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Grease: High School Fun in the ‘50s

Updated on April 23, 2017
Charito1962 profile image

Ms. Charito is a Filipino based in Manila. She has worked as an executive assistant and a journalist. She is a widow with a grown-up son.


“Summer loving had me a blast / summer loving happened so fast. These lyrics come to my mind the minute I think of the movie Grease. I was in high school in the late ‘70s when this film hit Manila’s theaters. Back then, some months earlier, Saturday Night Fever had created a stir among the Filipino youngsters.

Since I enjoyed watching John Travolta’s energetic dancing in Saturday Night Fever, I just had to watch Grease, as I was excited to see how the team-up of Travolta (who plays Danny Zuko) and singer Olivia Newton-John (who plays Sandy Olsson) would be. I wasn’t disappointed. It turned out that I liked the movie more than Saturday Night Fever!

Grease is one of those wholesome movies which I would recommend to today’s young people. It’s educational in a way, since it gives us a clear picture of high school life in the ‘50s. Life seemed so simple and carefree back then; perhaps people were still cherishing their victory in the Second World War.


Hopelessly devoted to each other: young lovers Sandy Olsson (Olivia Newton-John) and Danny Zuko (John Travolta)
Hopelessly devoted to each other: young lovers Sandy Olsson (Olivia Newton-John) and Danny Zuko (John Travolta) | Source

Based on the 1971 Broadway musical of the same name – which underwent some changes in the revivals – the story centers on Danny and Sandy trying to keep their love burning while struggling to please their friends (the greaser gang T-Birds and their female counterpart, the Pink Ladies).

Since I am fond of musicals, I like most of the numbers, my favorites being Grease, Summer Nights, Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee, Greased Lightnin’, Beauty School Dropout and We Go Together. Whenever I’m in parties or social functions held at karaoke bars, I still croon Hopelessly Devoted to You.


"Summer Nights" with Danny Zuko (John Travolta), Sandy Olsson (Olivia Newton-John), the T-Birds, the Pink Ladies and the Rydell gang

"Greased Lightnin'" with Danny and the T-Birds

I’m rather appalled, though, at seeing high school kids of the ‘50s smoking, making out, and having gang rivalries. (I found the character Cha-Cha (played by Annette Charles) too wild!) I can believe this more if they were in college.

For that matter, I find the Rydell principal McGee (played by Eve Arden) weak in disciplining her “wholesome students”. But I still like her because she is funny especially in the scene where she reprimands the “mooners” ("We have pictures of you so-called 'mooners'. Just because the pictures aren’t of your faces, doesn’t mean we can’t identify you.").

It is marvelous, too, to see familiar actors like Sid Caesar (who plays Coach Calhoun), Ellen Travolta (who plays a waitress), and Lorenzo Lamas (who plays the nice guy Tom interested in Sandy).

And I admit that instead of listening to Danny sing Sandy, I am more entertained by the billboard ad in the background showing a cartoon of a hotdog jumping into the bun.


"Sandy"

The inspiration for “Greased Lightnin’”: a sleek 1956 Ford Thunderbird
The inspiration for “Greased Lightnin’”: a sleek 1956 Ford Thunderbird | Source

Likewise, watching Grease gives me a glimpse of how life was in Manila. My late parents used to talk to me about cheap grocery items, low utility bills, peace and order in the society. I also remember, as I was growing up, riding the sleek Thunderbird car that we kept in our garage. How good it felt to live back then!

For those of us who want to unwind from today’s pressures and demands caused by endless global crises, Grease is the film to watch. It’s therapeutic, indeed, and will surely ease the mind.

“Grease is the word...”

We go together

Remembered forever

That’s the way

It should be.

We’re one of a kind.

Our names are signed.

We’ll always be like one.

When we go out at night

And stars are shining bright

Up in the skies above

Or at a high school dance

Where you can find romance

Baby, it might be love.

We’re for each other.

Just like my brother

We’ll always be together.

— The Rydell gang

"We Go Together"

Here are other great John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John films!

Grease
Grease

A most delightful youth musical about high school life in the ‘50s!

 

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    • profile image

      acmmelchor 3 years ago

      Even until now, Grease still has one of the best movie soundtracks!

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 3 years ago from Albany New York

      Grease is my favorite movie. I was a teen in the 1950s, and it has some reality of the times to it.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @artbyrodriguez: Glad you also like the movie! Regards.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 3 years ago from Concord VA

      Love this movie! :)

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @Faye Rutledge: Glad you do! Regards.

    • Minoru10 profile image

      Michael Yoshinaka 3 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      It was so much fun back then like you said. I miss these kind of movies.

      : D

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @Minoru10: Sigh...wish we could bring back the '50s!

    • Charito1962 profile image
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      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @acmmelchor: I agree!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 3 years ago

      Grease was a good movie and you have done well to bring it up. Nice refresher.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @norma-holt: Thanks! Nice meeting you.

    • corinnephillips1 profile image

      corinnephillips1 3 years ago

      I love the movie grease and Im going to see the musical this year

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @corinnephillips1: Enjoy!

