(out of 5)
This tune-filled, eye-candy musical still thrills audiences of all ages more than two decades after its original release. Based on the hit Broadway play, it’s a tribute to the music and pop culture of the fifties, and its excellent songs (most of them from the play with a few new ones written especially for the film) rooted in that style of classic rock’n’roll. John Travolta is a riot as a slick-haired teenager who has a summer of romance with poodle-skirt wearing Sandra Dee (Olivia Newton-John) until the school year starts, and he can’t decide whether to become the lover he wants to be or remain cool and aloof to impress his friends. The supporting cast is topped off by the always impressive Stockard Channing, who plays bad girl Rizzo, the one that nobody wants to get too close to but everyone wants to be. There’s enough singing and dancing by the energetic cast to make sure you never catch your breath for a second.
Directed by Randal Kleiser
Cinematography by Bill Butler
Music by Bill Oakes
Production Design by Philip M. Jefferies
Costume Design by Albert Wolsky
Film Editing by John F. Burnett