It’s kind of crazy to think that the movie Grease came out over four decades ago. Although it definitely has a retro feel, it’s also in many ways a timeless film. One thing’s for sure, it was revolutionary in its time, and it also launched the careers of some of the most beloved actors the entertainment industry has known in recent years.
Grease is an undeniably influential work. Today, we’re going to be looking at the history of Grease, what exactly made it such an iconic film, and some of the fun facts you might not have known about this movie.
The Origins of Grease
The Sound of Music, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, West Side Story, Chicago—some of the best movies in recent memory originated as musicals. Grease is another example of this phenomenon.
It started off as a musical that debuted in 1971, with the film being released seven years later. Although the movie is based on the musical of the same name, it’s safe to say that the film’s Director Randal Kleiser took creative license in adapting the original source material.
Close Calls in Casting
Of course, today it’s hard to imagine anyone else other than John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John playing the iconic parts of Danny and Sandy. But did you know that there were other surprising actors considered for these and some of the other important roles?
Some of the actresses that were considered for the part of Sandy include Carrie Fisher, Ann-Margret, and Marie Osmond. Henry Winkler turned down the role of Danny Zuko. Other well-known names that were also almost cast include Elvis Prestly and Donny Osmond in the role of The Teen Angel.
Ultimately, it’s clear that the casting directors made excellent choices. It’s hard to imagine the Grease cast any other way than as it exists in the annals of movie history.
A Lasting Legacy
Not only was the movie a huge success, but it also went on to inspire and influence all different types of films that came after it. A few examples of some of the accolades it was awarded: it became the highest-grossing musical film ever at the time. As well as this, its soundtrack album ended its release year as the second-best-selling album in the US.
It’s difficult to put into perspective now how huge this movie was in its day. It was nothing short of a cultural phenomenon that paved the way for other similar types of movies and served as a paradigm shift. In fact, it was only in 2020 that Grease was added to the US National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.
The History of Grease: The Future of Cinema
The history of Grease is unavoidable in conversations about modern cinema and indeed modern culture. It was a significant contribution to the zeitgeist of the time, and one that won’t soon get forgotten. If you’re looking for more fun movie facts, check out the rest of our content now.