Grease | 1978
The movie was softened up from the stage version (the roll of clingfilm in the Greased Lightning number remains unexplained in the film), and all-American Sandy Dubrowski was airbrushed into Aussie Sandy Olsen to accommodate Olivia Newton-John, but it remains one of the most successful musicals of all time.
‘Rydell High’ is a conflation of three schools: the art-deco façade is Venice High School, 13000 Venice Boulevard (seen also in American History X); the school interiors, including the dance contest in the gym, are Huntington Park High School, 6020 Miles Avenue in Huntington Park, southeast of downtown Los Angeles; and the You’re The One That I Want carnival finale is staged on the sports fields of John Marshall High School, 3939 Tracy Street in Silverlake, north of downtown, seen also in the genuine 1957 juvenile delinquent movie The Young Stranger and lots of others, including A Nightmare on Elm Street the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie.
The car racing sequence, where Sandy decides she doesn’t want to be Sandra Dee any more, is along the concrete spillways of the Los Angeles River between the First and Seventh Street Bridges, east of downtown, a location used in fifties sci-fi classic Them! and more recently in S.W.A.T..
Grease II, the disappointing sequel with Maxwell Caulfield replacing John Travolta and pre-stardom Michelle Pfeiffer stepping into Olivia Newton-John’s stilettos, used the Excelsior High School at Norwalk, southeast Los Angeles on Route 5.