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

      Grease is a great movie, all time classic. Thanks for stopping by, nice to meet you!

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @Zeross4: Hello! Nice meeting you, too!

    • carlyflames profile image

      Carla Marie 3 years ago from Philippines

      I loved reading your lens.. I totally enjoyed watching this movie! Okay. So I can't claim to have been alive to watch it in the cinemas back then but it's still an AMAZING movie that anyone can enjoy. <3 Now I have to watch it again. HAHA

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @carlyflames: Glad you liked "Grease"! Go and watch it again..ha, ha!

    • profile image

      dwelburn 3 years ago

      I was in high school too. This is a great film, and was the first I ever went to see in the cinema. Went with my mum and sister.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I remember this movie being one of my favorites.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 3 years ago from Australia

      A timeless movie that can be enjoyed over and over again.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 3 years ago from United States

      I do love the movie Grease and I very much remember the first time I saw it.

    • missmary1960 profile image

      missmary1960 3 years ago

      One of my all time favs! I LOVE the music :)

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 3 years ago from United States

      Stopping back by today to let you know that this article has been featured today on Review This! by the Forever Hopeless Romantic Contributor on Squidoo.

      Thank you for this awesome Romantic Movie Review. Happy Valentine's Day!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 3 years ago

      I loved Grease in film on stage, and reruns on television! Definitely a musical love story worth watching again and again.

    • Sir Daniel UK profile image

      Danny Gibson 3 years ago from Northampton

      To this day I still get an impish thrill from emphasizing out loud the couple of swear words in the 'Greased Lightnin' song whenever the film is on :-)

    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      There is nothing more fun than singing along to "You're the One That I Want" -- in the car, of course, or if I somehow have the TV to myself. Also love the Saturday Night Fever stuff. Regularly remind my kids that if they are going to "strut" they have to be up to John Travolta's specs. Alas, they would rather watch "Pulp Fiction." Shiver.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      This movie does have some really fun music.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 3 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      There is no telling how many times I have watched Grease and each time I enjoy it.

    • profile image

      River_Rose 3 years ago

      I liked the stars who played in the movie! Great music also! Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      KLGanny 3 years ago

      This is one of my favorite musicals of all time. :)

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      I get to see this more now than when it first came out. They play it quite often at Mom's memory care residence. They do love the music! Fun review.

    • bpratt lm profile image

      bpratt lm 3 years ago

      I absolutely love this movie/musical! Your review is fantastic :D

    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 3 years ago from chichester

      Great review - Grease never gets old!! John Travolta is just fantastic in every film I've seen him in

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @tazzytamar: Glad you enjoyed the movie!

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @bpratt lm: Thanks!

    • biorra2 profile image

      biorra2 3 years ago

      Great Movie, timeless.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @biorra2: It really is!

    • Bob Schroeder profile image

      Bob Schroeder 3 years ago

      Love the music in this movie. It is my daughter's favorite movie.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 3 years ago from Ljubljana

      The music, of course, it's everything about the music. The music of my youth!

    • LouCannon profile image

      Amanda Louise Cannon 3 years ago from Wynndel BC Canada

      This is still one of my favorite shows! So happy that other still enjoy it!

    • profile image

      Scott A McCray 3 years ago

      Still a favorite - takes me back! Great review with wonderful personal insights - that's what being a lensmaster is all about. Kudos.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @Scott A McCray: Thanks! Glad to hear from you.

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 3 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      John travolta, has been awesome through the years, specially in grease, how love is between two seniors, you better run you better leave while you can,

      good job

    • queenofduvetcover profile image

      queenofduvetcover 3 years ago

      One of my favorite films growing up. Great review.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 3 years ago from Jersey Shore

      My children and I love this film-good choice! :>)

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      I remember standing in line at the theater to see this as a kid. It was so awesome on the big screen. I still love it on DVD now.

    • asereht1970 profile image

      asereht1970 3 years ago

      I love all the songs in Grease. John Travolta is really awesome.

    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 3 years ago from chichester

      I ADORE this film! It never gets old and John Travolta is amazing!

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 2 years ago from Chicago area

      We had this soundtrack memorized as kids. So much fun.

    • profile image

      Namsak 2 years ago

      I'm not quite sure this is quite such a 'wholesome' movie. If you really listen to the lyrics of 'Greased Lightnin' you will find some are quite suggestive. Other than that it is a great movie all round.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 23 months ago from USA

      I loved how ONJ went from good girl to the the rockin lady in the black suit, although I sure hoped the John Travolta character was just a fun fling for her. She was too good for him and had too bright a future.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 23 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      I perfectly agree!

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 19 months ago from Long Island, NY

      I remember going to see Greece when it first came out in the late 70's. I still enjoy catching it on cable. Your hub brought back a lot of memories of those times. And you discussed things about the interactions that I didn't even catch at the time. Well done.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 19 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Thanks for stopping by, Glenn! I appreciate it.

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