Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in Grease © 1978 - Paramount Pictures

Rewind: The Impact of Grease on Popular Culture

In this article, we're going to take a look at the impact of Grease on aspects of society in the 40 years since its original release on the big screen.
8th February 2024

Grease is one of the most famous musical and movie franchises and has transcended the world of Hollywood and stage, and the same can be said for some of its cast, most notably John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The movie, when it was released in the late 1970s, won numerous awards, both for the screenplay and its soundtrack, while also becoming the highest-grossing musical movie at the time. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the impact of Grease on aspects of society in the 40 years since its original release on the big screen.

Grease Themed Events

In the UK, the nation’s love for Grease has manifested itself in wonderful ways. For example, Buzz Bingo is an online gambling company that offers online gaming products like megaways, a type of slot game, as well as traditional table games, has hosted musical bingo nights, featuring musicals like Dirty Dancing and Mamma Mia! too. These nights allows gamers to get in touch with their nostalgic side while playing in bingo halls up and down the country. Hotels such as Bridgewood Manor even put on Grease weekends offering dance classes as well as other themed activities.

Musical Artists of Today

As a musical movie, its influence on the world of music cannot be denied. For one, Robbie Williams, among the greatest pop acts in British history, claimed that Grease inspired him to pursue his dream in the pop industry. According to interviews, he honed his craft singing to ‘Summer Nights’. While US country group ‘The Chicks’ have also said they were inspired by the musical to write ‘Sin Wagon‘.

The World of Fashion

Some trends from the 1970s movie have come and gone, others have stood the test of time, even 40 years later. For example, leather style is still very much in, and will probably remain so having been used in fashion for over 50,000 years. Even though style has evolved, leather is still synonymous with Grease and that time period. Bomber jackets, especially those with insignias, and some hairstyles made popular by the movie have also remained popular in the fashion world. 

The legacy of grease cannot be understated. Even for those who were not yet born when the musical and movie were released, it is still a classic. 40 years on, everything is distinctive, from the hair to the fashion to the genre of music—it couldn’t be from any other era.

The original Grease Broadway production opened in 1972, and surely the creators didn’t expect its popularity to not only spawn a movie but have the impact it had on culture in the following years and decades. Sometimes, it can feel like the 1970s can feel like a whole other world due to advancements in technology; however, Grease will forever feel like a timeless classic.

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