If you thought the only crime featured in FX’s American Crime Story: The People vs OJ Simpson was the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, you would be wrong. The other crime is how John Travolta looks in it as Robert Shapiro. It isn’t only how his face looks, it is everything. I know I shouldn’t judge him on a less than :15 seconds of video, but let’s be honest we all played Judge Ito when we watched it.
It has been 37 years since Grease came out in the theaters and it is still very popular today. So much so, Paramount Home Media just released a Digital Sing-A-Long version of the beloved musical last week. For decades, we have been singing along with Danny and Sandy, and now we really get to do it with them any time we want. Not only does the Digital release include the Sing-A- Long version, it also includes several special features like deleted scenes, how the movie was cast, filming some of the movie’s most special moments and interviews with the leads when it came out.
If that is not enough Grease for you, last week I got a tour of some their most iconic locations from the director himself Randal Kleiser. During the nearly two hour trip down memory lane for us, we visited some of the film’s stages on the Paramount Lot, John Marshall High School where they filmed the final scene and the LA River where Thunder Road went roaring through. Along the way, he revealed many things about the making of the movie that you and I probably didn’t know about until now. Things that any Grease fan would really love to know.
Then when you are done reading these 27 things you didn’t know about Grease and Randal Kleiser, surf on over to Amazon, iTunes or any other place where you download Digital movies and buy the Sing-A-Long version of Grease. This way you can watch it and Sing-A-Long with the students of Rydell High any time you want.
1 – Randal Kleiser worked with John Travolta before in 1976â€™s telemovie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.
2 â€“ The studio was filming Grease and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band at the same time and they were expecting the film based on The Beatles song to be a bigger hit than Grease. They were wrong.
3 â€“ They had 5 weeks of rehearsal leading up to the production. Then they filmed the movie in less than 55 days.
4 – Carrie Fisher was considered for the role of Sandy before Olivia Newton-John.
5 – George Lucas and Kleiser were roommates in college. They worked on each otherâ€™s first films. Years later, they would direct two of the biggest films of the late â€˜70s.
6 â€“ For his 20th birthday, Lucas blindfolded him and took him to Disneyland. Decades later, they would have attractions there across the street from each other. Lucasâ€™ was Star Tours and Kleiserâ€™s was Honey I Shrunk the Audience.
7 â€“ Keep your eyes out for all the cute little things that they added to the screen to make the Grease Sing-A-Long experience even better than it already is.
8 â€“ Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty had offices across the way from where they were rehearsing the song and dance numbers for Grease, and the Oscar winners would occasionally yell at them to keep it down.
9 â€“ The drive-in scene was improvised day of filming. Kleiser asked for a bunch of animated movie trailers from the â€˜50s to be sent to him for review and they didnâ€™t arrive until day of the scene. When they got there, he had the crew sit with him at Pickwick Theater, to select which one would work for the movie. As we know, they settled on the one with the popcorn and the hot dog.
10 â€“ The swing that John Travolta sits on in that scene is a homage to his childhood drive-in in Philadelphia that had one for the kids to sit on while they waited for the film to start.
11 â€“ Kleiser met and loved Olivia Newton John as soon as he saw her at a party with producer Alan Carr, but he wasnâ€™t sure if she would be able to do the filmâ€™s last scene because it was so opposite from her. When they were filming the drive-in scene, wardrobe and makeup decided to test out her style for that last look. Kleiser told us that all of sudden there was a commotion surrounding a woman with big hair. Kleiser thought it was an extra until she got up close to him. As soon as he realized it was Newton-John, he knew at the moment that she could handle being bad Sandy.
12 â€“ They had no idea what they were going do for â€œYouâ€™re the One that I Wantâ€ until that day. Believe it or not, choreographer Patricia Birch didnâ€™t choreograph that scene until that day.
13 â€“ They rented a carnival for that scene.
14 â€“ The day they shot the final scene at John Marshall High School, it was around 100 degrees. Needless to say, the actors were all sweating up a storm in their leather jackets and jeans.
15 â€“ He saw Grease for the first time in Chicago. As soon as he saw Summer Nights in the stage version, he knew how he wanted to film that scene.
16 â€“ Kleiserâ€™s mentor is An American in Parisâ€™ Nina Foch and she was able to set up a dinner for the director of The Sound of Music, Robert Wise, to talk to him about making a musical. Wise asked him, â€œHow much prep time do you have?â€ He told him, â€œFive weeks.â€ Wise said, â€œYou should back out of this movie immediately. You need about 2 years to prep a musical.â€ That advice from the man, who also directed West Side Story, terrified him.
17 â€“ Even though Grease was the first feature film he directed, it wasnâ€™t the first time he worked on a musical. He was an extra on Hello Dolly, Camelot and five Elvis Presley movies, so he knew what to expect.
18 â€“ You might remember as Stockard Channing was singing â€œLook at Me, Iâ€™m Sandra Deeâ€, you can see a picture of Elvis Presley in the background? The day they filmed that scene is also, sadly, the same day that he died.
19 â€“ Barry Pearl, who played Doody, is the man who keeps the cast together up until today. He emails them updates and keeps them informed about reunions and such.
