Grease








Hey there friends! As you know, I’m trying to finish up my novel for National Novel Writing Month, so I am a little swamped! I am still trying to post every day, but don’t have time this week to respond to a lot of comments. I hope you understand! I really value your feedback and get inspired to post again because of it. Please, please, please keep commenting! I promise I will be back in full force after the 30th when the novel is due!

One of my favorite movies is Grease. I thought I would give you a little trivia about the film and some images for a Tuesday. Enjoy!

–Henry Winkler, who became a sensation as “Fonzie” on “Happy Days” (1974), was considered for the role of Danny Zuko. However, he turned down the role for fear of being typecast.

–Susan Dey and Deborah Raffin were the first choices for the role of Sandy (Dey declined the role after her manager advised against it). Marie Osmond later claimed on “Larry King Live” (1985) that she had been also been offered the role but declined “on moral grounds” though she later admitted this to be untrue.

–Lucie Arnaz was first choice for the role of Rizzo but was rejected after her actress mother Lucille Ball refused to allow her to screen test at Paramount Studios (she wrongly claimed that she used to own it).

–Due to a zipper breaking, Olivia Newton-John had to be sewn into the trousers she wears in the last sequence (the carnival at Rydell).

–Jeff Conaway had to walk slightly stooped so that John Travolta would appear taller.

–Set in high school, most of the principal cast were way past their teenage years. When filming began in June 1977, John Travolta was 23, Olivia Newton-John was 28, Stockard Channing was 33, Jeff Conaway was 26, Barry Pearl was 27, Michael Tucci was 31, Kelly Ward was 20, Didi Conn was 25; Jamie Donnelly was 30, and Annette Charles was 29. Only Dinah Manoff, Lorenzo Lamas, and Eddie Deezen, all 19, were still teenagers.

–“You’re the One That I Want” took just an afternoon to film.

–When Olivia Newton-John was cast as Sandy, her character’s background had to be changed to accommodate Newton-John’s own background. In the original Broadway musical Sandy was an all-American girl and her last name was Dumbrowski. In the movie version, she became Sandy Olsson, foreign-exchange student from Australia. Also, because of Newton-John’s casting, John Farrar (Newton-John’s frequent songwriter) had to write two new songs for the film while other songs from the Broadway musical were dropped.

–Carrie Fisher was considered for the role of Rizzo.

–For a time, it was the third highest grossing movie of all time behind only Jaws (1975) and Star Wars (1977).

–Danny’s blue windbreaker at the beginning of the film was intended as a nod to Rebel Without a Cause (1955).

–The original stage play had more sexual references than the censors wanted to allow. Among these was the use of plastic wrap as protection. To overcome the censors, there weren’t any blatent references but Danny rubs plastic wrap over his crotch during “Greased Lightning”.

–The scene in Frenchy’s bedroom while Rizzo is singing the line about Elvis was actually filmed the same day that Elvis Presley died.

–In the scene where the cast are near the bridge after the car race, the water on the ground was stagnant and dangerous. Some cast members became ill from filming as the setting was a derelict place full of dirt and rubbish.

–“Greased Lightning” was supposed to be sung by Jeff Conaway’s character, Kenickie, as it is in the stage version. John Travolta used his clout to have his character sing it. The director felt it was only right to ask Conaway if it was okay. At first he refused, but he eventually gave in.

–Rizzo’s hickeys were real. Stockard Channing said in an interview that Jeff Conaway insisted on applying them himself.

–Jeff Conaway stated in an episode of “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” (2008) that while filming the scene/song “Greased Lightning” he was dropped by his fellow cast members and injured his back leading to his addiction to prescription painkillers.

Interesting huh?

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Join the Discussion!

  1. This is a great post! I love how FONZI didn’t do this because he didn’t want to be type cast!!! LOL ??? WHAT! Ironic much?

  2. Love all the trivia.
    And competitions are a great place to start. Revision is also really important + find someone to read it who isn’t a friend and who will give you honest feedback. Manuscript assessment agencies cost, but can be a good investment, provided they are reputable. Ask around.
    Not long til the 30th now!

  3. Grease is one of my all time favourite movies. Like a lot of you, I have watched it a million times. As a girl, I LOVED Sandy. Now I identify with Rizzo. Total classic.

  4. OH! I’ve been obsessed with Grease since I was knee high to a grasshoper. My Grease dream finally came true when I was 17. My sister drove me to register for my new high school when lo’ & behold, I was now going to attend Rydell High! Oh yes, Venice High School (where they filmed Grease) is where I graduated from!
    “If you can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter…”
    Happy Thanksgiving Blondie!

  5. I think I’m the only person on the planet who didn’t like Grease…BUT…I love the music, the sets, and the costumes; love Olivia Newton-John; I just hate the whole moral of the story – you know, good girl goes bad to get her man.
    Great fascinating trivia, though!

  6. This is one of my all time favorites! I got to see it on the big screen (again) a few years ago at my small town’s theatre! It was even better than I had remembered it! Thanks for all the great trivia! :)

  7. One of my favorite movies! And look at how young John Travolta is – I remember watching him even before this on Welcome Back, Kotter (which dates me, of course!)

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