What special force is behind a certain movie that makes people from seven to seventy
sit, watch and enjoy it...whether it be the first or fifty-first time they've seen it?
Is it the actors and actresses who portray their characters in such a gripping way
that bring them back to watch? No...seven year olds have no notion of the concept.
Is it the gripping story line that piques their curiosity? Not even close. And we'll
rule out the fact that it was a movie dealing with a certain time in American history.
Young and old don't think along those lines when watching this now classic film. So
what is it that has so enthralled millions the world over for the last 26 years? The
answer is easy, so put those Psych 101 books away. It's fun to watch...Pure
escapism...And you walk away humming to yourself or singing out for everyone to hear.
Grease is the word...is the word...is the word...
Danny, Sandy, Kenickie, Rizzo, Frenchy...They're more than characters in a film.
They are friends that are always there at a minutes notice. And they don't mind if
you sing along with them. After all, by the tenth viewing you know every line line of
dialogue and every lyric to every song. Whether it's the Olivia Newton-John adding just
that special touch to the love ballad 'Hopelessly Devoted To You' or John Travolta's
opening of 'Sandy'...Or when they both team up for 'Summer Nights' and 'You're the
One That I Want'...You know the words. You sing along. You hum along. And admit
it...There's a smile on your face.
When my daughters have company over and the weather doesn't cooperate...In goes the
tape. And for almost two hours I am serenaded by six to eight children who weren't
even around when this movie first hit the theaters. I remember when it was released.
I was one of the first in line to see it. I enjoyed it then and I enjoy it now. Even
after all these years it still has that feel good quality that can make you forget your
problems and everything around you.
If you ask my wife, she'll tell you that I have a thing for Olivia. Well, maybe on the
closing number there's a little hint...Okay, okay...I have a thing for Olivia Newton-John. Happy now?
But back to the movie. It's not your typical 'boy and girl fall in love get separated
but get back together in the end' kind of flick. There's cars and dances and rock and
roll and sexual innuendos...Everything that people want in a movie about teens in the
early sixties. So the actors and actresses hadn't seen their teenage years in a while.
Did people question it? Of course not. There was a chemistry there that was bigger than
any of the characters. Put that chemistry together with an ensemble cast of 50's, 60's
and 70's actors and actresses and you have one of the biggest grossing musicals of all
And you have to admit that Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, Edd Byrnes and Dody Goodman were
shining as bright as the younger stars. Plus Frankie Avalon's teen angel and Sha-Na-Na's
rousing, ripping, rollicking, rock 'n' rollin' antics added credence to the overall
feel of 'Grease'.
So thank you Robert Stigwood, Allan Carr, Randal Kleiser and Bronte Woodard. Thank
you for making a movie that has outlasted most of its critics and has allowed parents
to share with their children a classic piece of celluloid. And who knows...In another
fifteen to twenty years those same children may want to share their enthusiasm for a
classic musical with their children. And if they don't, I will...
'If you don't like rock 'n' roll think what you'll be missing / But if you like to
trot and stroll come on down and listen / Let's all start and have a ball everybody
rock 'n' roll'
* Richard Blaine's views and opinions do not necessarily
reflect the views and opinions of the staff at Twin-Music.