20 â€“ Bee Geeâ€™s Grease theme song was not the original tune that was used in that animated opening. When Kleiser heard Barry Gibbâ€™s song for the first time, he thought the lyrics were too dark for the film. So he went over to Gibb, who was filming Sgt. Pepperâ€™s Lonely Heart Band, and asked him if he could change the lyrics to make them happier. Kleiser explained that his lyrics were very serious and there was nothing serious in the movie. Gibb responded with, â€œWhy donâ€™t you shoot a serious scene?â€ Kleiser did not add a serious scene and the song stayed in. Now go listen to song again, and try not to be too upset that it was just ruined for you.
21 â€“ They filmed the drag race scene at the LA River near Downtown LA. Once again, it was a hot day, so Kleiser was walking around barefoot. The director cut his foot and then stepped in the stagnant water there. The next day he was sick as dog and had a high fever. He was so ill that they had to shut down production for the day.
22 â€“ Annette Charles, who played Cha Cha, left the hospital while she was recovering from surgery, to film the Thunder Road scene. That is how much she wanted to be in it. When they were done filming for the day, she went back into the hospital to finish her recovery.
23 â€“ From Grease to Greece. Kleiser filmed 1982â€™s Summer Lovers in Greece with a just starting out Daryl Hannah and Peter Gallagher. The beautiful and sensual film was recently released on Blu-ray.
24 â€“ The actors, who were seen flying, in Beauty School Dropout, actually got high before they got high. They quickly regretted that decision.
25 â€“ At the end of the movie, when they say they are not graduating because they have to go to summer school, there is a reason for that. Alan Carr wanted to call Grease 2, Summer School. The producer wanted the sequel to happen in the summer, so he added it that line into the story.
26 â€“ He was busy working on The Blue Lagoon when they were filming Grease 2, so he was not available to do it.
27 â€“ Randal Keiser just finished working on a virtual reality movie called Defrost with Blue Lagoonâ€™s Christopher Atkins, Rocky’s Carl Weathers and Itâ€™s My Party Bruce Davison.
Normally we’re talking about John Travolta’s hairline, but all I could focus on in this picture was his crotch. Do you think that his Old Hog is showing or is this post is full of Pulp Fiction?
Ever since the Oscars, everyone has wanted to know what Idina Menzel thought of John Travolta introducing her as Adele Dazeem. Well, Billboard finally asked her about it and she told them she Let It Go. Actually what she said was that leading up to her performance she was very Zen and focused, that is until he botched up her name. His screw up threw her for a loop, but then she remembered when she was and got back on track singing the track. So what happened after the Oscars? She said that, “He was really gracious and sent this gorgeous email, and we’re buddies and it’s all cool.” Does she hold any resentment towards him? Nope, she also said, “Please. I mean, I’ve only benefited from it.”
That is so true, ever since the Oscars everyone knows her name, Adele Dazeem, I mean, Idina Menzel!
Idina Menzel has gotten more press in the last two days over John Travolta mispronouncing her name at the Oscars than anything she has done in her spectacular career that includes starring in two of Broadway’s biggest hits of the last 25 years, Rent and Wicked, combined. The actress has handled everything with class and has yet to respond to being renamed, Adele Dazeem, by the Hairspray actor.
Now even though the women with such a loud and powerful voice has been quiet, Travolta finally broke his silence. The Grease star told ABC News, “I’ve been beating myself up all day. Then I thought … what would Idina Menzel say, She’d say, Let it go, let it go! Idina is incredibly talented and I am so happy Frozen took home two Oscars Sunday night!”
So are you ready to let it go or will his embarrassing moment remain frozen in time with you? I am ready to let it go, even though I am happy that Menzel is finally getting the recognition she deserves.
via Eric Stonestreet
All John Travolta had to do was introduce Idina Menzel at the Oscars, but I, like everyone, have no idea who the heck he introduced to sing Let It Go. How hard is it to say her name, Ee-Dee-Nah Men-Zell? Who is Adelle Dazeem?
I know I should follow the song and Let It Go, but I can’t. I love you John, but really?
Here is a little tip for the producers next year, make sure all the presenters go to at least one rehearsal and they know how to say the name of the people they are announcing.
John Travolta is making a rare television acting appearance and he’s doing it on Kirstie Alley’s new TV Land show. Travolta will play a stagehand, who has a one night with Kirstie and he refuses to leave. Almost sounds like their movie franchise Look’s Who Talking. Not that I have a problem with that because I was a fan of those movie and their chemistry, so I can’t wait to see them together again in front of the camera.
The episode tapes next month and will air sometime after the show’s debut on December 4th. This isn’t the only reunion they are having on the show, Kirstie is also working with her Cheers’ co-star Rhea Perlman. Michael Richards also stars on the sitcom and he got to work with his Seinfeld buddy Jason Alexander again in an episode. What other reunions would you like to see on the show? I would love to see Rhea with her Matilda co-star Mara Wilson or maybe someone from Taxi?
John Travolta was photographed with his arm over John Stamos‘ shoulders and I have to wonder if they have something to tell us? Nope it was just two Johns hanging out after the Oscars or as Uncle Jesse put it, “that’s cool baby, you know how it is, rockin’ & rollin’ & what not”.
You know what after seeing this photo, I would love for them to do a buddy comedy together and they can call it A Tale of Two Johns!