For Mermaidens' second guest post, film and vintage clothing expert Andi Be Goode tells us why Grease is one of her very favorite movies!
"Grease is the word”, or so we are told by the opening song for the 1978 movie musical of the same name. It also happens to be one of my all-time favourite movies (just behind Rocky Horror Picture Show which takes top position on that list) and has been since I was a small child and my best friend and I would dance to Greased Lightning (not understanding all of the words) for our mums.
I'm pretty sure Grease has influenced my taste in a lot of things – my love of the '50s (though I think this was helped by having a mother older than most of my peers'), my desire to own a pink car and have a cool in which to hang out with my group of friends (and a group of friends to hang out with), and, perhaps, my tendency to want to break out into song every so often (bound to happen when you are reared on musicals).
I don't think I could possibly pick a favourite part of the movie but I can tell you a few things I may love more than other bits, like, for example, the appearances by Frankie Avalon and Edd Byrnes two big swoon-inducing stars of the late 50s/early 60s.
And how could I not mention other stars of classic Hollywood like Eve Arden and Joan Blondell? (Growing up, I never realised just how many of the older actors in the film had had such prolific and long movie careers... I'm sure I'm missing some!)
I once read a website about how American teenagers really dressed in the 1950s and the author of the site said how unrealistic Grease is in that respect – but it is a musical. I don’t usually look to musicals for historical accuracy but, even so, the costumes in Grease capture the essence of what is stereotypically 1950s. Even musicals made in the era in which they are set are exaggerated representations of the fashion, etc., and that’s what I love about them.
Grease doesn’t quite fit into the hyperreality of other musicals that I love from the 40s and 50s but I think it’s a similar kind of idea. The world of musicals is another world entirely and why people can be so divided by them.
I love the incorporation of the musical's original songs with songs of the era, sung by Sha Na Na at the school dance. The school dance scene is, of course, one of my favourites of the whole film...I still want Rizzo's dress. And probably Frenchie's, too...and Cha Cha's! In fact, just give me all of the dresses please.
Unlike other fans, I don't hate the sequel – in fact, I wholeheartedly embrace it! But I'm not here to write about Grease 2 so I'll just end with some lyrics from my favourite song from the film (and also the song my best friend and I chose to be "our song")
Ra-ma la-ma la-ma ka ding a da ding de dong
Shoo-bop sha wad-da wad-da yipp-it-y boom de boom
Chang chang chang-it-ty chang shoo-bop
Dip da-dip da-dip doo-wop da doo-bee doo
Boog-e-dy boog-e-dy boog-e-dy boog-ed-y
Shoo-by doo-wop she-bop
Sha-na-na-na-na-na-na-na yip-pit-y boom de boom
Ra-ma la-ma la-ma ka ding-a de ding de dong