Welcome to Sydney on Screen, the ultimate blog on Sydney's film world!
Haven't we all at some point in time fantasized about stepping through a cinema/TV screen and into the world of our favourite movies and television shows? I certainly have!
With its modern, urban setting and stunning harbour, it is easy to see why Sydney leads the way as an ideal and versatile shooting destination. Movies shot here have been set in New York (Godzilla: Final Wars, Kangaroo Jack), Chicago (The Matrix and sequels), London (Birthday Girl), Seville (Mission Impossible 2), Bombay (Holy Smoke), Darwin (Australia), Myanmar (Stealth), Mars (Red Planet) and the fictitious city of Metropolis (Superman Returns, Babe: Pig in the City).
Whether popular landmarks or off the beaten track locations that are often hard to find, you can now explore Sydney in a fun and unique way with the SYDNEY ON SCREEN walking guides. Catering to Sydneysiders as much as visitors, the guides have something to offer everyone, from history, architecture and movie buffs to nature lovers.
See where productions such as Superman Returns, The Matrix and sequels, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Candy, Mission Impossible 2, Mao's Last Dancer, Babe: Pig in the City, Kangaroo Jack, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Muriel's Wedding, The Bold and the Beautiful, Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure and many more were filmed.
Maps and up-to-date information on Sydney's attractions are provided to help you plan your walk. Pick and choose from the suggested itinerary to see as little or as much of the city as you like.
So, come and discover the landscapes and locations that draw filmmakers to magical Sydney, and walk in the footsteps of the stars!
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Grease at 35: We look at where the film's stars are now
Newton-John, John Travolta and co-stars in the 1978 hit Grease. Picture:
Supplied Source: Supplied
Vicky Roach, The Daily Telegraph, reports
deconstructed Madonna, before Chicago wiped the floor with the Oscars, Grease
was the word.
The popular 50s musical might not have bagged any major awards when it
was released on June 16, 1978.
But right from the beginning, the surprisingly raunchy John
Travolta/Olivia Newton-John star vehicle was a bona fide crowd-pleaser.
Made for just $6 million, Randal Kleiser's film has taken almost $400
million at the international box office.
In the US, it sang and danced its way to a staggering $188 million,
making it the highest grossing musical of all time. (Les Miserables, by
comparison, took $148 million. And Mamma Mia, $144 million.)
Unlike many of its contemporaries, Grease has exhibited extraordinary
staying power - spawning its own special barbie doll collection, which is still
available online, a singalong version and countless stage revivals over the
last three decades.
Rehearsals start on a new Australian production, which will see former
Idol contestant Rob Mills don the leather T-Birds jacket, in July.
The soundtrack featured two Billboard number-one hits - Grease, written
by Barry Gibb and sung by Frankie Valli, who had no other connection to the
film, and You're the One That I Want, sung by Travolta and Newton-John.
The Academy Award-nominated Hopelessly Devoted to You made it to No 3.
Then and now: Stockard Channing who played Rizzo in the 1978 film and
won an Emmy in 2002 for her role as Abbey Bartlett in The West Wing. Pictures:
When the three-time Emmy winner lost the role of Lois Lane to Margot
Kidder in the 1978 version of Superman, starring Christopher Reeve, it
turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Grease, the fifth most
profitable movie of all time, was released the same year. Channing, who was 33
when she was cast as the sharp-tongued Betty Rizzo, might have been the world's
oldest teenager, but that didn't stop her stealing every scene she appeared in.
More than 20 years after that career-making performance, the actor - born Susan
Stockard - made a similarly indelible impression as First Lady Abbey Bartlet in
The West Wing. Channing, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in
the Fred Schepisi film Six Degrees of Separation, can currently be seen
as Julianna Margulies' wayward mother in The Good Wife.
Jeff Conaway starred as T-Bird bad boy Kenickie in the 1978 film. Pictures:
Conaway, who played bad boy T-Bird Kenickie in the film, died in May
2011. According to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office, his death was
caused by a number of conditions, including coronary artery disease and
pneumonia. The actor's struggle with drug and alcohol addiction was documented
in the US reality television series Celebrity Rehab (2008). Also known
for his role as a struggling actor in Taxi, Conaway was part of the
original cast of the Broadway production of Grease, eventually stepping
into the lead role of Danny Zuko. Travolta later joined the show as a chorus
member. The pecking order was reversed on screen. The filmmakers asked 1.87m
Conaway to stoop so that the 1.88m Travolta would appear taller. And in the stage
version, the song Greased Lightning was sung by Kenickie. Travolta used
his clout to have Zuko sing it in the film.
