The 1978 musical romantic comedy was successful both critically and commercially and, at the time, broke records as the highest-grossing movie of its genre.
Grease is one of the most successful film musicals of all time, both critically and commercially, and it was on this day in 1978 that it was released to widespread acclaim in the United States.
Directed by Randal Kleiser and based on the stage musical of the same name by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, the cult movie depicts the relationship between Danny Zuko - played by John Travolta and Australian transfer student Sandy Olsson - portrayed by the late, great Olivia Newton-John - as they navigate life at the fictional Rydell High School in Northwest Chicago in the late 1950s.
Following its release in the United States and globally, Grease became the highest-grossing musical ever at the time, beating a 13-year-old record held by The Sound of Music.
Worldwide, it grossed some $341 million (or about €312 million) and, in the UK, it made a record $2.2 million (roughly €2 million) in its first eight days after release, soon becoming the highest-grossing film in the country.
Its iconic soundtrack is still as popular now as when the song 'Hopelessly Devoted to You' was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 51st Academy Awards and it ranked as the second-best-selling album of 1978, just behind the soundtrack of the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever, which also starred John Travolta.
Grease also received an impressive five Golden Globe nominations and its legacy lives on. In 2020, the film was chosen for preservation in the prestigious United States National Film Registry which meant it was deemed as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
A 1982 sequel - Grease 2 - starring Michelle Pfeiffer was less successful but remains a cult hit.
Proving its staying power, a prequel television series ‘Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies’ was released in April this year to mixed reviews and a prequel film Summer Lovin' is in the works.