Unbelievable Secrets The Producers Of "Grease" Didn't Want Fans To Know

The movie Grease, based on the musical of the same name is a film that has proven to withstand time and culture. The story revolves around original tough guy, Danny, and nice girl Sandy, who have a summer romance and unexpectedly find themselves as Rydell High classmates in the 1950s. 

With a $6 million budget and an almost $400 million box office, it is still the highest-grossing movie musical of all time. Here are some facts about this iconic film you probably didn't know!

Grease Is Only Said Once Throughout The Script

Although Grease may be the word, it's never even said once throughout the entire script. 

Only the word greased (with a "d") is sung in the song "Greased Lightnin'".  

Elvis Played A Role In The Film

In "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee", Rizzo Sings, "Elvis, Elvis, let me be, keep that pelvis far from me", while looking at a picture of him. 

This scene was shot on August 16th, 1977, the day Presley died. When Carr first bought the film rights to Grease, he envisioned Elvis as Danny and Ann-Margaret as Sandy.

There Was Almost a Third Movie

After the huge success of the first movie, they decided to make three sequels.

However, after Grease 2 bombed at the box office, those plans were swiftly cancelled.

"Hopelessly Devoted To You" Almost Didn't Make It Into The Film

In fact, the hit song wasn't even written until the film was halfway done, and it wasn't recorded and filmed until everything else was complete. 

That didn't stop it from receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, though.

One Of The Most Iconic Scenes Took Only An Afternoon To Film

We don’t know about you, but “You’re The One That I Want,” is one of our favorite scenes from the whole movie...

And shockingly enough, it only took just an afternoon to film!

Kenickie Had A Thing For Sandy

Kenickie had a thing for Sandy. Well, sort of... Jeff Conaway had a crush on Olivia Newton-John during filming. He later married her sister. 

Rest assured, their flimsy yet intricate dynamic made for one or two cringe-worthy conversations at the family BBQ.

Rydell High Is a Real High School in Los Angeles

The facade is Venice High School, the interior is Huntington Park High School, and... 

The field is John Marshall High School.

All The Background Dancers Were Named

All the background dancers were named, which doesn’t always happen in films. 

Credits might list background dancer #1, or background dancer #2. The dancers in “Grease” were named Bart, Bubba, Moose, and Sauce.

Olivia Newton-John Didn’t Want To Film The Carnival Scene

One of the most well-known scenes and songs from the film, “You’re The One That I Want”, wasn’t all fun and games. 

Olivia Newton-John was extremely afraid of that scene and John Travolta had to convince his co-star to carry through with the song and film.

The Actors Were Much Older Than The Characters They Played

They might have played high schoolers, but the characters were much older IRL: 

John Travolta was 23, Oliva Newton-John was 28, Stockard Channing was 33, Jeff Conaway was 26, Michael Tucci was 31, Kelly Ward was 20, Didi Conn was 25, Jamie Donnelly was 30, Barry Pearl was 27, and Dinah Manoff was 19.

A Major Company Deal Was Dropped

Originally, Coca-Cola had a product placement deal with the movie, but the deal fell through during production. 

Producers couldn’t take the products out, so they blurred out all Coca-Cola appearances.

There’s a Nod To James Dean

 In the movie, Danny’s blue wind-breaker was meant to be a nod to James Dean. 

You can see the resemblance in John right here. 

Cha Cha Had A Scary Medical Emergency During Filming

Cha Cha aka Anette Charles was in the hospital during filming, but she checked herself out to film the drag racing scene. 

She had to have emergency surgery that night for an ectopic pregnancy.

Olivia Newton-John Almost Didn’t Take The Part

The actress was unsure she could pass for a high school student, so she asked for a screen test before she took the role. 

When she saw that she played a convincing high-schooler, she took the part.

There’s A Scene That Honors Highly Celebrated Entertainment Icons

Can you think of a group who Sonny (Michael Tucci), Doody (Barry Pearl) and Putzie (Kelly Ward) resemble? 

