Who hasn't ever in their life seen Grease? A rare few probably, as this is truly a classic that everyone can at least remember one dazzling song from.

Whether it be Summer Nights; You're the One That I Want; Beauty School Drop Out; Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee or Grease Lighning. No surprise that it was such a long-running hit on Broadway before being made into a film.

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Grease follows a young couple who have spent the summer together falling in love. He, Danny (John Travolta) returns to school to tell all his friends about the girl Sandy (Olivia Newton-John). Neither realises that they are starting at the same school that term.

They run into each other and soon Sandy realises that he isn't the boy she thought he was and decides the only way to win his affections is to change. Cue: singing and dancing.

The plot is thin - which is why the film was pummelled by the critics when it first came out. But the highly choreographed songs make up for it big-style. Not for the first or the last time, the critics were shown to be out-of-step with audience's tastes.

Colourful supporting characters such as Rizzo (Stockard Channing) and Frenchy (Didi Conn) with their songs of teenage pregnancy, purple hair and a beautiful beauty school dream sequence bring more pizzazz.

There are some obvious moral implications thrown up by the film: is the only way that a "dull" girl like Sandy can get her man to dress in a spandex catsuit, wear red lipstick and smoke cigarettes?

But that's maybe taking it too seriously. When you sit down and hear the opening bars of Grease filling your head, you just can't help but forget about it all and sing along to those darn tunes.

Reviewed on: 08 Apr 2001
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Grease packshot
Cult musical about the romance between a naive Aussie and school stud. Singalong version back in cinemas for Valentine's Day.
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Director: Randal Kleiser

Writer: Bronte Woodard and Allan Carr, based on the musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey

Starring: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, Michael Tucci, Didi Conn, Kelly Ward, Barry Pearl, Frankie Avalon, Sid Caesar, Jamie Donnelly, Dinah Manoff, Eve Arden

Year: 1978

Runtime: 110 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US

Festivals:

CFF 2007
EIFF 2011

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