Randall kleiser He was born in Philadelphia on July 20, 1946. At age 10, he went to a movie theater and the movie he saw would mark his life. It was ‘The Ten Commandments’, Cecil B. DeMille’s colossal biblical story. At the end of the screening and it was clear to me: I wanted to make movies.
Years later, he studied film at the University of Southern California. His roommate is George Lucas and they start a friendship such that Lucas offers him a role in ‘Libertad’, one of his practices at the university. In 1973 Kleiser directed his first professional short film, ‘Peege’. A year later, he is already a member of the Directors Association of America. He directs an acclaimed tv-movie, ‘The boy in the plastic bubble’, which became a great success, and in 1977 he began to prepare his first feature film, ‘Grease’.
Kleiser had noticed a hit Broadway musical called ‘Grease’, written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, and he proposed to Paramount that they buy the rights to make it into a movie. He did not have to insist much as the Paramount executives had already set their eyes on him, thinking of taking advantage of the dollar vein that had been opened shortly before with ‘Saturday Night Fever’.
Kleiser was clear that the male lead had to be John Travolta. He had directed him with great success in ‘The Boy in the Plastic Bubble’ and had become famous dancing like no one in ‘Saturday night Fever’. The only problem was that the actor accepted the role. Although Travolta did not want to be pigeonholed, the fact that the director was Randall Kleiser was enough for him to accept the challenge. Different names were considered for the female protagonist. In the end and after some tests, a singer born in Cambridge but who had grown up in Australia was chosen, where she created a female musical group in her high school years, and who had represented Great Britain at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Long Live Love ‘was in fourth position (that year the Festival was won by the Swedes Abba with’ Waterloo ‘). Was Olivia Newton-John, who had settled in Los Angeles looking to boost her singing career.
Bronte Woodward sign the script from the play. It tells how, after the summer holidays, the Rydell school opens its doors to a new generation of boys and girls who have made comb and glitter back into fashion. They are heads that still have nothing inside, but have begun to groom themselves on the outside. The rebellious young man Danny Zuko (John Travolta) and a demure and naive girl named Sandy Olsson (Olivia Newton-John), will be the official idyll of the school this year. The two had met during the summer and when they said goodbye neither of them thought that they would see each other again. But they were wrong: when she decides to join the Rydell as her friend Frenchy, the last thing she expected was to become a partner with Danny, the rebel co-leader of the T-Birds.
The film is shot in multiple Los Angeles locations during the summer of 1977, between June 27 and September 14. Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta themselves perform many songs on the soundtrack, which also includes songs by Frankie Avalon or Sha-Na-Na among many other artists.
The film opens with a major premiere in New York on June 13, 1978, and it is an immediate success. He arrived in Spain on September 25 of the same year. The film is Oscar nominee for best song (‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’) and nominated for a Golden Globe for best film in a comedy or musical, for best actor in a comedy or musical (John Travolta), for best actress in a comedy or musical (Olivia Newton-John) and the best original songs (‘You’re the One that I Want’ and ‘Grease’). But the real prize is in his box office. His budget had been six million dollars, and in his first weekend in the United States alone he had already raised nine million dollars. In total, its collection exceeded 400 million dollars worldwide. The film had a sequel, ‘Grease 2’ and a remake is planned. And Randal Kleiser would triumph again with his next film, ‘The Blue Lake’.