It's been a very long time since I have seen the film. I don't believe that I have seen the unexpurgated version since it came out in 1978. Way back when, I didn't get half the stuff anyway, so it was like seeing it anew for me.
The first thing that struck me was the trailer. I watched it first. They did their best to sell you on seeing Grease. What I got from the trailer was, "We don't know that we will have a hit on our hands, so we have to convince you to see this film." Little did they know that this film didn't need selling.
As I watched the film, I compared it against the stage version that I saw back in August. There were a number of considerable changes between the two. The stage piece was more ensamble oriented while the film version was more star oriented. For instance, the part of the beautifully chested Marti dropped in importance. Marti even lost her musical number at the slumber party. It's a shame, as she was my favorite character in the stage version. She, umm, had a really great chest, too.
They shuffled stuff about. For instance, Sandy's number is shuffled into Marti's slot. The order of events was tweaked. It worked for the film, mind you, but it also lost something. I actually like the stage ordering better. That's true for most musicals in fact. (I still haven't forgiven Bye Bye Birdie for dropping the English Teacher song.)
I can not overstate how much I loved the choreography. Most importantly, they used a consistant set of dancers the whole way through the film. This gave the film a continuity that very much worked. Secondly, when you are watching the big production numbers, like the gym dance, you see all the same people all the time. You buy into the idea that this really is a dance at a gym.
Another thing that I liked about the coreography was the use of location in the numbers. The dance scene on the bleachers is a terrific example of this. The chorographer brought out the traits of each character. Sandy skipped and sat down. Rizzo kicked Sandy off the bench. Marti picking up the announcer during the dance contest.
Likewise, much of the less plot specific interaction is dropped, yet all these little things addedup to the plot.
The cinematography was terrific. In that, too, I found myself impresed. The director had a wide screen and he used it for all that all that he could. Greased Lightining could never work cropped. In some numbers, even wide screen lost people off the edge.
I had forgotten all the sexual innuendo of the film. I found the play had more innuendo and more cutting lines. I'm not sure it could have stayed PG if all the references had been kept. The play bordered on rudeness, although it came nowhere near a Mel Brooks production.
I find that I appreciate RIzzo's character much more now that I am older. In some way, she's the only honest one of the bunch. You always know what Rizzo is about. Marti is leading on multiple men. Frenchi is hiding her terrible time at beauty school. The T-Birds are all posers.
If you have time, check this baby out. The print is pristine. Definitely find the wide screen version.