Olivia Newton-John’s Best Movie Is Rocking The Streaming Charts
Fans can't stop streaming it!
The world lost a true icon when Olivia Newton-John sadly passed away aged 73 on Tuesday, August 9th. Newton-John was a star of the screen and of music, selling 100 million records globally in what was a stellar career, but she is undoubtedly a household name thanks to her starring role as Sandy in the infamous smash-hit 1978 musical Grease. Unsurprisingly, as fans honour the late star following her tragic death, the film is flying high in the world of streaming and at the time of writing is in the top six most streamed films on Paramount+, according to Flix Patrol.
Grease made its debut as a Broadway musical in the early seventies and in the film adaption of 1978, set in late 1950s California, Olivia Newton-John plays Sandy, a young Australian girl who falls in love with local boy Danny Zuko (John Travolta) over the summer holidays. The pair are unexpectedly reunited when Sandy starts her first term at Rydell High, the school that Zuko attends and he is very much the cool guy around Rydell. A ‘greaser’ and leader of the T-Birds gang, Zuko is as far away from the boy Sandy fell for over the summer break and the pair struggle to rekindle their romance thanks to their wildly different personas. Ultimately, love wins out as Sandy trades being the shy girl for being the sexy, confident young woman and whether that is the right decision, given that Zuko doesn’t make a huge effort to change his image, is up for debate, but the film ends with a triumphant musical number as Sandy and Danny drive off (or fly off, bizarrely) into the distance for their happily ever after.
Grease is undoubtedly a classic of Hollywood cinema, during its 1978 summer release in theatres, the film grossed just shy of $160 million dollars at the box office, making it the highest-grossing film of that year. The film is remembered for musical numbers such as “Summer Nights,” “You’re the One That I Want,” “Grease Lightning” and the Oscar-nominated, “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” The film spawned a less successful 1982 sequel, but Grease has endured on stage for decades, and in 2016, Fox aired a live televised version of the hit musical. The film has been subject to numerous re-releases and special screenings throughout the years, most notably when the cast reunited for the film’s 40th anniversary. Both John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John were present at the special event, and the former was quick to post a heartfelt tribute to his co-star following her tragic passing, saying, “Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again.” Grease will be getting another run in cinemas courtesy of AMC as a tribute to Olivia Newton-John, with one dollar of every five-dollar ticket purchase going to research affiliated with breast cancer. Olivia Newton-John battled breast cancer on numerous occasions in her later years.
Olivia Newton-John was born in Cambridge, England in 1948 and moved to Australia when she was just five years old. She took to performing at a young age and her career took off after moving to America. Newton-John scored her first hit in 1971 when she recorded the Bob Dylan song, “If Not for You” and was the UK’s 1974 entrant in the Eurovision song contest, finishing fourth. Her music career included five number ones in the Bilboard Hot 100, one of them being the sensational pop hit “Physical”. Newton-John is of course best-rembered for her role as Sandy in Grease and remarkably, despite playing a high-schooler in the film, the late actress was almost 30 at the time, which goes unnoticed thanks to her youthful exuberance and incredible performance. Her film career peaked with Grease, with subsequent appearances in Xanadu in 1980 opposite Gene Kelly and Two of a Kind in 1982 once again opposite Travolta, falling foul with critics. However, Grease’s enduring legacy and Olivia Newton-John’s stellar music career ensured that she will be rembered for decades to come. Just as Grease has been soaring on Paramount+ as people celebrate Neton-John’s incredible life, her music has been seeing a resurgence as well, with a steaming demand bump of 614% reported by Variety earlier this week. A fitting tribute that is more than well deserved for such an amazing human being.