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Movie Review


Reviewed by: Lynne Dyer

Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
110 min.
Year of Release:

Starring: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John | Director: Randal Kleiser | Released by: Paramount Pictures

Thanks to memorable music, hot dancing, and nostalgic costumes, “Grease”, originally released in 1978, still holds the record for the biggest grossing musical film in history. Now digitally re-mastered and released to the big screen again, this film may quickly top its own records.

The movie begins with Danny Zuko (John Travolta) and Sandy Ollson (Olivia Newton-John) saying goodbye as a “perfect” summer romance ends. The plot develops as Sandy unexpectedly enrolls as a new student at Danny’s high school. Instead of the romantic Danny she met at the beach, Sandy finds a tough-talking member of the greaser gang “The T-Birds.” Sandy, a sweet innocent Sandra Dee-type, cannot believe Danny is the same person she met over the summer.

The film progresses through the school year with song, dance, and dialogue. The T-Birds and Pink Ladies enjoy normal teenage activities like building hotrods and dancing. On a more serious side (though still set to music) they also face such decisions as dropping out of high school to get a job and the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy. Through it all, Danny and Sandy must discover how a relationship can work between two seemingly opposite personalities. The anticipated happy ending is achieved by an unexpected plot twist.

On the surface this film seems like lots of fun. We leave the theater singing (and maybe dancing the “Hand Jive”). However, hidden behind great music, we find a film that it is not exactly family viewing. We are subjected to none of the usual nudity (with the exception of a one-second mooning shot) or violence, and only mild profanity, yet the messages which oppose Christian values are clear. The film, aimed at teenagers, glorifies premarital sex, underage drinking and smoking. For this Christian generation, “Grease” may not be the word, because its values are in direct contrast to The Word.

Viewer Comments
I think “Grease” is a wonderful musical… I love the music and the characters… Yes, there are some things in the movie that shouldn’t be in there… I believe that you can’t pick apart a movie like this—you have to look past certain things, and take this film for what it is. A funloving picture with great musical numbers. I give “Grease” my personal approval of five stars!…
—Beth Johannes, age 22
“a bad idea the first time and even worse now”… I remember when “Grease” was on HBO years ago and my mom wouldn’t let me see the end… I understand now. I love the music but it has always bugged me that Sandy had to slum even though Denny was willing to step up. I can’t stomach the idea… “Grease” was a bad idea the first time, and it’s even worse now. If you really like that style of music check out “That Thing You Do.” Great music and characters without as much trash.
—Colleen, age 26
a “sad message” that Sandy conveys… Twenty years ago when this fun movie was first released, I was a virgin (and proud of it!) but I was also a non-Christian and therefore spiritually ignorant. I was so into the music and dancing that the sexual innuendo went right over my head. I didn’t catch on to it until recently when it was shown on TV for the umpteenth time.

Sitting there watching the movie, smiling, I enjoyed it again. However, I must admit that my eyebrows met my hairline more than once. Another thing I object to is Sandy’s transformation from sweet and wholesome to an image resembling a streetwalker. How sad that Sandy sold out her former sense of morality in a cheap ploy to win over Danny. Not only is this a wrong message to send out to young girls, but in my opinion, it is a very dangerous one as well. Since when is it so wrong to have values and high moral standards?
—Sandy Clardy, age 35
“counter to a Christian worldview”… When I first saw this movie, back in high school, I walked out on it! I have never thought it was that great a movie, and its message is indeed counter to a Christian worldview.
—Jim Laney, age 36
“good entertainment for those well-grounded”… I have to agree with the reviewer. “Grease” is a very entertaining movie musical with great music and performances. It also is mild in its content compared to the films of today. However, it does seem to encourage favorable attitudes toward premarital sex, drinking and other activities. Still, I think this is still good entertainment for adults and teens who are well-grounded in the Word.
—Kevin Burk, age 27
fun, but glorifies premarital sex… Although the music, dancing, and costumes are a lot of fun, this film is not a hit from a Christian perspective. The movie is aimed at the junior high, high school crowd, yet glorifies premarital sex and drag-racing.
“glittering pack of Hollywood lies”… This one was made back in the days when we called the star “John Revolta.” I’ve had the opportunity to see this film on video several times through the years, and I’ve never been able to sit through it! I keep wanting to ask, who’s buying the tickets to see this thing again?!? This is the film your parents warned you about folks! Now it’s your turn to keep your kids from this glittering pack of Hollywood lies.
—Tim Blaisdell, age 34