Sandy will always have pride of place above my bed in my childhood home where in my imagination I went to Rydell High and other cool schools.
Because we all know that the sole purpose of school is to get into trouble and get the girl.
And Sandy, aka the dearly departed Olivia Newton-John, was every schoolboy’s dream in 1978.
What tales those walls at the Venice High School could tell, though Greaseheads already know where the real Danny and Sandy live…
In Radnor High School, Delaware County where director Randall Kleiser was schooled.
From Cumbernauld to Springfield
British education in the Seventies were a little less cool, more Gregory’s Girl and Grange Hill than Rydell or Ridgemont High.
Gregory’s Girl bucked the sassier American school film model with a quintessentially Scottish geeky innocent homespun charm.
And it put a new town on the map… what’s it called? Cumbernauld.
It’s hard too to countenance from the 2020s just how threatening Landin boys Tucker Jenkins and his pals seemed to Seventies parents.
It actually all went off (in truth just fat ties not buttoned up) in the site of St Audrey’s School, Hatfield, Hertfordshire outside London.
Of course class-ridden Britain is defined by its private/boarding schools and comps.
JK Rowling’s world is very much the entitled one… magic, yes, if you have the money.
You can see Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Great Hall too in Hertfordshire at the Warner Studios’ Harry Potter tour.
And while that is more film set, obvs for the whole world Universal’s Harry Potter World is where it’s at.
Side by side with The Simpsons’ Springfield Elementary School… now that is magic.
My, my American Pie
There are those, of course, who have dipped their toes in both, private and comp, most famously Inbetweeners’ Will.
And there and American Pie’s East Great Falls High were more akin to me and my pals than even our school.
Complete with bullshitter… I was more Simon.
The Inbetweeners’ Ruislip High, London in fairness probably would get you down.
While East Grand High, Michigan and a lakeside beach nearby and Tara is far more alluring.
Now while, of course, East Grand High remains closed to everyone but the other Jim and his pals…
My American high
This Jim though did have his day in an American school when I was invited to spend time in my cousin Eddie’s NY school.
One day was enough to bewilder my new classmates who thought I was from Mars after I opened my mouth.
But even Martians have their admirers (exotic, you see) and a couple of girls took a shine to me.
Not that Eddie told me, saying after that he was only being protective. Thanks Ed.
A would happen Ed’s brother Danny would make a name for himself in John Adams High School, or after school, or back in school (bear with me).
And another Danny
Mind you Grease had already shown California must be the best place to go to school.
Because it’s the home of Rydell High and other cool schools.