omg: ‘Grease’ sing-a-long opens today in select U.S. cities

Oh wow! When Grease was rereleased back in 1998 it was such a blast to see this movie in a theater with a big crowd of totally amped-up fans: everyone knew the movie by heart and everyone sang along out loud and had a blast. And all without any prompting from the screen. Which is what you will get in the official Grease Sing-A-Long opening today in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Ocala, Orlando, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle, and San Francisco. (See the official site to demand showings in your town.) That is, you’ll get pretty popup lyrics bouncing along at the bottom of the screen, in case you don’t have the words down by heart:

And if you do have the film memorized and the lyrics down by heart, something might look a little fishy in that trailer. Two somethings, at a minimum:

The chicks’ll what now?

Hmm, why does it look like Sandy wants to be holding something up to her lips there?

Hopefully these little bits of censorship are for the trailer only, and are not reflected in the film. That would be a shame. I’m sure it’ll still be absolutely as much fun to sing along to expurgated lyrics. This kind of thing remains one of the very few cinematic experiences you simply cannot replicate at home, unless you want to cram 500 total strangers into your living room. Which I don’t recommend.

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Ken Patterson
Thu, Jul 08, 2010 8:23pm

The censoring is apparently just in the trailer. The question is: Why didn’t they just edit together a trailer without scenes of smoking in them, instead of painting them out?

Fri, Jul 09, 2010 1:52am

The censoring reminds me of Christopher Walken on SNL a few years back, where he’d get more and more ridiculous with each dirty lyric he’d have to change.

“That’s dirty.”

Found the video!

Fri, Jul 09, 2010 8:47am

This sounds like the worst kind of torture to me. When I heard Grease would be in theaters I thought it was a re-make or something. Ugh.

Fri, Jul 09, 2010 9:10am

Presumably, markyd, the rerelease is not geared toward those who hate the film. :->

Fri, Jul 09, 2010 11:13am

that last time i saw the film in the theatre (and i didn’t think it was ’98, but a year or so earlier…), when it just seemed the audience participation was so spontaneous, was one of the best times i ever had at a movie. everyone from grandparents to little kids singing along and just having a great time. i think that kicked off the Sound of Music sing-a-longs that came after… but that never seemed as carefree and fun — too organized, i thought. this seems even more regimented and rigid (really, no cigarettes in the trailer? if they do that in the film, it will be really, really odd. like taking the guns away from the government men in ET. grrrrr.)

Sat, Jul 10, 2010 12:23am

So I just actually watched the trailer and I was pleased to note two things about the censorship:

1. In the cream/scream lyric discrepancy, while the subtitles had it wrong, there was no attempt to fuzz out the words of the song being sung – it’s clearly “cream” in the audio.

2. In the scene of the disappearing cigarette, the shot where the cig. would have been was just a nanosecond blip – they wanted to show Sandy walking in in the slinky outfit, and needed it to last for x number of seconds to get the rhythm of the preview right, which required the cut to include a sec. with the cig.

I can imagine the makers of the preview having this conversation: “OK, if we talk about chicks creaming and show an underage girl smoking a cigarette, we won’t be able to show the clip during the day or on prime time. But we want a new generation of teens to find and love this movie. What should we do?” And the Marketing Expert says “Well, boss, let’s just bowdlerize the preview — then once the kids are there, it’s all good.” So the censorship is actually subversive!