Release year: 1987
Director: Emile Ardolino
Screenwriter: Eleanor Bergstein
Starring: Jennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes, Jack Weston, Kelly Bishop, Lonny Price, Jane Brucker
Ratings: 1 Oscar: Best Original Song. 1 Golden Globe: Best Original Song. 3 Golden Globe nominations: Best Comedy/Musical, Best Actress Comedy/Musical (Jennifer Grey), Best Actor Comedy/Musical (Patrick Swayze).
It’s 1963 and ‘Baby’ Housemann (Jennifer Grey) is spending the summer with her family at a Catskills resort. What looks to be a boring summer is brightened when she meets the place’s dance instructor Johnny (Patrick Swayze).
If you are a woman and was young in the 1980s, there’s a good chance you at some point had a crush on Patrick Swayze (Ghost, 1990) as Johnny in this incredible kitsch dance movie. Blessed by one of the best soundtracks ever and with sparkling chemistry between Swayze and Grey (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986) Dirty Dancing swayed its way into the hearts of just about everyone of its time. A small low-budget movie it was sleeper hit that grew into something of a phenomena with several dance schools offering lections in ‘Dirty Dancing’ and the music and dance is undoubtly the biggest reason this was as succesful as it was. There are several unconvincing acting in the movie and the dialogue is often toe cringingly bad, but the dancing is excellent. Swayze makes the best of his dancing background and the growing romance happening during the dance lesson is truly touching. Despite the poor script this still holds as a romance due to the two leads, the wonderful music and the irresistable urge to learn dancing it awakes. Nostalgic and wonderfully cheesy.
Two famous scenes were not scripted. The scene where Swayze and Grey crawls towards each other were just them goofing around, warming up to the scene. The scene where Baby keeps laughing when Johnny runs his finger down her side because it tickles were actually several attempts to film the scene and Swayze annoyed look is genuine.
Picture copyright: Vestron Pictures