Stunning Behind-the-Scenes from the filming of 'Grease (1978)'

Grease (1978) is the most popular musical romantic of the 1970s. Two main characters, Danny (John Travolta) and Sandy (Olivia Newton-John), are central to the story. This film is best known for its music–a string of sing-able fifties-inspired gems that entertain and advance the story. There is also plenty of humor, fine dancing, and references to fifties culture. The universal theme of this movie appeals to all. The nostalgic feeling evoked adolescent memories of high school and middle school when life was like a sitcom. When all were on equal footing before the matrix, infatuation flourished with the opposite sex. There were pranks, slumber parties, drag racing matches, and intermixing subgroups of greasers, pink ladies, nurds, polite boys and girls, jocks, and teacher’s pet types. These subgroups were all part of the ongoing effort to define oneself. Ultimately, the carnival scene captured the enthusiasm of a sad but understandable parting of ways for seniors as they prepared for adult life on stage, getting in character each day with their work face and demeanor.

The film begins on a California beach in 1959. Two people with opposite personalities have fallen in love: Greaser Danny Zuko (John Travolta) and an Australian chick Sandy Olsson (Olivia-Newton John). While expecting never to see each other again, they attend Rydell High without knowing each other. They do their own things at first. Danny leads a gang of greasers called the T-Birds, while Sandy joins the Pink Ladies, led by Rizzo (Stockard Channing). Sandy realizes Danny is different from the man she met at the beach when they run into each other for the first time.

The opening beach scene of the film was shot at Malibu’s Leo Carrillo State Beach, making explicit reference to From Here to Eternity. The exterior Rydell scenes, including the front parking lot, the auto shop, and the “Summer Nights” bleachers number. Huntington Park High School provided the backdrop for the Rydell interiors, including the high school dance. The sleepover was filmed in an East Hollywood private house. The scenes involving Frosty Palace and the musical numbers “Greased Lightning” and “Beauty School Dropout” were filmed at the Paramount Pictures studio lot. Drive-in movie scenes were filmed at the Burbank Pickwick Drive-In. Many films have been filmed along the Los Angeles River between the First and Seventh Street Bridges, where the race was filmed. The final scene where the carnival took place used John Marshall High School. Due to budgetary constraints, the Los Angeles Hazard Park was also used for a short scene.

#1 Olivia Newton-John holds a press conference at the Inn On The Park, London, for the movie, Grease, 1978.

#2 Cool the off-shoulder look now being worn in the streets of London.

#3 Frosty Palace malt shop. Initial theatrical release of the film, Grease, June 16, 1978.

#5 Elton John and Olivia Newton John during the premier of Grease, 1978

#6 Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta filming “Grease” at the South Street Seaport area of NYC.

#7 Annie Potts uses a do-it-yourself car wash to clean up her motor oil-soaked boy friend Mark Hamill’, 1978.

#8 Singer and actress Olivia Newton-John is interviewed by red carpet emcee Army Archerd at the 1978 Hollywood, California film premiere of “Grease”.

#9 Two channel swimmers being greased up for a night swim, Grease, 1978

#10 Producer Robert Stigwood and John Travolta at the “Grease” party at Paramount Studios 1978 in Los Angeles, California.

#12 Olivia Newton John and John Travolta at the Grease Premiere party at Paramount Studios, Los Angeles, 13th June 1978.

#13 Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta on the set of Grease, directed by Randal Kleiser, 1978.

#14 John Travolta as Danny, posing on a 1948 Ford DeLuxe convertible with the rest of the T-Birds in the ‘Greased Lightnin” scene from the musical film ‘Grease’, 1978.

#15 Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta on the set of the musical Grease, 1978

#16 Olivia Newton John, John Travolta and the rest of the gang in a scene from the film ‘Grease’, 1978.

#17 John Travolta during the ‘Greased Lightning’ scene from the film, ‘Grease’, 1978.

#18 John Travolta with his crew on the bleachers in the ‘Summer Nights’ scene from the Paramount musical, ‘Grease’, 1978.

#19 Eve Arden as Principal McGee and Sid Caesar as Coach Calhoun in a scene from the Paramount musical ‘Grease’, 1978.

#20 John Travolta hanging out with his crew on the bleachers in a scene from the film ‘Grease’, 1978.

#21 John Travolta dancing in a scene from the film ‘Grease’, 1978.

#22 Olivia Newton John and John Travolta at a ‘Grease’ Premiere event Photo of Grease Premier

#23 Olivia Newton-John and co-star John Travolta attend their 1978 Hollywood, California, premiere of “Grease.”

#24 Olivia Newton-John is interviewed by red carpet emcee Army Archerd at the 1978 Hollywood, California film premiere of “Grease”.

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Written by Alicia Linn

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