Patrick Swayze had to convince Jennifer Grey to be in this film because she disliked him so much while filming Red Dawn (1984).
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Patrick Swayze was offered $6 million to reprise Johnny for a sequel. Swayze wasn't a fan of sequels and turned it down.
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Patrick Swayze insisted on doing his stunts. During the log scene, he kept on falling off the log and injured his knee so badly he had to have fluid drained from the swelling.
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The dancing that Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey do during the love scene was the same dance that they did for the screentests. It was not originally supposed to be in the film.
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Relations between the two main stars varied throughout production. They had already had trouble getting along in their previous project, Red Dawn (1984), and worked things out enough to have an extremely positive screen-test. Still, that initial cooperation soon faded, and they were quickly "facing off" before every scene. There was concern among the production staff that the animosity between the two stars would endanger the filming of the love scenes. To address this, Eleanor Bergstein and Emile Ardolino forced the stars to re-watch their initial screen-tests, the ones with the "breathtaking" chemistry. This had the desired effect, and Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey were able to return to the film with renewed energy and enthusiasm.
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The Pembroke, Virginia resort where many Kellerman's scenes were filmed hosts three Dirty Dancing-themed weekends a year, including dinners, a sock hop, a screening of the movie, a watermelon toss, group dance lessons, and a Dirty Dancing scavenger hunt are just some of the many activities on the agenda.
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Johnny Castle was originally an Italian. This was changed when Patrick Swayze was cast.
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Jennifer Grey, at twenty-seven, was eight years older than the character of Baby. During her audition, she had five minutes to prove she could play younger and had the moves for the role.
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The song "She's Like The Wind" was co-written by Patrick Swayze with Stacy Widelitz and sung by Patrick Swayze.
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In an interview with AFI, Swayze explained why he thought Dirty Dancing endured for so long. "It's got so much heart, to me," he said. "It's not about the sensuality; it's really about people trying to find themselves, this young dance instructor feeling like he's nothing but a product, and this young girl trying to find out who she is in a society of restrictions when she has such an amazing take on things."
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Jennifer Grey was about to embark on a publicity tour to promote this movie when she and her then-boyfriend Matthew Broderick were involved in a head-on collision in their rental car in Ireland, in which a mother and daughter died in August 1987.
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Director Emile Ardolino only wanted experienced dancers in the film, to avoid the problems of using dance doubles, which occurred in Flashdance (1983).
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The part of Baby's mother was given initially to Lynne Lipton, who is briefly visible in the beginning, when the Houseman family first pulls into Kellerman's (she is in the front seat for a few seconds; her blonde hair is the only indication), but she became ill during the first week of shooting and was replaced by Kelly Bishop, who had already been cast to play Vivian Pressman, the highly sexed resort guest. Bishop moved into the role of Mrs. Houseman, and the film's assistant choreographer Miranda Garrison took on the part of Vivian.
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According to a December 2008 interview with screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein, the characters of Baby and Johnny were both influenced by Bergstein's 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 (Eleanor Roosevelt). Like Johnny Castle, Bergstein was a skilled "dirty dancer" who learned at house parties and later became an Arthur Murray instructor.
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Rehearsals quickly became disco parties involving nearly every cast member, even non-dancers such as Jack Weston. The dancing and drinking went on almost non-stop, and, immersed in the environment, the lead actors and actresses began identifying with their characters. Eleanor Bergstein built upon this, encouraging the actors and actresses to improvise in their scenes. She also created sexual tension by saying that no matter how intimate or "grinding" the dance steps, none of the dancers were to have any other kind of physical contact with each other for the next six months.
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Patrick Swayze wore a girdle to look thinner and younger.
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Throughout the film, Johnny and Baby always wear contrasting colors: Baby wears very light colors, and Johnny wears black or something very dark.
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The song "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" was voted #86 on the American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Songs.
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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 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.
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The crew had to make up Cynthia Rhodes to look worse during the agony scene because she was too beautiful without make-up to look convincing.
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The "Cry to Me" love scene has been voted one of the sexiest movie moments in cinematic history.
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When Johnny (Patrick Swayze ) is dancing with Penny (Cynthia Rhodes), she is wearing a custom-made red dress that crisscrossed in the back. Swayze kept getting his fingers stuck.
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In a 2006 interview with The Guardian, Eleanor Bergstein talked about the movie's popularity with people in the former Eastern Bloc. "And in Russia, it's a policy in the battered women's shelters, when a woman comes in for help. First, they wash and dress her wounds, and then give her soup. Then they sit her down and show her Dirty Dancing. When the Berlin Wall came down, there were all these pictures of kids wearing Dirty Dancing t-shirts; they said, 'We want to have what they have in the West! We want Dirty Dancing!'"
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In 1975, Jennifer Grey's father, Joel Grey, starred in a very short-lived Broadway musical, Goodtime Charley, about the son of Charlemagne. One of the ensemble dancers, according to the Playbill program for that show, was Patrick Swayze.
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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.
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On a television talk show segment featuring brothers of famous actors, Patrick Swayze's brother, Don, said Patrick was a much better dancer than shown in the film. Since the character of Johnny Castle wasn't a professional, Patrick's having to tone down his moves was understandable.
