‘Grease’ Secrets Revealed, As John Travolta, Olivia Newton John Film Celebrates 40th Anniversary

The stars spill secrets during the 40th anniversary of the popular musical.

The secrets of Grease are revealed.
Nick Ut / AP Images

The stars spill secrets during the 40th anniversary of the popular musical.

Grease has been the word for four decades. In honor of the 40th anniversary of the beloved Robert Stigwood/Allan Car big-screen musical on June 16, director Randal Kleiser recently helmed the full restoration of the 1978 movie. A previously unseen clip of John Travolta and Olivia Newton John’s Danny and Sandy sharing a kiss in the flying convertible at the end of the movie is included as a bonus feature in the DVD and digital HD release.

According to USA Today, a morbid Grease fan theory, that Sandy drowned while running on the beach with Danny at the start of the movie and the entire story is her “coma fantasy,” went viral a few years ago. Some fans believe that Danny’s line in the song “Summer Nights”—”I saved her life; she nearly drowned”—and that convertible flying into the clouds, point to Sandy’s death.

But Travolta told USA Today that his character was just bragging to his impress his buds. The Grease star pointed out that Sandy and Danny had two different stories as they recounted their first meeting to their friends on the first day of school, and that “somebody is lying. Most likely, it’s Danny.”

In the restored movie, eagle-eyed Grease fans will also notice a fix in a scene at the Frosty Palace malt shop when Sandy goes on a date with Rydell High School jock, Tom (Lorenzo Lamas). The blurred out sign behind the pair was a last minute edit. Producer Allan Carr had cut a deal to feature Pepsi in Grease, but the prop manager put a Coca-Cola sign in the Frosty Palace and it wasn’t noticed until after production on the film wrapped.

“[Carr] made us blur it with 1978 technology, which looks terrible,” Kleiser said.

In the restoration, the sign now says what it should have said 40 years ago, for a new Pepsi generation.

The closing scene of Grease is one of the most iconic, when Danny and Sandy finally come together in a wild pop number. During an appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, John Travolta told the late-night host how he came up with his character, Danny Zuko’s, wild “four corners” hip thrust for the final number in the 1978 film.

Travolta told Fallon that he grew up doing all kinds of novelty dances, explaining, “With Grease, they needed a step for ‘You’re the One that I Want’ at the end. So I said, ‘We used to do the four corners, why don’t we do that?’ And the choreographer was like, ‘Show it to me,’ and I did.”

As for the famous opening song to Grease, that was penned by none other than Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees. Gibb told Entertainment Tonight that when Grease producer Robert Stigwood called him to ask him to write a title song for the movie, he was confused as to how he could incorporate the word “Grease” into it.

“How do you write a song called ‘Grease’? I don’t understand what direction I would take to do that,” Barry told EW. “But I understood that they really wanted something that was positive and sunny.”

Gibb later came up with an idea after thinking that “Grease is symbolic of that period [the late 1950s] with the Greasers and all that… And so it suddenly occurred to me to write about Grease as a word because it represented a time. So Grease became the word.”

John Travolta, who is currently starring in the mob movie Gotti, recently honored Grease with a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

“This is a film that’s so timeless that keeps on giving to each new generation,” Travolta said of Grease, according to Entertainment Tonight. “When people watch this, they just get happy. They want to become the characters they’re watching. They want to sing along with it, they want to dance, they want to be part of this film.”