuck on his summer love, Sandy (Olivia Newton-John), a "good girl" that his greaser cronies would be hard-pressed to accept. Fortunately, neither Danny nor the audience has to think too hard to find a happy ending. Along the way there are terrific dance sequences (choreographed by Patricia Birch), appearances by a variety of old pros (Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, Dody Goodman, Edd Byrnes, Alice Ghostley, and Fannie Flagg) and a winning performance by Channing -- ironically, the oldest of these high-school wannabes.