Didi Conn as a beauty school dropout and more recently in 2010.
The beauty school dropout's distinctive, childlike voice is one of her
trademarks - Conn was the voice of Raggedy Ann in the 1977 animated feature, Raggedy
Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure. The Brooklyn native lives outside New
York City with her second husband, Broadway and film composer David Shire. Conn
considers Grease and Grease 2 to be personal high-water marks.
She named her son after leading man Danny Zuko. He was diagnosed with autism as
a toddler. Later Conn became a celebrity spokesman for advocacy organisation
Autism Speaks. To coincide with the 20th anniversary re-release of Grease
in 1998, she published a memoir, Frenchy's Grease Scrapbook. "I
hired two secretaries, went to Radio Shack and got a tape recorder," she
says. "I got to reconnect with everybody. It was like no time had gone
by." Most recently, Conn has appeared as a nurse on Law & Order:
Special Victims Unit.
Pink Lady Jamie Donnelly seen in the film in 1978 and pictured with her
family in 1998. Pictures: Supplied/Getty
Donnelly also played the role of Pink Lady Jan on Broadway. And she
originated The Rocky Horror Show's Magenta/Usherette on stage with Tim
Curry and Meat Loaf. Donnelly recently appeared in the Duplass Brothers comedy Cyrus
with John C Reilly, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei. She also had a small role in
the TV series Monk.
Annette Cardona, credited as Annette Charles played Danny zuko's ex in
the film. Pictures: Supplied/Getty
Credited as Annette Charles, Cardona was the only performer who could
match John Travolta on the dance floor. In the electric, bad girl role of Cha
Cha DiGregorio, Danny Zucko's ex from the rival high school, the
Mexican-Sicilian performer had all the right moves. A seasoned dancer, singer
and actor, Cardona appeared in a number of iconic 70s and 80s TV series,
including The Bionic Woman, The Incredible Hulk and Magnum PI,
before retraining to become a professor of speech communications at California
State University, Northridge. Although she was not a smoker, Cardona died of
lung cancer in 2011.
Olivia Newton-John as last year named a National Living Treasure.
Livvie was offered the role of Sandy Olsson after meeting producer Allan
Carr at a dinner party at Helen Reddy's home. Worried that she was too old to
play a high school senior (she turned 29 during filming), the four-time Grammy
winner insisted on a screen test with co-star John Travolta, who was almost six
years her junior. Newton-John had to be sewn into the trousers she wears in the
final sequence in which she is transformed from circular skirt-wearing
goody-two-shoes into a lycra-clad vamp. Most recently, the singer-turned-actor
revealed considerable comedic chops as the cocaine-snorting, champagne swilling
mother of the bride in Stephan Elliot's broad Aussie comedy A Few Best Men,
co-starring Xavier Samuel and Kris Marshall. Last year, she and Travolta
reunited for a new album, This Christmas. The singer, a breast cancer
survivor herself, postponed a planned Las Vegas residency in April when her
late sister, Rona, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour.
John Travolta then with Olivia Newton-John and now with wife Kelly
Preston. Pictures: Supplied/AFP
Travolta, a high school dropout himself, successfully swaggered his way
through the 70s in a string of custom-made roles - Welcome Back, Kotter's
Vinnie Barbarino, Saturday Night Fever's Tony Manero and Grease's
Danny Zuko. He lost his mojo in the 1980s, which saw him struggle through a
forgettable run of light comedies and telemovies. But with the help of Quentin
Tarantino's groundbreaking 1994 crime drama Pulp Fiction, Travolta made
the comeback of all comebacks as sympathetic hitman Vincent Vega. Since then,
he has created a string of memorable characters, such as Hairspray's
Edna Turnblad, and Get Shorty's Chili Palmer, for which he won a Golden
Globe. Travolta recently finished filming the action thriller Killing Season
with Robert De Niro. Next, he will play mobster John Gotti. Real-life partner
Kelly Preston has been cast as on-screen wife Victoria.