Dirty Dancing (1987) Poster

(1987)

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • While spending the summer with her family—father Dr Jake Houseman (Jerry Orbach), mother Marjorie (Kelly Bishop), and sister Lisa (Jane Brucker)—at a resort in upstate New York's Catskill Mountains, Frances "Baby" Houseman (Jennifer Grey) meets and falls in love with dirty dancer Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) and fills in for his partner, former Rockette Penny Johnson (Cynthia Rhodes), when Penny undergoes a botched abortion. When Baby's father finds out about her association with Johnny, he forbids her to see him anymore. Of course, Baby doesn't listen.

  • The movie is based on a script by American screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein, who based the story on her own experiences dirty dancing while vacationing in the Catskills with her family in the 1980s. It was followed by Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004) (2004). A reboot, also titled Dirty Dancing, is on the books, but no release date has been set.

  • Dirty dancing is a style of partner dancing that contains provocative movements with sexual overtones such as grinding and closeness.

  • First of all, the movie is set in 1963, when abortions could only be performed in certain cases such as rape and incest, neither of which applied to Penny. It wasn't until 1973 that the court case of Roe v. Wade legalized abortion (within limitations) as a matter of every pregnant woman's decision for herself, in the United States. Prior to 1973, abortions were performed illegally (in applicable states), often in unsanitary or unsafe conditions, and many women suffered the consequences, usually bleeding or infection. Penny was probably bleeding, because the problem occurred shortly after the operation. Also, several scenes later, Johnny and Baby discuss how, when someone (meaning Penny) was bleeding, Baby went to get her father's help.

  • Although he's been fired, Johnny returns to Kellerman's to perform the last dance of the season with Baby. To the song "The Time of My Life" (for which the film won an Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song), they go through their routine, cheered on by a wildly applauding audience. Johnny leaps off the stage and begins pulling the audience members onto the floor. Soon every one is dancing. Baby and Johnny begin walking toward the exit, but Dr Houseman stops them. He apologizes to Johnny for thinking him responsible for getting Penny pregnant and admits that he now knows the truth. He also assures Baby that she looked great on the stage. In the final scene, Johnny and Baby return to the dance floor together.

  • In a deleted scene on the 20th Anniversary Edition of Dirty Dancing, Baby and Johnnie are talking. Baby is asking questions about what happens next and worried about forces keeping them apart and fight to break them up and Johnnie says, "Then we fight harder", implying they were going to stay together and do whatever it took to make sure they could.

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