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Grease 2 is a 1982 American musical film and sequel to Grease, which is based upon the musical of the same name by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Grease 2 was produced by Allan Carr and Robert Stigwood, and directed and choreographed by Patricia Birch, who also choreographed the first film. It takes place two years after the original film at Rydell High School, with an almost entirely new cast, led by actors Maxwell Caulfield and Michelle Pfeiffer.
It is 1961, two years after the original Grease gang became seniors and a new academic year is just beginning at Rydell ("Back to School Again"). The Pink Ladies are now led by the beautiful Stephanie Zinone (Michelle Pfeiffer), who feels she has "outgrown" her relationship with leader of the T-Birds, Johnny Nogerelli (Adrian Zmed) during summer break. A new arrival comes in the form of clean-cut British student Michael Carrington (Maxwell Caulfield) (a cousin of Sandy Olsen, Olivia Newton-John's character from Grease), who quickly becomes smitten with Stephanie. At the local bowling alley, a game ("Score Tonight") turns sour due to the animosity between Johnny and Stephanie. Stephanie retaliates by kissing the next man who walks in the door, which happens to be Michael. Bemused by this unexpected kiss, Michael attempts to ask her out, but discovers that she has a very specific vision of her ideal man ("Cool Rider (Song)"). He then realizes that he will only win her affection if he turns himself into a Cool Rider (Character). Michael buys a motorcycle and trains himself to ride it.
Following an unusual biology lesson ("Reproduction") given by Mr. Stuart (Tab Hunter), a gang of rival motorcyclists called the Cycle Lords surprise the T-Birds at the bowling alley. Before the fight starts, a lone anonymous biker appears, Lone Rider who is in fact, a disguised Michael, defeats the enemy gang, and disappears into the night ("Who's That Guy?"). Stephanie is instantly fascinated with the stranger.
In a short comic scene, one of the T-Birds, Louis DiMucci (Peter Frechette), attempts to trick his sweetheart Sharon Cooper (Maureen Teefy) into losing her virginity to him by taking her to a fallout shelter and faking a nuclear attack ("Let's Do It for Our Country").
Stephanie was surprised again by the Lone Rider and they enjoyed a romantic twilight motorcycle ride. Just as Michael was about to reveal his identity, they were interrupted by the arrival of the whole gang. Michael told Stephanie that he would see her at the June Moon Talent Show, in which the Pink Ladies and T-Birds were performing, and rides away. Johnny, enraged by Stephanie's new romance, threatens to fight the "Cool Rider" if he sees him with her again. The Pink Ladies exit haughtily, although this has little effect on the T-Birds' self-confidence ("Prowlin'").
At school, Stephanie's difficulties in English class lead her to accept Michael's offer of help. She slowly begins to discover that she has similar feelings for him, and starts to reciprocate his crush, but on the outside, she still was mired down by the "Pink Lady Code." Michael answers: "According to Dolores, the code stinks!" Johnny, upon seeing them together in a discussion at the Burger Diner, reminded Stephanie that her Pink Ladies Jacket was T-Bird Property, and suggested that she quit the group. Stephanie was visibly upset by this, but refused to quit the Pink Ladies. Although still head over heels for the Cool Rider, interactions with Michael reveal that she has become smitten with him as well, as Michael ponders over his continuing charade he puts out to Stephanie ("Charades").
At the talent show, Johnny and the T-Birds cheat by detaining Brad and his fellow Prep-Tones in the boys locker room where they tie them to and drench them in the shower, leaving them unable to perform their "Mr. Sandman" from the male viewpoint of the song, leaving the T-Birds free to perform - actually conclude - their show-winning "Prowlin".
Stephanie and the Cool Rider meet outside the school, but are ambushed by the T-Birds who pursue Michael with Stephanie and the Pink Ladies following in a car. They chase him to a construction site which conceals a deadly drop, Dead Man's Curve, and the biker's absence suggests that he has either disappeared or perished, leaving Stephanie inconsolable. During the Pink Ladies' number at the talent show ("A Girl For All Seasons"), Stephanie enters a dreamlike fantasy world where she is reunited with her mystery biker ("(Love Will) Turn Back The Hands Of Time"). She is named winner of the contest and crowned the queen of the upcoming graduation luau, with Johnny hailed as king.
The school year ends with the luau ("Rock-A-Hula Luau"), during which the Cycle Lords suddenly reappear and begin to destroy the celebration. After the Lone Rider reappears and defeats the Cycle Lords, he finally reveals himself to be Michael. After his initial shock, Johnny is angry at first, but then offers him a T-Bird jacket and welcomes him into the gang, and Stephanie finally accepts that she can be with him. All of the couples pair off happily at graduation as the graduating class sings ("We'll Be Together"). The credits start rolling and just like in the earlier film, it's in the style of a yearbook.
- One of the first movie musical sequels since the Broadway Melody series of the 1920s, '30s and '40s.
- Patricia Birch was the dance choreographer for the original "Grease". Publicity for this sequel stated that it was the first time a female choreographer had become a film director. This movie was her directorial debut, and her only theatrical film directing credit.
- John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John met with the studio to discuss reprising their roles, but weren't pursued further after the initial conference.
- Jeff Conaway was originally going to have a cameo as the Bowling Alley Manager. The idea was scrapped.
- Originally planned to be the second installment in a franchise of four movies and a TV series. Once the movie flopped, plans for a franchise were thrown out.
- The film had a 58-day shooting schedule.
- Pamela Adlon was unable to complete filming because she was in a car accident on her way to the set midway through. Most of her scenes were already filmed, but stand-ins were used some scenes, such as the talent show sequence.
