Dirty Dancing (1987) Poster



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The very famous scene where Johnny and Baby are practicing their dancing and they are crawling towards each other on the floor wasn't intended to be part of the film; they were just messing around and were warming up to do the real scene, but the director liked it so much he kept it in the film.
Patrick Swayze had to convince Jennifer Grey to be in this film, because she had disliked him so much while filming Red Dawn (1984).
In the scene where Johnny and Baby are practicing dancing, and she keeps laughing when he runs his arm down hers, it was not part of the scene; she was actually laughing and his frustration was genuine. They left it because it was effective. Her falling over in this scene was unplanned too.
During the scene where Baby and Johnny are dancing in the woods and later in the water - since that part of the movie was shot in October at Mountain Lake Virginia, which is when all the leaves on the trees start changing colors - the trees all around the lake and for that scene were spray-painted green due to the fact that the time frame of the movie was set in the summer. If you look closely during that scene in the woods, you can see leaves falling off the trees - this doesn't happen in the summer.
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.
While the exteriors and cabin scenes were filmed at Mountain Lake in Virginia, the lake scene was filmed at Lake Lure in North Carolina in October. There are no close-ups because the actors were so cold that their lips were blue.
The dancing that Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey do during the love scene was actually the same dance that they did for the screen tests. It was not originally supposed to be in the film.
In 1975, Jennifer Grey's father, Joel Grey, starred in a very short-lived Broadway musical, Goodtime Charley, about the son of Charlemegne. One of the ensemble dancers, according to the Playbill program for that show, was Patrick Swayze.
The song "She's Like The Wind" was co-written by Patrick Swayze with Stacy Widelitz and sung by Patrick Swayze.
The movie's line "Nobody puts Baby in the corner." was voted as the #98 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
According to a December 2008 interview with Dirty Dancing (1987) screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein, the characters of Baby and Johnny were both influenced by Bergstein's own biography. Like Baby Houseman, Bergstein came from a liberal Jewish family who visited Catskills resorts during the 1960s; her father was a doctor; she was nicknamed "Baby" until she was 22 years old; and her real first name was the same as a famous woman with strong ties to the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration (i.e., Eleanor Roosevelt). Like Johnny Castle, Bergstein was a skilled "dirty dancer" who learned at house parties and later became an Arthur Murray instructor.
Baby tells Johnny that her real name is "Frances, after the first woman in the cabinet." Frances C. Perkins was the U.S. Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1947. She was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his first term, and served throughout all four of his terms and two years into Harry Truman's presidency.
The book that Robbie tries to lend to Baby as an explanation for his refusal to help Penny is 'The Fountainhead' by Ayn Rand. Rand was the creator of a philosophy called Objectivism, which holds (among other beliefs) that it is more important for a person to be concerned with his or her own well-being rather than to try to help others. Some of her adherents (including, apparently, Robbie) interpret her books as justification for selfish and self-serving behavior and the disavowal of responsibility to others.
The song, "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", was voted #86 on the American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Songs.
The film was re-released in 1997 solely due to a petition led by late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien in which he asked viewers to send letters calling for the film's re-release. When exhibitors finally agreed, O'Brien joked that he actually didn't like the movie all that much.
Throughout the film, Johnny and Baby always wear contrasting colors: Baby wears very light colors, and Johnny wears black or something very dark.
Although it is never explicitly spelled out, the medical procedure for which Penny needs Baby's money is an illegal, back-alley abortion (the doctor is described as having only "a dirty knife and a folding table"). In 1963, when this movie is set, abortion was still illegal in the US.
Patrick Swayze was offered six million dollars to reprise his role as Johnny for a Dirty Dancing sequel. Swayze wasn't a fan of sequels and turned it down.
Lynn Lipton, the actress originally cast as Marjorie Houseman (Baby's mother) was replaced early in the filming with Kelly Bishop, who had originally been cast as Vivian Pressman (the "Bungalow Bunny"). Left without an actress to play Vivian, the producers cast Miranda Garrison, the film's assistant choreographer, in that role.
