The movie Grease, based on the musical of the same name is a film that has proven to withstand time and culture. The story revolves around original tough guy, Danny, and nice girl Sandy, who have a summer romance and unexpectedly find themselves as Rydell High classmates in the 1950s.
With a $6 million budget and an almost $400 million box office, it is still the highest-grossing movie musical of all time. Here are some facts about this iconic film you probably didn’t know!
Although Grease may be the word, it’s never even said once throughout the entire script.
Only the word greased (with a “d”) is sung in the song “Greased Lightnin'”.
In “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee”, Rizzo Sings, “Elvis, Elvis, let me be, keep that pelvis far from me”, while looking at a picture of him.
After the huge success of the first movie, they decided to make three sequels.
However, after Grease 2 bombed at the box office, those plans were swiftly cancelled.
In fact, the hit song wasn’t even written until the film was halfway done, and it wasn’t recorded and filmed until everything else was complete.
That didn’t stop it from receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, though.
We don’t know about you, but “You’re The One That I Want,” is one of our favorite scenes from the whole movie…
Kenickie had a thing for Sandy. Well, sort of… Jeff Conaway had a crush on Olivia Newton-John during filming. He later married her sister.
The facade is Venice High School, the interior is Huntington Park High School, and…
The field is John Marshall High School.
All the background dancers were named, which doesn’t always happen in films.
One of the most well-known scenes and songs from the film, “You’re The One That I Want”, wasn’t all fun and games.
Olivia Newton-John was extremely afraid of that scene and John Travolta had to convince his co-star to carry through with the song and film.
They might have played high schoolers, but the characters were much older IRL:
John Travolta was 23, Oliva Newton-John was 28, Stockard Channing was 33, Jeff Conaway was 26, Michael Tucci was 31, Kelly Ward was 20, Didi Conn was 25, Jamie Donnelly was 30, Barry Pearl was 27, and Dinah Manoff was 19.
Originally, Coca-Cola had a product placement deal with the movie, but the deal fell through during production.
In the movie, Danny’s blue wind-breaker was meant to be a nod to James Dean.
Cha Cha aka Anette Charles was in the hospital during filming, but she checked herself out to film the drag racing scene.
She had to have emergency surgery that night for an ectopic pregnancy.
The actress was unsure she could pass for a high school student, so she asked for a screen test before she took the role.
Can you think of a group who Sonny (Michael Tucci), Doody (Barry Pearl) and Putzie (Kelly Ward) resemble?
Jamie Donnelly (who played Jan) was already growing grey hair when she signed onto “Grease.”
Right before the street race, Danny and Kenickie hug, but quickly comb their hair and look away like they never hugged it out big time.
For the carnival scene at the end, Olivia Newton-John had to be sewn into her pants: “They sewed me into those pants every morning for a week,” she said.
In the stage production of “Grease,” Danny doesn’t get the honor of signing the song, “Greased Lightning”.
Originally, Lucille Ball’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz, was up for the role of Rizzo.
The first time John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John met was at Olivia’s home.
During the filming of “Greased Lightning”, Jeff Conaway was dropped and seriously injured his back.
Those hickeys weren’t the work of a skilled makeup artist.
After the drag racing scene, many cast members got sick because the water was stagnant and filled with contaminated bacteria.
Henry Winkler–who played Fonzie on “Happy Days”–was offered the role of Danny Zuko.
While in the stage version, Sandy is an American girl with the last name of “Dumbrowski”, directors decided to make her Australian after the decision to cast Australian native, Olivia Newton-John was made.
T-Birds weren’t supposed to be called T-Birds. In fact, the broadway musical coined the gang with the name, “Burger Palace Boys.”
The name change was a happy one.
Yup, you heard that right. John Travolta was cast as Doody (not Danny) in the broadway musical, “Grease.”
The title song, “Grease,” which can be heard during the opening credits of the movie was sung by Frankie Valli.
The hair is as important here as it was in the movie.
Because Jeff Conaway was taller than John Travolta, Kenickie was often slouching when filming so that the lead actor of the movie seemed taller.
Marty, played by actress Dinah Manoff, claimed to lack rhythm and said she could not dance.
That is why you will rarely see her character involved in any of the music numbers.
The temperature got to 116 degrees during the filming of the Rydell Prom Scene.