Congratulations to "Grease"! The Movie Turned 40 And Here Are 10 Fun Facts You May Not Know About It


May 3, 2018 17:39 By Mambee

Remember that sweet Danny and Sandy love story from the “Grease”? The movie was an obsession! Everyone was singing their songs and repeating the dance moves! The director Randal Kleiser could never guess what success it would become. This year the “Grease” turns 40!

© Grease (1978) / Paramount Pictures


In 1978 the world got to know Danny (John Travolta), and Sandy (Olivia Newton-John), and fell in love with their characters! You may have watched the movie thousands of times, but probably these facts would still sound new to you.

1. Kleiser had major doubts about the main actress. He had no idea if sweet and shy  Newton-John could transform into the sexy and naughty girl. However, he loved the way she appeared on set. The director remembers: “When she came out of the trailer to show me the outfit and the hair I was blown away. I had no idea who she was.”

© Grease (1978) / Paramount Pictures


2. Travolta and Newton-John had to play high school students, though they were much older. Olivia was 28, while her partner Travolta was 24. This age difference made the actress quite nervous about romantic scenes. Luckily, her worries were groundless, and they felt comfortable working together after all. Randal Kleiser recalls, Travolta treated her like an older brother even though he was younger.

3. Grease was a financial success as well! The movie was made on the $6 million budget, but it earned $400 million internationally!

© Grease (1978) / Paramount Pictures


4. Elvis Presley was supposed to star in the move. The director hold the role of Teen Angel for him, though he declined the offer. Frankie Avalon played the role instead.

5. That amazing romantic ballad “Hopelessly devoted to you” received an Academy Award nomination, and that was for a reason. No doubts, the fans were shedding tears while listening to Sandy singing. However, this scene was made after the filming had been wrapped. The song was written by John Farrar for the “Grease” especially.   

6. Travolta had to talk Olivia into filming the “You’re the one that I want” song! She was “terrified by it”, as she admitted in the interview few years after the movie was released. Apparently, the actress was hesitating if she was doing the right thing or looked organic playing such character. The song became a huge hit.

7. The dance contest was a hard scene to shoot, it took the whole week for it. They filmed t in the Huntington Park High School in the downtown of L.A., coping with 116 degrees temperature. Some extras even suffered from a heat stroke.

© Grease (1978) / Paramount Pictures


8. Jeff Conaway, who played Danny’s friend, was taller than Travolta, that is why he had to stoop during the filming all the time to look shorter.

© Grease (1978) / Paramount Pictures


9. Paramount had major plans for the Grease franchise, including three more movies and TV series, but those plans were not put through. Grease 2 produced in 1982 with Maxwell Caulfield and Michelle Pfeiffer turned to be a huge flop. With the double budget of $13 million, it earned only $15 million.

© Grease (1978) / Paramount Pictures


10. Olivia Newton-John had to be on set in the extremely tight black pants, that caused not just discomfort, but the zipper breakage each time she wore them. She had that zipper sewed in every single morning.

Grease was a hit back then 40 years ago, it is still fun to watch it again! Those catchy tunes, stylish costumes, and an unpretentious storyline make us plunge in the special atmosphere of the late 50-s recreated on set.

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