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Dirty Dancing (1987)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Music, Romance  |  21 August 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 129,948 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 396 user | 86 critic | 20 from

Spending the summer in a holiday camp with her family, Frances "Baby" Houseman falls in love with the camp's dance instructor Johnny Castle.


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Title: Dirty Dancing (1987)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Max Cantor ...
Charles 'Honi' Coles ...
Tito Suarez (as Charles Honi Coles)
'Cousin Brucie' Morrow ...
Paula Trueman ...
Alvin Myerovich ...


In 1963, Frances "Baby" Houseman, a sweet daddy's girl, goes with her family to a resort in upstate New York's Catskill Mountains. Baby has grown up in privileged surroundings and all expect her to go on to college, join the Peace Corps and save the world before marrying a doctor, just like her father. Unexpectedly, Baby becomes infatuated with the camp's dance instructor, Johnny Castle, a man whose background is vastly different from her own. Baby lies to her father to get money to pay for an illegal abortion for Johnny's dance partner. She then fills in as Johnny's dance partner and it is as he is teaching her the dance routine that they fall in love. It all comes apart when Johnny's friend falls seriously ill after her abortion and Baby gets her father, who saves the girl's life. He then learns what Baby has been up to, who with and worse - that he funded the illegal abortion. He bans his daughter from any further association with "those people". In the first deliberately willful ... Written by Amanda W, amended by Linda C.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


First dance. First love. The time of your life. See more »


Drama | Music | Romance


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 August 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dirty Dancing  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$162,378 (USA) (22 August 1997)


$63,892,689 (USA) (12 September 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(re-release)| (re-release)| (original release)| (re-release)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jennifer Grey, at 27, was 10 years older than the character of Baby. During her audition, she had 5 minutes to prove she could play younger, and that she had the moves for the role. See more »


When Baby is painting the "end of the season" show's set, their is no paint on her brush which looks clean and unused. See more »


[first lines]
Radio disc jockey: [on radio] Hi, everybody, this is your Cousin Brucie. Whoa! Our summer romances are in full bloom, and everybody, but everybody's in love. So cousins, here's a great song from The Four Seasons.
Baby: [voiceover] That was the summer of 1963 - when everybody called me Baby, and it didn't occur to me to mind. That was before President Kennedy was shot, before the Beatles came, when I couldn't wait to join the Peace Corps, and I thought I'd never find a guy as great as my dad. That was the ...
See more »


Referenced in Grey's Anatomy: Support System (2012) See more »


Written by Erich Bulling, John D'Andrea, and Michael Lloyd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Repeated viewings reveal a well crafted story
4 March 2001 | by See all my reviews

When this film was released I dismissed as being lightweight pop nonsense. That was a mistake.

After repeated viewings and seeing a documentary of the making of DIRTY DANCING, discovering the depth of this film certainly increases its appeal.

DIRTY DANCING is a film about change. The evolving nature of relationships within the family, the changes in one's view of the world during their coming of age, etc. The story takes place during August of 1963, the final weeks of the last summer of innocence for the American people. The many personal changes experienced by the characters reflect the many changes in American society that would be marked by the Kennedy assassinations and Vietnam.

Female movie go'ers adored this film and repeated trips to the movie houses made it the world's most successful dance movie. As a male I find the romantic pairing of ultimate stud Patrick Swayze with very plain Jennifer Grey very hard to accept. This would be fatal for most romantic dramas, and it also may have create the intense dislike expressed by most male reviewers.

The film's soundtrack found #1 status before the release of the movie. To this day it is nearly impossible to attend a wedding reception without hearing a DIRTY DANCING song.

Near the midpoint of the film Baby's mother wakes up and asks Baby's father, "Is anything wrong?"

Baby's father, the anti-change family member, attempts to keep all that is happening a secret. He tells his wife to go back to sleep. However, resist as one can, change is unstopable. DIRTY DANCING is the story of one person waking up just at the final moments of our country's last sleep in innocence.

65 of 121 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Abortion? Why not a sprained ankle? Or broken leg? conker203
The old abortion ways DonnaLevin
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70's and 80's music ruins the movie. kwanfan10
Robbie should have been fired! swtdelt
Deleted scene provides 'rationale' for Dr. Houseman not liking Johnny jrails
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