John Travolta celebrates 40th anniversary of Grease at Cannes

Travolta was the guest of honour at a beach screening of the musical at the film festival.

John Travolta donned a denim jacket and Danny Zuko's black T-shirt to attend an anniversary screening of his 1978 classic Grease in Cannes on Wednesday (17May18).

Travolta was guest of honour at a beach screening of the musical at Cinema de la Plage during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival, and attended alongside wife Kelly Preston and their son Benjamin, seven.

Dressed in tight black jeans, the 64-year-old actor introduced the movie with festival head Thierry Fremaux and Grease director Randal Kleiser to mark its 40th anniversary.

“There were 1,000 people singing every line with Travolta as they watched on the beach. It was like karaoke,” said one the festival guests. “People were wrapped in blankets. Travolta was having the best time.”

The handsome actor became a star overnight thanks to his role in the award-winning '50s romantic comedy, which charted the star-crossed relationship of high school sweethearts Danny and Sandy Olsson, played by Australian singer Olivia Newton-John. The movie, which became a global box office hit, also starred Stockard Channing as Rizzo, and Jeff Conaway as Kenickie.

At a Cannes festival masterclass earlier this week, the Saturday Night Fever star shared how Sicario actor and Un Certain Regard juror Benicio Del Toro told him that he watched Grease 14 times as a kid.

"Benicio has this gravitas and power as an actor that you never really associate that Grease would be the thing that created Benicio Del Toro," Travolta mused.

Travolta has had a busy week at the festival, with the screening coming the day after he unveiled his new film Gotti, directed by Kevin Connolly of HBO's Entourage, at a black-tie Cannes Film Festival premiere. After that, he was honoured with Variety’s first Cinema Icon Award at a party on Tuesday night at the Hotel du Cap in Cap d’Antibes.

However, reviews of Gotti so far have been less of a cause for celebration.

"It’s not only that the film is pretty terrible: poorly written, devoid of tension, ridiculous in spots and just plain dull in others," slammed The Hollywood Reporter's film critic.

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