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Adlen Robinson: It’s the 40th anniversary of the movie ‘Grease’
Adlen Robinson

Last week was the 40th anniversary of the release of the movie “Grease.” Wow — that makes me feel a little on the old side since I remember going to the movie like it was yesterday. 

My two best friends, like me, absolutely loved that movie. We saw it six times in the theater and of course bought the soundtrack when it was released. We knew every scene of the movie by heart and knew every single word of every single song. While I have never been much of a singer, I belted out those songs in my bedroom all of the time — and yes, I used my hairbrush as my microphone. 

Do you remember the iconic film? The beginning showed Olivia Newton-John (Sandy) and John Travolta (Danny) falling in love during a summer vacation at the beach. Danny was loving and sweet, but in “real life” he was a tough talking bad-boy and leader of the T-Birds at Rydell High School. The movie was set in the late 1950s. 

When their senior year of school began, Sandy ended up moving from her homeland of Australia and attended Rydell High School where Danny and the T-Birds were. 

Sandy was the “good girl” and Danny was the bad-boy. The Pink Ladies befriended Sandy, even though most of them poked fun of her innocence. 

Every song was amazing — its soundtrack was the second best-selling album of the year. Guess what the best-selling one was? Saturday Night Fever. 

Globally, the movie was the highest grossing musical, beating the 13-year record held by “The Sound of Music” — another one of my favorites. Currently, the highest grossing musicals are “Les Miserables,” “Mamma Mia!” and “Beauty and the Beast.” “Grease” is ranked fourth behind those musicals. 

I was surprised to learn that Olivia Newton-John tried to mask her Australian accent but was unsuccessful. The writers actually changed the original script to make her character from Australia. I was also interested to learn the movie people considered Henry Winkler (a.k.a The Fonze from “Happy Days”) for the role of Danny. I think it was so smart they went with Travolta. 

A few years ago, we were talking about musicals and other music things, and I was shocked when Paul said he had never seen “Grease.” What? So, being a dutiful wife, I made sure we watched the movie the very next weekend. 

Well, unfortunately, while I loved seeing my old favorite, Paul didn’t care about it at all. He did later divulge he had a crush on Olivia Newton-John when he was young. He also confessed he loved her music, but only secretly. How funny. She was and still is such a beautiful lady.

Have you all seen “Grease?” If so, what are your memories of this popular musical? Let me know your thoughts and what your favorite musical is. Have a great day! 


South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at adlen@adlenshomematters.com.