The real progenitor of this musical celebrating the rock'n'roll '50s, had it not fudged some of the less adequate dance numbers by shooting above the knees, would be West Side Story. Otherwise, the film aspires to some of the pretensions of Rebel Without a Cause, from which it borrows liberally while saddled with the liabilities of its dumb stage musical script. Its flashy opportunism (nostalgia pitched squarely at an audience too young to even recall the era) quickly becomes very irritating. Allusions to french letters and high school pregnancies, and double entendres allowed by the hindsight of this more 'permissive' society, scarcely conceal the fact that Grease is even more simplistic (and finally reactionary) than the beach blanket movies of the era. Lots of colour, movement, surface glitter, only one decent song (the title track sung by Frankie Valli).
Cast and crew
Stockard Channing Jeff Conaway Barry Pearl Eve Arden Joan Blondell Didi Conn Sid Caesar John Travolta Olivia Newton-John