The guys asked the director to play tribute to The Three Stooges, and it was added into the film during the bonfire scene.

A Major Actor Had To Dye Her Hair For The Role

Jamie Donnelly (who played Jan) was already growing grey hair when she signed onto “Grease.” 

To play the part of a high schooler, she had to dye her strands dark brown.

Jeff Conaway Came Up With That Non-Hug

Right before the street race, Danny and Kenickie hug, but quickly comb their hair and look away like they never hugged it out big time. 

Jeff Conaway was the one who had the idea to blow off the embrace because he insisted two males would never have hugged in the 50s.

Sandra Dee Didn’t Fit In The Costume

 For the carnival scene at the end, Olivia Newton-John had to be sewn into her pants: “They sewed me into those pants every morning for a week,” she said.

“Believe me, I had to be very careful about what I ate and drank. It was excruciating… It was 106 degrees on the set for the carnival finale.”

Danny Doesn’t Originally Sing “Greased Lightning”

In the stage production of “Grease,” Danny doesn’t get the honor of signing the song, “Greased Lightning”. 

The song was in fact sung by Kenickie. However, when it came to filming, John Travolta convinced producers that he was more fit for the job.

Lucille Ball Is To Blame For Her Daughter Not Being Cast

Originally, Lucille Ball’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz, was up for the role of Rizzo. 

However, when Ball called to say that her daughter was too good to audition for the part, producers opted for a different actor.

John and Olivia’s First Meeting

The first time John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John met was at Olivia’s home.

Travolta had been a huge fan of Olivia and was rather star struck when the first encounter actually took place.

Jeff Conaway Was Seriously Injured

During the filming of “Greased Lightning”, Jeff Conaway was dropped and seriously injured his back. 

The injury led to Conaway’s abuse of prescription drugs.

Rizzo’s “Hickeys from Kenickie” Were Real!

Those hickeys weren’t the work of a skilled makeup artist. 

They were authentic and given to the actress by Jeff Conaway, (who played Kenickie), because the actor insisted that the marks be real.

Cast Members Got Really Sick After Filming

After the drag racing scene, many cast members got sick because the water was stagnant and filled with contaminated bacteria.

That could not have been pleasant. 

John Travolta Almost Lost The Part Of Danny

Henry Winkler–who played Fonzie on “Happy Days”–was offered the role of Danny Zuko. 

Winkler turned down the part though because he felt the character was too similar to Fonzie.

A Cultural Change

While in the stage version, Sandy is an American girl with the last name of “Dumbrowski”, directors decided to make her Australian after the decision to cast Australian native, Olivia Newton-John was made.

You can't hide an accent like hers!

Burger Palace Boys

T-Birds weren’t supposed to be called T-Birds. In fact, the broadway musical coined the gang with the name, “Burger Palace Boys.”

The name change was a happy one. 

John Travolta Also Played as Doody

Yup, you heard that right. John Travolta was cast as Doody (not Danny) in the broadway musical, “Grease.” 

Several other characters from the famous film also starred as other characters in the musical.

Frankie Valli Sang “Grease”

The title song, “Grease,” which can be heard during the opening credits of the movie was sung by Frankie Valli.

The hair is as important here as it was in the movie. 

Jeff Conaway Was Taller Than He Seemed

Because Jeff Conaway was taller than John Travolta, Kenickie was often slouching when filming so that the lead actor of the movie seemed taller.

It's all about the angles. 

One Character Doesn’t Have A Single Dance Scene

Marty, played by actress Dinah Manoff, claimed to lack rhythm and said she could not dance. 

That is why you will rarely see her character involved in any of the music numbers.

It Got Really Hot

The temperature got to 116 degrees during the filming of the Rydell Prom Scene. 

In fact, a few extras were even treated for heat-related illnesses during filming.