heartbroken, the (fictional) Sandy/Danny love story "ends"

So, my sister texted and said that Olivia Newton-John has passed away. Heartbreaking. She was Sandy in the movie Grease which was a film I grew up with (soundtrack, too), and it made a big impact on me, and also was endlessly entertaining as default/go-to VHS tape to pop into the VCR in the late-1980s. Adore that movie, forever.

It also beckons the old film theory/movie lore of the meaning behind the movie Grease, that of the Sandy character actually being "dead" in the film. Some call it the "Sandy's Dead Theory", and there's tons of stuff to support this interpretation, even though it was never confirmed to actually be the intention behind the writer/directer, or whatever.

In the beginning of the film, Danny (John Travolta) and Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) are standing on a beach. They are concerned they may not see each other again, because they were both on a vacation at the time, and would go back to their respective high schools after the vacation was over.

And now (as I do/don't recall) Danny may have been seen saving Sandy from drowning at the start of that scene. It's been years since I've seen the movie, so I am not 100% sure. Regardless, in the lyrics to "Summer Nights", they (Danny and Sandy) sing the lines:

Danny: I swam out there, she nearly drowned

Sandy: He showed up (bop bop) splashing around (bop bop)

Fucking really cool song. So, it's confirmed (despite my shite memory) that he saved her.

The overarching "theory" (or why Sandy could be "dead", and what the purpose behind that would be) is:

Sandy is a conservative girl who (theoretically) had dreams of being a/the "bad girl" in high school. A wish to be more "edgy", and do away with her innocent persona.

By the end of the movie, Sandy becomes this edgy girl, is dressed in head-to-toe spandex, while she sings/dances in a koy manner while "bossing around" Danny at the carnival.

Dream fulfilled, eh?

But then, at the end of the movie, final scene/final clip, when Sandy and Danny are driving away from the carnival (or Homecoming, or whatever) the car they are in begins to ascend (some believing they are ascending to heaven, and that Danny was a sort of "guardian angel" all along, there to make sure that Sandy's dream came true).

And (not that this part of the theory was mentioned in any other thing written about online (that I saw), but...) there is a line at the very end of the movie, with the "Kenickie" character, the "beauty school dropout character" (blanking on the character's name), and one of the "T-Birds" (whichever random character it was), that was something like (paraphrasing):

Beauty school dropout character: "this is so sad, we'll never see each other again"

Keneckie: "don't worry, this is only the beginning"

Random T-Bird: "how do you know?!"

Keneckie: (shoving the T-Bird character) "What do you mean 'how do I know?'"

The insuation in this scene (or theroetical insinuation, from what I gather) is the dogmatic belief that when one dies, they part ways from the Earth, but then later meet and spend eternity in heaven - so, they see each other again.

Certainly a lot of religious/dogmatic bits and bobs to bite off and assume to be true to go along with this film theory, but it makes the whole movie more interesting.

RIP ONJ, love forever

Subscribe to from the desk of TMO

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
jamie@example.com
Subscribe