Tribute to Grease on its 45th anniversary…..you're the one that we want!

Published: 3/8/2023

It's time to hit rewind and head back to Rydell High as we celebrate the 45th anniversary of one of the most iconic movies of all time, Grease.

A beloved classic that has stood the test of time, Grease remains a heartwarming tale of high school romance, friendship and self-discovery. As we commemorate this special milestone, join us in taking a joyride down memory lane and pay tribute to the unforgettable charm that is… Grease, Grease lightning!!

John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John and Jeff Conaway in Grease. Picture: Paramount Pictures
John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John and Jeff Conaway in Grease. Picture: Paramount Pictures

At the core of Grease lies a love story that has tugged at the heartstrings of audiences across generations. The electrifying chemistry between greaser Danny Zuko and Australian exchange student Sandy Olsson, portrayed by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, is the beating heart of the film. From their summer nights romance to the exciting carnival finale, their journey reminds us that love can conquer all - even during the hurdles of high school cliques and teenage insecurities.

Released in 1978, Grease isn't just a movie; it's a musical extravaganza. The soundtrack album was the second best selling album of the same year, behind the 1977 Saturday Night Fever soundtrack (also starring Travolta). Each song, from the infectious Greased Lightnin' to the dreamy Hopelessly Devoted to You takes you on a nostalgic trip back to the golden era of rock 'n' roll.

Two high schools have cancelled their production of Grease, which starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the 1978 film, because the themes are outdated.
Two high schools have cancelled their production of Grease, which starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the 1978 film, because the themes are outdated.

The halls of Rydell High are teeming with unforgettable characters too, most of which have become cultural icons. The confident and sassy Pink Ladies, led by Betty Rizzo (Stockard Channing), and the suave T-Birds, led by Danny Zuko, have inspired countless Halloween costumes and themed parties.

From high ponies, poodle skirts to leather jackets, Grease has had a lasting impact on fashion and style. The uber cool 1950s-inspired wardrobe set new trends and breathed new life into vintage fashion. And Sandy's iconic transformation from innocent schoolgirl to a rockin' Pink Lady is a symbol of empowerment and self-expression that leaves a lasting impression on fans from all over the world.

As we celebrate Grease turning 45, it's also nice to mention its special connection to the Land Down Under. Olivia Newton-John's role as Sandy Olsson not only catapulted her to international stardom but also brought enormous pride to Australians everywhere.

Didi Conn, Stockard Channing and Dinah Manoff in a scene from the movie Grease. Supplied by Paramount.
Didi Conn, Stockard Channing and Dinah Manoff in a scene from the movie Grease. Supplied by Paramount.

Grease plot summary

Grease takes place at Rydell High School during the 1950s, where the summer romance between Danny Zuko, the cool leader of the T-Birds gang, and Sandy Olsson, a sweet Australian exchange student, unexpectedly reunite at the school. Amidst adolescent challenges and societal expectations, the two must navigate their feelings for each other. Alongside their respective group of friends, the Pink Ladies and the T-Birds, they experience the trials and tribulations of high school life, including dance-offs, fast cars and unforgettable musical numbers.

The story wraps up at a carnival, where Danny and Sandy each find they have changed for each other: Danny becomes a letterman and Sandy, the most stunning greaser girl you ever did see. The two depart in the Greased Lightnin' car, which flies into the sky - their love and the importance of being true to oneself together with them.

Grease has an almost magical quality that has proven to transcend time and generations. Parents who loved the film in the late '70s went on to share it with their children, and their children's children, creating a bond that literally spans decades.

On Grease's 45th anniversary, it's evident that it's more than just a time capsule of the '50s. It's a celebration of youthful spirit, love and friendship that continues to captivate audiences of all ages. Happy anniversary, Grease - you're the one that we want!

Grease movie trivia:

  • In 2019, Olivia Newton-John auctioned her "Grease " finale leather jacket and pants for $405,700, benefiting her cancer research charity.
  • The hickeys seen on Rizzo's neck were real, applied by Jeff Conaway himself.
  • Jeff Conaway, who was infatuated with Dame Olivia Newton-John, later married her sister, Rona Newton-John.  
  • Hopelessly Devoted to You was written and recorded after the move had wrapped, earning the film's only Oscar nomination.
  • During the filming of the last sequence at the carnival in Rydell, Dame Olivia Newton-John had to be sewn into the trousers she wore due to a broken zipper.
Jeff Conaway, Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta and Stockard Channing in Grease.
Jeff Conaway, Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta and Stockard Channing in Grease.

Grease movie quotes:

  • Sandy: My parents want to invite you over for tea on Sunday.
  • Danny: I don't like tea.
  • Sandy: [laughing] You don't have to drink tea.
  • Danny: I don't like parents.
  • Frenchy: Men are rats, listen to me, they're fleas on rats, worse than that, they're amoebas on fleas on rats. I mean, they're too low for even the dogs to bite. The only man a girl can depend on is her daddy.
  • Frenchy: Doody, how do I look?
  • Doody: Like a beautiful blonde… pineapple!
  • Danny: Uh, I'm not very hungry; just gimme a double Polar Burger wit' everything and a cherry soda wit' chocolate ice cream.  
  • Rizzo: I've got so many hickies people will think I'm a leper. Kenickie: Relax... A hickie from Kenickie is like a Hallmark card, when you only care enough to send the very best!
  • Rizzo: You pig!\
  • Kenickie: Oh, I love it when you talk dirty!
  • Sandy: Tell me about it, stud.
  • Danny: [singing] I got chills, they're multiplyin', and I'm losing control, cause the power you're supplying, It's electrifyin'!

By Kirsten Jakubenko

Sources:

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grease_(film)
  • https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077631/
  • https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077631/quotes/?ref_=tt_trv_qu
  • https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077631/trivia/?ref_=tt_trv_trv 

Latest articles

19 Funeral songs from the 90s to honour your loved one

19 songs from the 1990s to compliment a heartfelt farewell. These funeral songs can bring back memories...

19 Funeral songs from the 90s to honour your loved one

How do I find a funeral notice in Victoria?

How to find a funeral notice in Victoria with My Tributes. A safe platform to honour and connect...

How do I find a funeral notice in Victoria?

Laurie Theresa Harbort

Readers of the Catholic Leader during the period 1955 to 1980 would fondly remember the Uncle John’s...

Laurie Theresa Harbort

Shane Warne’s dad Keith delivers emotional eulogy at state...

Shane Warne’s father Keith has delivered a moving eulogy before he was overcome with emotion when...

Shane Warne’s dad Keith delivers emotional eulogy at state memorial

Can obituaries be private

Wondering how to preserve the privacy of obituaries while ensuring your family's wishes are upheld...

Can obituaries be private
View more articles