John Travolta’s Best Movie Is Roaring To Life On Netflix

Grease, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, is currently in Netflix's Top 10.

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

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John Travolta has had a long, successful career in Hollywood, from Saturday Night Fever, to Pulp Fiction, Face/Off, and The Fanatic, but the actor’s best movie, is one of his first, Grease. The hit 1978 musical is currently trending on Netflix according to Flixpatrol, where the film has been in the top 10 movies for a few days. The renewed popularity is likely due to the recent trailer for Rise of the Pink Ladies, a Paramount+ prequel series to Grease.

Grease starred John Travolta as Danny Zuko and Olivia Newton-John as Sandy, two high schoolers that enjoy summer loving but wind up meeting each other in school as their Senior Year starts off, forcing them to acknowledge if it was just a summer fling, or real love. Filling out the cast of Greasers are Jeff Conaway, Barry Pearl, Michael Tucci, and Kelly Ward. The Pink Ladies, a girl gang that befriends Sandy, were played by Stockard Channing, Didi Conn, Jamie Donnelly, and Dinah Manoff.

Though the plot of the film is a little thin, it is also, despite the 1958 setting, timeless and taps into the teenage experience of growing up, provided you were a teenager with the dancing and singing talents of John Travolta or Olivia Newton-John. As a musical, it’s the songs that make the film, including award-winners “Hopelessly Devoted To You,” “Grease,” and “You’re The One That I Want,” all of which were written for the film and not found in the original 1971 musical. Sadly not nominated for an award because it is from the musical, is “Greased Lightning,” the original ode to living life a quarter mile at a time.

Sadly relevant to the streaming success of Grease is the recent passing of Olivia Newton-John from breast cancer back in August. The Australian superstar had three bouts with cancer, once in 1992, again in 2013, and then finally in 2017. After her passing, John Travolta paid tribute to his greatest co-star, and major landmarks in both Melbourne and Sydney were lit up in pink to honor the singer.

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in Grease

Proving the lasting legacy and cultural importance of Grease, the United States National Film Registry, in 2020, elected to preserve the film as being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. Only 895 films have been selected for this honor, but Grease, the most profitable musical in history when it was released, is still quoted, performed, and heavily watched to this day, adding to the incredible cultural impact of John Travolta. That enduring appeal is likely what Paramount+ executives are banking on with the Rise of the Pink Ladies, the first new addition to the Grease canon since the original film, which never had a sequel, ever, just like Highlander.

Rise of the Pink Ladies is set four years before Danny met Sandy, following Jane (Marisa Davila), Olivia (Cheyenne Isabel Wells), Cynthia (Ari Notartomaso), and Nancy (Tricia Fukuhara) as four outcast girls that decide to have fun their own way. The trailer gave hints of some musical numbers, including one shot of greasers jumping off of a car, bringing back memories of John Travolta setting hearts on fire with “Greased Lightning.” It’s still too early to know for sure if the series will be a hit, but it’s going to be a blast of nostalgia for anyone that was a high school theater kid, friends with high school theater kids, or still knows the words to “Tell Me More.”

Rise of the Pink Ladies premieres on April 6th, but fans of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John’s original can catch it now on Netflix.