GREASE 2 has long been one of my favorite films. I’ve probably seen it more than any other film. Thanks to its never ending run on cable one summer, I wouldn’t be surprised if I have seen it over 100 times.
That said, there is one thing that has always bothered me about it. One question I have always had. And, I think I finally have an answer.
If you remember the film, and I’m sure you do, near the end, Michael (Maxwell Caulfield) is dressed as the “Cool Rider” and goes to pick up Stephanie (Michelle Pfeiffer) at the Talent Show. Instead, he is driven off by the T-Birds, chased down the street before going off the cliff.
What bothered me about this is:
What happened at the Talent Show?
Yet, when it comes to the talent show, none of the acts are saying “Where’s Michael?”
And, you can hear his piano during “Girl For All Seasons”. But, he is never seen.
Was Michael there? Did someone else play the piano?
After 100 times, this started to bother me.
The answer to what really happened can be found in a few different places.
There is a scene during the Luau, a crowd shot of the school around the pool. It lasts for only a second.
Since 95% of the viewings I had are from the panned and scanned TV print, where this is cut off, I never even noticed this. But, I just read this on the Grease2.net website. The site also mentions that Michael is one of those who is carrying Stephanie and Johnny into the pool. I don’t know about this one, as the one guy who looks like him is only on screen for less than a second.
Another bit of evidence comes again from the Grease2.net website again. They have stills from a deleted scene where Michael helps Stephanie off the stage after “Love Will Turn Back the Hands of Time”.
And, in the novelization, which is based on the screenplay before it was filmed, there is a scene where Michael approaches Stephanie backstage at the Talent Show and tries to tell her his real identity. She is too distraught from thinking Cool Rider is dead and ignores him. Later in the book but not in the film, Michael and Frenchie have a talk at the Luau.
So, Michael was intended to be alive the whole time.
I think that it was a very smart move to eliminate these scenes. There IS a bit of suspense thinking “Is Michael gone?” . Showing him backstage at the Talent Show makes his rising from the top of the Luau booth at the end less dramatic.
Another thank you to Grease2.net for pointing this out to me. They were a big help when I planned the Grease 2 25 Anniversary Blogathon a few years ago and continue to be the best GREASE 2 site on the web.