Grease (1978) - Rotten Tomatoes

Grease (1978)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Grease is a pleasing, energetic musical with infectiously catchy songs and an ode to young love that never gets old.

Grease Videos

Grease Photos

Movie Info

"Grease," said the poster and the Barry Gibb song, "is the word." Transferring its setting from Chicago to sunny California, and adding a dash of disco to the ersatz '50s score, producer Allan Carr and director Randal Kleiser turned this long-running Jim Jacobs-Warren Casey Broadway smash into the biggest blockbuster of 1978. 1950s teens Danny (John Travolta) and Australian transfer Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) spend their "Summer Nights" falling in love, but once fall comes, it's back to Rydell High and its cliques. As one of the bad-boy T-Birds, Danny has to act cool for best pal Kenickie (Jeff Conaway) and their leather-clad mates Sonny (Michael Tucci) and Doody (Barry Pearl, in the role Travolta played on-stage). Despite befriending Frenchy (Didi Conn), one of the rebel Pink Ladies, virginal Sandy is "too pure to be Pink," as the Ladies' leader, Rizzo (Stockard Channing), acidly observes. Declaring their devotion in such ballads as "Hopelessly Devoted to You" and "Sandy," Sandy and Danny split, reconcile, and split again amidst a pep rally, dances, drive-ins, and a drag race, before deciding "You're the One That I Want" at the climactic carnival. With Travolta white-hot from Saturday Night Fever (1977), Grease soundtrack singles climbed the charts and summer movie crowds poured in. With the presence of Joan Blondell, Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, Edd "Kookie" Byrnes, and Frankie Avalon appealing to grown-up memories, Grease became the highest-grossing film of 1978, the highest-grossing movie musical ever, and the third most popular film of the new blockbuster '70s after Star Wars (1977) and Jaws (1975). Its sequel, Grease 2, did not exactly set the world on fire in 1982. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi
Rating:
PG (adult situations/language)
Genre:
Comedy , Musical & Performing Arts , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Paramount Pictures

Watch it now

Cast

Jeff Conaway
as Kenickie
Didi Conn
as Frenchy
Frankie Avalon
as Teen Angel
Eve Arden
as Principal McGee
Edd Byrnes
as Vince Fontaine
Sid Caesar
as Coach Calhoun
Barry Pearl
as Doody
Kelly Ward
as Putzie
Susan Buckner
as Patty Simcox
Eddie Deezen
as Eugene
Lorenzo Lamas
as Tom Chisum
Dick Patterson
as Mr. Rudie
Fannie Flagg
as Nurse Wilkin
Darrell Zwerling
as Mr. Lynch
Edward Byrnes
as Vince Fontaine
Ellen Travolta
as Waitress
Alice Ghostley
as Mrs. Murdock
Dody Goodman
as Blanche
Sha Na Na
as Johnny Casino and the Gamblers
Johnny Casino & the Sha-Na-Na
as Johnny Casino & the Gamblers (as Sha-Na-Na)
Mimi Lieber
as Dancer
Daniel Levans
as Dancer
Andy Tennant
as Dancer
Michael Biehn
as Jock (Basketball Player)
Steve M. Davison
as Leader of the Scorpions
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Grease

Critic Reviews for Grease

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (14)

It has no kind of focus in atmosphere or tone, it doesn't even have a look. It's just sort of floating insult, shopping for a subject to light on.

Full Review… | June 16, 2016
The New Republic
Top Critic

What makes it work is its youthful vitality, the tremendous energy and imagination expended on its virtually wall-to-wall song and dance number.

Full Review… | June 16, 2015
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

The screenplay is a prepubescent shambles, the direction is by acne out of disposable douches, the dubbing and looping of the songs is painfully obvious, the characterizations are generally repulsive and the whole thing is utterly without style.

Full Review… | March 15, 2013
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Travolta is a riot. Alternately swaggering to prove his "coolness" and re-affirming his ability on the dance floor, the actor gives the kind of performance that's perfect for the role.

Full Review… | April 30, 2009
ReelViews
Top Critic

Grease holds up for new generations because it captures the enthusiasm of youth and the vibrancy of California's sunshine-and-cars culture.

Full Review… | December 30, 2008
Denver Post
Top Critic

Grease has got it, from the outstanding animated titles of John Wilson all the way through the rousing finale as John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John ride off into teenage happiness.

Full Review… | July 18, 2007
Variety
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Grease

For some reason, it took me until this year to finally see this movie. most of my friends love this movie and I knew the songs so well. But I was pleasantly surprised to watch it! First, I was surprised by how un-innocent the movie was. Listening to `Summer Loving' could lead one to believe this was a simple story about 50's high school students. Whoops, it's not, it's actually a parody of that. But, that gives it a lot of amusing (adult) humor. But the most impressive thing about the movie is how energetic it is. They really don't make them like they used to. The music and dancing really gets you excited as you start tapping your feet with the rhythm. Just compare this energy to today's computer-generated films, like Star Wars Episode II! Ewan McGregor reading lines unemotionally to a CGI Yoda? YAWN... John Travolta (really) swinging Olivia Newton-John through the air? COOL! Hollywood really has lost something. 3 Stars 1-1-2001 (Updated)

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

This adaptation of the 1971 musical strikes the right chords and hits all the right moves. Gracefully filled with flamboyant and electrifying singing and dancing numbers along with the charm and charisma of its two young lovers (Travolta & Newton-John), Grease is the word and the film to portray young love in all its fine ways. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

As original as movies come, and whose style is still mimicked to this day.

Eric Alvarez
Eric Alvarez

Super Reviewer

Grease Quotes

Discussion Forum

Discuss Grease on our Movie forum!

News & Features