How "Grease" was filmed: soundtrack, plot and interesting facts
Recognizing a classic work, be it a book, a song or a film, is easy: its reputation and influence only grow stronger over the years. As in the case of "Grease."In 1978, Grease was a musical movie masterpiece that everyone, strangely enough, was sure of from the very beginning: appearing as a musical on the Chicago theater scene, Grease soon made its way to Broadway, where it was subsequently staged more than 3,000 times and finally became one of the highest-grossing films of the 20th century. The recipe for success was simple: nostalgia for the 1950s, mixed with romantic experiences and teenage problems.
In January 2023, news broke that Paramount+ was preparing to launch a prequel series "Grease: Pink Lady Rising." about outcast high school girls who are just about to become a cool "gang." This shows once again how timeless the classics can be... Another proof of this is the undying popularity of the ballad "Hopelessly Devoted To You"which has racked up over 50 million plays on YouTube! It became the most recognizable hit of her career Olivia Newton-Johnbut what's more interesting is that it was written specifically for the movie and was born at the very last minute!
The most spontaneous hit
"Grease has completely absorbed 1950s spiritFrom slicked-back hair and leather jackets to slick moves and raucous teenage romance. The cultural influence of the rock'n'roll era is palpable throughout the musical, immersing the audience in a nostalgic world of jukeboxes and youthful rebellion, showing a young American generation on the cusp of change: the hippie and substance boom, the British Invasion, and the Vietnam War are just around the corner... But for now we can see a completely relaxed atmosphere, when open-top cars were in fashion and brightly colored long socks were not considered a sign of bad taste.
Danny Zuko - bad boy. Sandy Olsson - the complete opposite of him: quiet, modest and excellent. However, strong feelings flare up between them, for the preservation and development of which they have to fight - and above all with themselves. John Travolta did a great job with the role, but don't underestimate and Olivia Newton-Johnamong other things, performed a magnificent and perhaps the longest ballad in history... It's about the "Hopelessly Devoted To You".
This song has a very unusual story: it appeared spontaneously - at the very last moment, when the movie was almost ready! The actress' contract stipulated solo number in Grease, but somehow everyone forgot about it. They only came to their senses when the filming was coming to an end. They had to come up with a scene and a song - and if the first one was decided quickly, the second one, i.e. the song itself, took a lot of work. "Hopelessly Devoted To You" is often referred to as one of the most long ballads in the story, and in one of his interviews, the author of the text John Farrar explained why:
"I think this is the longest song I've ever written. I went through every thesaurus and rhyme dictionary to get this ballad to work right..."
Among other things, Farrar had to "fight" with the camera crew, as she absolutely didn't like the number. But the game was worth the candle! As a result - an Oscar nomination (the only one for the picture), decent positions in the charts, millions of plays on the Internet that grow every year, and, of course, one of the favorite scenes of "Grease".
"All the shades of the 1950s and more in one album."
The soundtrack to Grease.which went platinum 20 times, is considered one of the most not only successful but also interesting in history: critics have characterized it as "a '50s classic with a '70s production sound". In many ways, it is a "hybrid" track list, incorporating styles of rock 'n' roll, rock and even disco! Almost all of the songs are retro and oriented towards a "beach" sound. But how did the creators manage to bring the motifs of the 50s back to the charts?
It's very simple: in order to decorate a movie about the 50s with appropriate musical numbers, but at the same time make them relevant to the present time (in the case of "Grease" for 1978), it was decided to arrange the old tunes in a modern style. And this idea turned out to be a genius! Most of the songs have an electronic base and a disco feel, but they sound very atmospheric, old-fashioned... This unusual style appealed to at least 30 million listeners - that's how many copies the Grease soundtrack sold, becoming one of the most commercially successful in history.
"Stitched in Olivia's pants" and more - interesting to know
- Not only is Olivia beautiful, but also. John Travolta shone with his vocal talents in the musical. One of the most sensual songs he performed was "Sandy."in which his character, the brutal rebel and heartthrob Danny Zuko, regrets that he can't be in a relationship with Sandy because of his membership in the T-Birds. Fortunately, the flaming hearts are reunited at the end of the movie. The finale comes as a surprise: Sandy Olsson's style and personality changes significantly - she is now a sassy hottie in black leather and with a fashionable "nuclear blast" on her head. Few people know, but the crew literally had to sew Olivia into her iconic pants because the zipper had come apart!
- The dance competition was filmed during the summer vacation, and for the actors - as, in fact, for the entire crew - this scene turned out to be a living hell. School gym It is not equipped with air conditioning, the doors were closed, which was required for proper lighting, and it was hot outside... It is not hard to imagine how unbearably hot it was in the room, and what it was like for the actors with makeup on their faces. According to some reports, the temperature in the hall rose to 41 degrees Celsius! Not surprisingly, many of the extras repeatedly became ill.
- The second half of the 70's proved to be extremely productive for the brothers Gibbov of the Bee Gees, and especially for Barry, who wrote the song of the same name for "Grease". "Grease" was performed Frankie ValliBarry, who had a powerful falsetto and was simply an extremely popular singer at the time. It is known that it was Barry who insisted on Valli's candidacy, saying that he had written the song especially for him.