- Director Patricia Birch said the script wasn't complete by the time filming began, so she had to try her best to work with what she had.
- Director Patricia Birch said the movie was originally going to be titled "Son of Grease". Producers wanted something more straightforward, so it was switched to "Grease 2". Maxwell Caulfield tried hard to get it changed back, saying that "Grease 2" was a boring title.
- Several scenes were cut from the film, including: Frenchy trying to help Michael become a "cool rider", Michael talking to Stephanie and comforting her after the talent show, Goose accidentally slamming a door into Rhonda's nose, Davey helping Dolores stuff her bra at the luau so that she can be dating material for him, and a sequence at the very end where Michael and Stephanie fly off into the sunset on a motorcycle, similar to the ending of "Grease", where Danny and Sandy fly off into the sunset in a car.
- "Do It For Our Country" is a duet between Sharon and Louis. Maureen Teefy couldn't make it to the recording session, so Peter Frechette had to sing the whole song himself, which is why Maureen's vocals aren't on the movie's soundtrack. Her voice was dubbed in later.
- Annette Funicello was originally signed on to play Ms. Mason, but dropped out due to schedule conflicts.
- Eve Arden's last movie.
- Though the connection was never acknowledged in the movie, Johnny Nogerelli was originally intended to be the cousin of Danny Zuko from the first film. But Michael was Sandy's cousin, and the writers thought there were too many similarities.
- Andy Gibb was initially going to play the male lead, but he failed his screen test. Cher initially signed on to play Paulette Rebchuck, but backed out, complaining of a low salary and not having a finished script. Jennifer Beals signed on to play Sharon Cooper, but dropped out to play the lead character in "Flashdance".
- Deborah Harry was initially asked to play Stephanie Zinone. She declined, saying she was too old to be playing a high school student.
- Tom Cruise auditioned for the role of Johnny Nogerelli, but director Patricia Birch wanted someone older and taller.
- In a 2003 interview, Didi Conn explained why her character, Frenchy, disappeared halfway into the movie. She said the script was not finished when they began filming, but the draft they were using still included Frenchy. The character was written out during filming, and she was told halfway through that she was no longer needed. The filmmakers ultimately decided to include Frenchy in the final cut, though they had limited footage. Didi described the filming process as "rushed, frantic, and unorganized".
- Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield did not get along during filming. A few years after the film was released, Maxwell said in an interview that he and Michelle "got along infamously". Michelle stated in an interview that Maxwell was "self-adoring".
- Singer Kim Carnes was offered to play Stephanie Zinone, the female lead, but declined.
- Pat Benatar was considered for the role of Stephanie Zinone.
- Michelle Pfeiffer's first major starring role. Publicity for the movie described her as a "newcomer".
- Adrian Zmed played Danny Zuko in "Grease" on Broadway.
- The theatrical feature film debut for Lorna Luft, daughter of Judy Garland, and half-sister of Liza Minnelli'.
- Feature film debut for Peter Frechette as Louis DiMucci.
- Characters and actors who reprised their roles from "Grease" included Didi Conn as Frenchy, Eve Arden as Principal McGee, Dody Goodman as Blanche Hodel, the principal's assistant, Sid Caesar as Coach Calhoun, and Eddie Deezen as Eugene Felnic. Dick Patterson, who played Mr. Rudie in "Grease", plays Mr Spears. Dennis Stewart, who played Scorpions member Leo in "Grease", plays Balmudo (Leo Balmudo). A few of the Boy Greasers and Girl Greasers in Grease 2 also were dancers in Grease: Andy Tennant as Arnold (Artie), John Robert Garrett as Bubba (R.G.), Helena Andreyko as Trix (Trixie Andrews), Dennis Daniels as Bart, and Sandra Gray as Big G. (Sandi Green).
- Matt Lattanzi, playing Brad in this movie, had had a bit part in "Xanadu", where he met "Grease" star Olivia Newton-John. Whilst this sequel was being made, he was Olivia Newton-John's boyfriend. On "Xanadu", the two formed a romance which lead to marriage. According to internet sources, he cheated on her with their nanny, and they divorced in 1995.
- Two new teacher characters were both played by 1950s & 1960s movie idols Tab Hunter and Connie Stevens.
- The film had 500 cast members.
- The song, "Score Tonight," along with industry updates in mechanized scoring, revitalized the troubled bowling sport, bringing a new golden age to the game with young people across America. Prior to the movie's release, alleys across the country had been going out of business.
- Reportedly, Maxwell Caulfield won the lead male role over Shaun Cassidy, Greg Evigan, Andy Gibb, and Rick Springfield.
- Maxwell Caulfield in this movie has been described as a James Dean look-a-like. Dean was famous for playing a rebel in "Rebel Without a Cause".
- Christopher McDonald originally auditioned for the part of Johnny before being cast as Goose.
- Added trivia:
- William Clark, who played the uncredited Cycle Salvage Yard owner (G.E. Salva), was also a cameraman for Grease 2 under the name Bill Clark, setting up the first shots of Score Tonight, the very beginning when we see the pins get knocked down from the pin's POV.
- An uncredited Boy Greaser, identity unknown, was played by the late Michael David Eilert. -will add identity when found
- John Allee, who played the student that Coach Calhoun tossed the basketball to and declared he'd put high heels on his sneakers and make him a center, was the runner-up for the role of Davey Jaworski.
- Neither Jim Jacobs, Warren Casey or John Farrar were involved with the songs, instead they were written by Louis St. Louis, who contributed to the first film with the song Sandy (Song).
- Musical revivals including Grease 2 are discussed on Broadwaysted a podcast produced by the Broadway Podcast Network.