A piece of pop culture can mark a paradigm shift, even when it has no idea it’s doing so.
(The lack of calculation is part of why the paradigm shifts.) That’s what happened in the summer of 1978, when the movie version of “Grease” came out.
It ruled the way that “Saturday Night Fever” had just six months before, with the electric presence of John Travolta fueling both films.
But “Saturday Night Fever” was a fiery and galvanic movie in a way that no one could miss.
It was like disco Scorsese, with an unruly street vibe, some of the greatest songs — and dancing — ever to appear in a Hollywood film, and a performance by Travolta that was so extraordinary in its authenticity that it just about jumped off the screen.
It was close to a great movie, and no one’s idea of a guilty pleasure.“Grease,” on the other hand,
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