I used to spend my summers as a kid in North Dakota. My family is from there so I had many relatives to hang out with. I went to a lot of movies the summer of 1987 with my cousin Kevin. My favorite movie out of all the ones we watched that summer was La Bamba. I loved the music and the sad story. My cousin Kevin’s favorite of the summer was Dirty Dancing, I think also because of the music. I think we saw both of these movies the week they were released. (There’s not much to do in North Dakota.) It turns out that Dirty Dancing became a big hit that summer. Groovy.
Dirty Dancing, in case you’ve been living under a rock, is about Baby (played by Jennifer Grey) who goes with her family to some fancy snotty resort for the summer. She falls for Johnny (played by Patrick Swayze), the dance instructor bad boy at the resort. They dance all proper during the day, but the dirty nasty dancing happens at night. Sexy. There’s an illegal abortion and Baby’s daddy thinks Johnny is the father. Stupid soap opera stuff like that. I love the sweet relationship between Johnny and Baby. I remember laughing at Baby’s stupid older sister. She played dumb really well. The movie has a lot of great music, dancing, and Patrick Swayze’s hot body.
- In the scene where Baby keeps laughing when Johnny runs his arm down hers was real. Jennifer Grey was actually laughing and Patrick Swayze was really pissed. It was kept in because it was so realistic.
- The dancing that Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze do during the love scene was the same dance they did for the screen test. It wasn’t originally going to be in the movie.
- The scene where Johnny and Baby are crawling towards each other on the floor also wasn’t originally part of the movie. They were just messing around, but the director liked it and kept it in the movie.
- Jennifer Grey was not happy when she learned that Patrick Swayze had won the role of Johnny. I guess they didn’t get along when they worked together in Red Dawn. Apparently they worked everything out.
- Val Kilmer was offered the lead role but turned it down. Gross.
- Billy Zane was considered for the lead role but he sucked at dancing.
- Sarah Jessica Parker auditioned for the role of Baby.
- Jennifer Grey was 10 years older than the character she was portraying.
- She’s Like the Wind was written and performed by Patrick Swayze. It was originally written for the suckfest movie Grandview, U.S.A.
- The choreographer of this movie, Kenny Ortega, went on to direct High School Musical.
- There are no close ups when Baby & Johnny are practicing at the lake because it was so cold that the actor’s lips were blue.
- Max Cantor, who played Robbie, died of a heroin overdose when he was 32.
- The crew only had two weeks to rehearse and only 44 days to film.
The movie was one of those surprise hits. It was a low budget film with not a lot of time to rehearse or shoot. The weather didn’t cooperate with them. Seems like it was way too hot (over 100) or super cold. The reviews were bad. Roger Ebert gave it a thumbs down saying it had an idiot plot. Hey Roger, you’re an idiot! The plan for Dirty Dancing was to release the movie for a weekend in the theaters and then send it straight to video. Way to be positive, people. It turned out to be a huge hit, earning over $214 million worldwide.
Jennifer Grey had a nose job in the early 90’s that made her unrecognizable to many, including myself. She was on Friends and even though I had seen her episode many times, I never realized it was her until I read about it somewhere. She won Dancing with the Stars at the age of 50. That was pretty cool. Grey also was on the TV show Red Oaks from 2014-2017. So, it appears she’s keeping busy.
Patrick Swayze continued on with more success than his co-star after Dirty Dancing. One of his biggest films was Ghost with Demi Moore in 1990. Sadly, he was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in January 2008. He fought hard but lost the fight on September 14, 2009. I loved the way he looked. His face wasn’t movie star handsome, but it was gorgeously unique. His body was perfection. I hope there’s a lot of dirty dancing going on wherever he is…..and I hope he’s naked.
The dance scene at the end of the movie is my favorite. I love the excitement of the music and the hips of Patrick Swayze. I love the sweet smile on Jennifer Grey’s face. It all makes me want to dance. It’s a sweet feel good movie that makes you smile. Nobody puts Baby in a corner, bitches.