The love scene between Johnny and Baby during the "Cry to Me" sequence that was cut from the film is featured on the 20th anniversary DVD release in 2007.
Max Cantor played the role of Robbie Gould in the film. Max was the son of Broadway producer Arthur Cantor. They lived in the Dakota Apartments on West 72nd in NYC with John Lennon and other residents. Max attended Harvard University and died of a heroin overdose at the age of 32.
Val Kilmer was initially offered the lead but declined.
At the beginning of the film, it is said that Baby will attend Mount Holyoke College in the fall. Her namesake, Frances Perkins, was a graduate of Mount Holyoke, Class of 1902.
Voted #2 Must See Movie of all time by listeners of Capital FM in London.
Billy Zane told TMZ that he and Sarah Jessica Parker had auditioned for the leads.
A scene which Johnny is dancing with Baby in her bra, which was cut from the theatrical version, is in the deleted scenes on the special features on the 25th anniversary edition DVD.
Billy Zane was considered for the lead role, but he didn't dance well.
Kelly Bishop (Marjorie Houseman) is only 14 and 16 years older, respectively, than Jane Brucker and Jennifer Grey, who played her daughters.
The song "She's Like The Wind," originally written for Grandview, U.S.A. (1984), was later used in this movie instead.
Cynthia Rhodes (Penny Johnson) was the first to be cast.
In real life, Patrick Swayze and Jerry Orbach both died from cancer. In 2004, Jerry Orbach died from Prostate Cancer at age 69 and in 2009 Patrick Swayze died from pancreatic cancer at age 57.
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In 1974, Jennifer Grey's father, Joel Grey, starred in a musical, Goodtime Charley, which had a very short run on Broadway. Patrick Swayze was listed by Playbill as one of the ensemble dancers in the cast of this play.
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The "Cry to Me" love scene was voted "One of the sexiest movie moments in cinematic history".
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According to the book "The Catskills Alive" by Francine Silverman, Jackie Horner was the prototype for the Penny Johnson character.
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The original version of the Cry to Me love scene featured Jennifer Grey (Baby) nude. But Jennifer Grey appearing nude in the film, did not do well in test screenings and it was taken out of the film and it does not feature in the deleted scenes in the 2007 20th anniversary DVD and no footage can be found.
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In the "Cry to Me" love scene, Johnny is dressed in black and Baby is dressed in white.
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The "Cry to Me" love scene was longer and featured "She's Like The Wind" performed by Patrick Swayze (Johnny). The scene was cut and replaced by Johnny and Baby making love. The longer version of the "Cry to Me" love scene was featured in the deleted scenes on the 2007 20th anniversary special edition DVD release.
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The Kellerman's Anthem Theme tune is the same as the Alma Mater of Woodstown High School in Woodstown, NJ.
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Director Cameo 

Emile Ardolino:  At the scene right before Johnny goes in to the kitchen to get Penny.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In the last scene, on-screen Mom Kelly Bishop says of Baby's dancing, "I think she gets it from me." Not so fast, Mom! Bishop was a well-known Broadway singer and dancer, but on-screen dad Jerry Orbach began his career in Broadway musicals and the father of Jennifer Grey is Tony- and Oscar-winner Joel Grey. Their most famous Broadway musicals - 'A Chorus Line' for Bishop and 'Chicago' for Orbach - had a famous rivalry for box office receipts and awards when they opened within months of each other in 1975.
Dr. Ruth Westheimer was asked to play the role of Mrs. Schumacher, but turned it down when she realized the character was a thief.
Toward the end of the movie, Lisa, Mr. Kellerman, and several others sing an anthem to the Kellerman's resort ("Join hands and hearts and voices/ Voices, hearts and hands...") in the talent show. This song's lyrics were written for the movie, but the tune is a traditional one (known variously as "Amici" or "Annie Lisle") from the early 1800s that has been used as the basis for the alma maters for many well-known American universities, including Cornell University, The University of Alabama, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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