The original “Grease” (1978) is a classic. While the film itself is a retro of the 1950s, it’s become a retro in its campy, greasy kitsch.
“Grease” begins with the summer love story of Danny (John Travolta) and Sandy (Olivia Newton-John). They had a sweet relationship over the summer, one that was never ruined by spending the night together. Their love ended when they separated at the end of the summer. Then, after the opening credits, they reunite on the first day on school. But rather than appear like the sweet romantic he was with Sandy that summer, Danny is too cool for school. Will they be able to pick back up where they left off, The very fate of the world rests in their ability to work things out!
The film is a survey of high school characters during the dawn of rock n roll. It’s a nostalgic look back at pep rallies, drive ins, and muscle cars. However, the cast of thirtysomethings don’t exactly pull off the various cliques and gangs that populate the hallways (such as Stockard Channing’s Rizzo), much less the cringe-worthy one-liners of their characters. Adding to the dated look are performers from the 50s and 60s, such as Eve Arden, Frankie Avalon, Joan Blondell, Edd Byrnes, and Sid Caesar.
Nevertheless, viewers should have no problem turning on cable TV at any given time and find the film broadcast somewhere, especially if they look on any network owned by Ted Turner. Any audience member born after 1960 will likely ask why anyone felt the need to revamp any of this schlock. The answer is beyond me.