Story

Innocent Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) meets and falls in love with bad boy Danny (John Travolta) during a beach holiday in late 1950s California. When school starts again, they’re both surprised to discover that they’re at the same high school. Danny is leader of the T-Birds, a gang of leather-jacketed ‘greasers’, who love hanging out with ‘chicks’ and riding their motorbikes. He’s worried about his image and thinks he can’t be seen with a ‘good girl’ like Sandy. She’s very upset by this.

Sandy becomes friends with the Pink Ladies, a group of girls led by Rizzo (Stockard Channing). As the term goes on, Danny and Sandy both try to change to impress each other and rekindle the love they found over the summer.

Themes

Teenage sex and sexuality

Violence

This movie has some violence. For example:

  • Students push and shove in the corridor.
  • Danny thumps another boy on the arm.
  • Rizzo throws a milkshake at her boyfriend, Kenickie.
  • A fight breaks out on the dance floor. The scene shows some very stylised fighting.
  • Kenickie gets knocked out accidentally by a car door.
  • During a car race, one driver damages another car with a blade that sticks out from his car door.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

Nothing of concern 

From 8-13

Nothing of concern 

Over 13

Nothing of concern 

Sexual references

This movie has quite a lot of sexual references, and the characters often talk about sex and virginity. The young men sometimes look at the young women as sex objects. One subplot involves Rizzo’s concern that she’s pregnant. She talks about missing a period, and other characters gossip about her situation. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

This movie shows some use of substances. For example:

  • There is lots of smoking. The girls encourage Sandy to smoke.
  • Characters drink at parties, at home and in cars.
  • Someone puts aspirin in some coke. 

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • Rizzo and Kenickie have sex in a car. The scene doesn’t show much, but it does involve their condom breaking. They continue anyway.
  • Three guys show their bare bottoms on the dance floor.
  • Danny and Sandy kiss passionately.
  • Danny tries to touch Sandy’s breast. 

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Pepsi, Ipana toothpaste and Eskimo pie. 

Coarse language

This movie has some coarse language. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

Grease is a lively and fun musical with music that’s now very well known. It also features dance scenes and comedy, which make it enjoyable for teenagers and adults. You might be concerned about exposing younger children to the language, smoking, drinking and sexual attitudes shown, particularly the attitudes of the young men towards the young women.

The main messages from this movie might be confusing for children. Both Sandy and Danny make changes to their images to attract each other. In her case, though, this involves dressing like a ‘bad’ girl and taking up smoking. This reverses the usual ‘bad makes good’ story.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as:

  • how the boys look at the girls as sex objects
  • how the Pink Ladies tease Sandy because she’s still a virgin – what effect might this have in real life?
  • whether someone’s appearance really tells you much about that person
  • how hard it can be to fit in at school.