Teen movie Tuesday: Grease (1978)

Talia Johnson, Opinions Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Grease is the word. Haven’t you heard? This week we’re covering the classic musical: Grease directed by Randal Kleiser. The film was released on June 16th, 1978. The film is about romance about two completely opposite teenagers. The film is set in 1959 in California and begins with Danny Zuko (Portrayed by John Travolta) and Sandy Olsson (Portrayed by Olivia Newton-John) who had during Danny’s summer vacation in Australia. At the beginning of the film, they are in a tizzy of summer love. Knowing that Sandy would stay in Australia and he’d return to California , he thought he’d try to be someone he isn’t and just return to his life or so he thought. Little does Danny know, Sandy is actually transferring to Rydell High. At Rydell high school, there are all kinds of archetypes in this film as well. Our cliques in this film are the jocks which consist of people entirely into sports like football, baseball, wrestling, basketball, and cheerleading. This group is known to be the clean cut and overall just positive. Mostly portrayed through cheerleader Patty Simcox (Portrayed by Susan Buckner) and football player Tom Chisum (Portrayed by Lorenzo Lamas). Then, there are three gangs of Rydell High: The Thunderbirds (The T-birds) , The Scorpions, and The Pink Ladies.


The Thunderbirds are a group a greasers named Kenickie (Portrayed by the late Jeff Conaway) the leader, Doody (Portrayed by Barry Pearl), Putzie (Portrayed by Kelly Ward), Sonny (Portrayed by Michael Pucci), and also, Danny. The Pink ladies: Jan (Portrayed by Jamie Donnelly) who loves cartoons and junk food, Frenchie (Portrayed by Didi Conn) who drops out of high school for beauty school but fails, Marty (Portrayed by Dinah Manoff) who has a thing for older men, and Rizzo (Portrayed by Stockard Channing) who is into several kinds of men , most notably Kenickie. She is the mean girl of the group and the leader. The rival gang, The  Scorpions, are also greasers who only have two primary characters: Leo (Portrayed by the late Dennis Cleveland Stewart) and his lady and Danny’s ex lady, Cha Cha ( Portrayed by the late Annette Charles).


After Danny and Sandy meet for the first time at Rydell even though both have been talking about the other to friends, Danny is completely different from the boy splashing around in the waves in Australia that Sandy once knew so she dumps him. Sandy later on forgives him tand goes to a school dance with Danny. Only for him to start dancing with Cha Cha , causing Sandy to storm out of the dance. After this , Danny fights to get Sandy back until the end of the film.Throughout the course of this film, multiple characters break out into dance and music , you know , because it’s a musical. However, from the many musicals I’ve seen, this is my favorite one. As we follow these groups of teenagers as they finish their last year of high school, some of them become very self-aware of themselves, even if it was for the benefit for others.The most notable scenes in this film I’d say are the school dance scene because I still remember the hand jive dance and I’m sure that’s the case for a lot of Grease fans. Then, there’s the ending or better known as the carnival scenes. The best part of the film in my opinion. It’s super upbeat and makes me want to get up and dance as well. So much so that I always get sad during those scenes. You’d think seeing them graduate would be sadder or even their prom but there’s something about the school carnival that makes it so happy and sad at the same time. After everytime I watch Grease, I start to mourn the characters and sense the feeling that a lot of high school seniors feel when their final days of high school lie upon them. What is that feeling you might ask? Regret ? Boredom? Anxiousness?  My answer for that is I’m not sure. Their futures are never shown to us which makes it worse for me. Grease is one of my favorite movies and I honestly think you should check it out.