Grease (1978)

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description:

Grease is a 1978 American musical film directed by Randal Kleiser and based on Warren Casey's and Jim Jacobs's musical, of the same name about two lovers in a 1970 high school. The film stars John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, and Jeff Conaway. It was successful both critically and at the box office. The soundtrack album became one of the best-selling in pop movie history, and provided several chart hits for the original artists and others.

plot:

In the 1950s, during their summer vacation, local boy Danny Zuko (John Travolta) and Australian holiday-maker Sandy Olsson (Olivia Newton-John), meet at the beach and begin to fall in love. When the summer comes to an end, Sandy, who is returning home, frets that they may never meet again. Danny tells her that their love is "only the beginning." This is followed by opening animated credits which introduce the primary cast, followed by the first day at Rydell High. Danny a greaser, is reunited with his friends, the T-Birds — his bad-boy best friend Kenickie (Jeff Conaway), and their three bumbling sidekicks, Doody (Barry Pearl), Putzie (Kelly Ward), and Sonny (Michael Tucci) — while the Pink Ladies, the T-Birds' female counterparts, arrive and claim that they're going to "rule the school" in their final year. We meet three of the four Pink Ladies to start with - their raunchy leader Betty Rizzo (Stockard Channing), the sophisticated Marty (Dinah Manoff, in one of her first film roles), and the juvenile Jan (Jamie Donnelly). Sandy, whose family had unexpectedly cancelled their plans to return to Australia, also enters Rydell as a foreign exchange student. She is being shown around the school by another Pink Lady, a cheerful airhead named Frenchy (Didi Conn). At lunchtime, Danny and Sandy share memories of their summer romance with their friends, unaware of the other's presence at the school (Summer Nights). It soon becomes clear that Danny is exaggerating. Rizzo is surprised when Sandy reveals Danny's name on the way back to class, but the Pink Ladies keep quiet about Danny's presence at the school. After a bonfire, the Pink Ladies decide to reunite Danny and Sandy. The stage looks set for a fairytale reunion, until Danny mixes-up his priorities. At first ecstatic, he decides to maintain his cool image in front of Sandy, since the rest of the T-Birds are standing right behind him. This abrupt change in behavior upsets Sandy who runs off. Frenchy decides to cheer Sandy up by inviting her to a slumber party at her house, with the other Pink Ladies. But things go wrong when Sandy's naîve behaviour begins to irriate the other girls. After Sandy leaves the room, Rizzo leads the girls in the teasing Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee, and even Frenchy participates. Things get more awkward when Sandy walks-in on them. The T-Birds turn-up outside the house, and Rizzo decides to impulsively sneak out with Kenickie. After viewing Marty's extensive collection of pen-pals she borrows some papers and wanders outside, where she confronts her feelings about Danny - she is still in love with him, in spite of everything (Hopelessly Devoted to You). Rizzo and Kenickie have parked in a rundown part of town, and are making out passionately in the back seat of his car. They decide to take things a step further, even after Kenickie's condom breaks. They are soon interrupted by Leo (Dennis C. Stewart), leader of the T-Birds' rival gang, the Scorpions, and his girlfriend, Cha-Cha (Annette Charles). Leo damages Kenickie's car. The following school day, Kenickie's car is pulled into the school's work shop for a tune-up, and despite the fact that it is a "hunk o' junk" according to Danny, the latter manages to convince the boys that it could become a top-of-the-range sports car called Greased Lightning and they start to work on the vehicle. Soon afterwards, Danny sees Sandy having a milkshake with a jock named Tom Chisholm (Lorenzo Lamas). Danny regrets his unkind behavior, and decides to win Sandy back by taking up sport. He is hopeless at everything in terms of basketball, wrestling, and baseball, mainly due to his penchant for hitting fellow competitors when things don't go his way. Eventually, the school P.E. teacher, Coach Calhoun (Sid Caesar), suggests he try his hand at track, and Danny discovers he has a natural ability for it. He injures himself while Sandy is present. Sandy is worried in spite of herself, and goes to see if he is all right. She is so relieved he is not badly hurt that she consents to date him again, and even considers letting him take her to the school dance. Unfortunately, their date at the Frosty Palace is interrupted when the whole gang joins them. Frenchy, who left Rydell to pursue her dream of being a beautician, has had difficulty in all her classes at beauty school, eventually dying her hair bubblegum pink. She is at odds with what to do until her guardian, Teen Angel (Frankie Avalon) appears, and tells her to return to Rydell ("Beauty School Dropout"). The school dance - broadcast live on national television - is an eventful occasion. Rizzo and Kenickie have broken-up, and Rizzo attempts to get at Kenickie by going to the dance with none other than Leo. Two can play at that game, however - Kenickie retaliates by going with Cha-Cha. Marty gets flirty with the DJ, Vince Fontaine (Edd Byrnes). Danny and Sandy are the last couple left in the competition, but Cha-Cha, who, it transpires, is an old girlfriend of Danny's, pulls him away and Sandy leaves. Meanwhile, Sonny, Putzie, and Doody take advantage of the song "Blue Moon" and moon the audience. In an attempt to make things up to Sandy, Danny takes her to the drive-in movie. Things are awkward between them until Danny gives Sandy his ring, to show how much he cares about her - at least, that's how Sandy interprets it. His real intentions become clear when Danny starts trying to fondle Sandy. Horrified, Sandy runs off. Faced with losing Sandy yet again, Danny realises how much she means to him ("Sandy"). Rizzo tells Marty that she missed a period and believes she might be pregnant, but makes Marty promise not to tell anyone. Marty promises to "take it to the grave," but lets it slip almost immediately. She tells Sonny, who makes sure everyone finds out. When Kenickie offers to help, Rizzo rebuffs him, claiming that he isn't the father. Kenickie's hurt reaction reveals that she is lying. A couple of days later, Kenickie and the T-Birds meet the Scorpions for a car race at Thunder Road. Everyone comes to watch except Rizzo, who can't face seeing Kenickie. Patty Simcox (Susan Buckner) and her friends joke about Rizzo's reputation, inciting Rizzo to denounce her bad-girl image ("There Are Worse Things I Could Do"). Sandy is missing Danny dreadfully, and decides to try and patch things up between them at the race. Kenickie is injured by a swinging door, meaning Danny has to race in his stead. Danny wins the race. Sandy is delighted, but realises she and Danny are a world apart - unless she takes drastic action, ("Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee (Reprise)"). As the year comes to a close, the group enjoys a carnival at the school. Rizzo reveals that she is not pregnant after all, and she and Kenickie are finally reunited. Danny has earned a letter in track, but the T-Birds resent his new image, viewing it as desertion. Sandy suddenly appears in a tight black outfit. Her hair is curled and she has a cigarette in her mouth. She looks more like Rizzo than herself, and is the center of attention at the carnival. She tells Danny that she has done it all for him, and he reciprocates, ("You're The One That I Want"). As they climb into Danny's car, it takes-off. As the pair of them wave back to the cast who has turned out onto the school lawn ("We Go Together"), still singing as Danny and Sandy fly off into the sky. The whole class and faculty wave goodbye and then the credits start rolling in the style of a yearbook signifying the end of the movie.