No, not a remake with the cast from Glee. Tomorrow night is sing-a-long night at the Heart of Hawick for this 70s classic of 50s high school schmaltz. So much more fun than a Sound Of Music reunion gig.
The movie stands up brilliantly. What might have seemed an obvious pastiche, with the most famous star of the time, after his rave debut in Saturday Night Fever, and a pretty Australian singer with less acting experience than Kylie Minogue, looks now like the perfect antidote to High School Musical.
The songs are fly away light, with lyrics (“Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee”, “Beauty school drop out”, “You’re the one I want”) that stick to your windscreen at the drive-in like bubble gum hearts. The guys wear leather jackets, collars up, and the chicks wear foxy outfits that extenuate the positive.
The high school principal (wonderful Eve Arden) is way past caring and can’t even pretend that the kids are alright. The prom at the end, filmed live on TV for National Bandstand, is a supreme chaotic dance off. Control? What control? The music for the evening is provided by Johnny Casino & The Gamblers who play bad covers of rock’n’roll hits. It’s hopelessly right in every area of teenage dysfunction.
John Travolta’s walk is so camp, it’s champ, and Olivia Newton-John’s innocence makes Bambi look too cool for school. No drugs, no tops off, no gang bangs, only good natured antagonism towards authority, snogging in the back seat and a chicken run like the one in Rebel Without A Cause.
Nostalgia buffs will blaze in glory. The T-Birds and Pink Ladies are back at Rydell High. Get down there and celebrate!