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First film to sell a million copies on home video.
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Bill Medley told Songfacts that when he was hired to sing for the film, he thought it sounded like a bad porno.
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The tight schedule allowed only two weeks for rehearsal. Filming began on September 5, 1986 and ended on October 19, 1986 after 1 month, 6 weeks or 44 days of filming.
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Patrick Swayze and Cynthia Rhodes previously worked together in the music video for Toto's song "Rosanna".
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Jane Brucker, who played Baby's older sister Lisa, co-wrote the song "Hula Hana," but she didn't receive credit for writing the song until March 18, 2002.
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The book that Robbie tries to lend to Baby to explain his refusal to help Penny is "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand. Rand was the creator of a philosophy called Objectivism, which holds (amongst other beliefs) that it is more important for a person to be concerned with their 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 repudiation of responsibility to others.
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The film's soundtrack started an oldies music revival, and demand for the album caught RCA Records by surprise. According to Franke Previte, before a single had even been released, there were a million albums on back-order. The Dirty Dancing album spent eighteen weeks on the Billboard 200 album sales chart and went platinum eleven times, selling more than thirty-two million copies worldwide. It spawned a follow-up multi-platinum album in February 1988, titled "More Dirty Dancing."
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Eleanor Bergstein made a cameo in the film. When Baby finds Johnny after seeing Penny crying in the kitchen, she is the woman in the white dress seen waltzing with Johnny before Billy interrupts.
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At thirty-five years old, Patrick Swayze was older than the role of Johnny by ten years and was only eight years younger than Kelly Bishop (Baby's mother).
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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 didn't like the movie all that much.
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During filming, members of the cast and crew visited Sharlow's restaurant in nearby Christiansburg, Virginia. The personal tensions between Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze were evident. Many of the cast were in very high spirits and were noisy but well-received patrons of the establishment. Jennifer Grey was a very subdued guest who apologized many times for the more colorful behaviors of her co-stars.
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At the beginning of the film, Baby says she will attend Mount Holyoke College in the fall. Her namesake, Frances Perkins, was a graduate of Mount Holyoke, Class of 1902.
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Filming was plagued by the weather, ranging from pouring rain to sweltering heat. The outside temperature rose to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius). With all the additional camera and lighting equipment needed for filming, the temperature inside could be as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius). According to the choreographer Kenny Ortega, on one day, ten people passed out within twenty-five minutes of shooting. The elderly Paula Trueman collapsed and were taken to the local emergency room for dehydration treatment. The uncooperative weather then took a different turn, plunging from oppressive heat to down near 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius), causing frigid conditions for the famous swimming scene in October. The crew wore warm coats, gloves, and boots. Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey stripped down to light summer clothing to repeatedly dive into the cold water. Despite her character's enjoyment, Grey later described the water as "horrifically" cold, and she might not have gone into the lake, except that she was "young and hungry."
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When Baby mentions "monks burning themselves in protest" at the beginning of the film, she refers to the day a Buddhist monk (Thích Quang Ducset) set himself on fire in Saigon in a ritual suicide to protest government anti-Buddhist policies. Therefore we can assume the action started after June 11, 1963, when this occurred.
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The original version of the "Cry to Me" love scene featured Jennifer Grey nude. But her naked appearance in the film did not do well in test screenings, so the producers removed the film, and it does not feature in the deleted scenes in the 2007 20th anniversary DVD, and no one can find footage.
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Kelly Bishop is only fourteen and sixteen years older, respectively, than Jane Brucker and Jennifer Grey, who played her daughters.
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Cynthia Rhodes (Penny Johnson) was the first to be cast.
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A scene where Johnny dances with Baby in her bra, cut from the theatrical version, is in the deleted scenes on the special features on the 25th Anniversary Edition DVD.
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Cynthia Rhodes asked Eleanor Bergstein to write the scene where Penny tells Baby that she doesn't sleep around. It was written the night before it was filmed, and David Chapman built the locker room for it on such short notice that it was a surprise to Eleanor Bergstein.
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At 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. However, 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 Brookland-Cayce High School and many well-known American universities, including West Texas A&M University, Cornell University, The University of Alabama, The University of Kansas, The College of William and Mary, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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When Vestron Pictures was looking for a corporate sponsor to help promote the film, Proctor & Gamble, manufacturers of Clearasil skincare and acne ointment, almost signed on feeling that it could be a vehicle to reach a teen target audience. The company backed out, however, due to their dislike of the Penny abortion subplot.
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In Penny's bedroom, a photo of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers tucked into her mirror. It shows the dancing lesson scene from Swing Time (1936), in which Ginger Rogers plays a dance instructor named Penny. (Also, Fred Astaire's character "Lucky" in that movie is named John.)
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Val Kilmer was initially offered the lead, but declined.
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The film gave Wayne Knight his first big movie role. Before starring as Stan, the resort's social director, Knight had small roles in a few television movies, including an uncredited role in the nuclear holocaust drama The Day After (1983). This movie showcased his talents, which in 1992, led him to be cast as Newman on Seinfeld (1989).
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Although religion is never mentioned outright in the movie, and many non-Jewish viewers never perceive this aspect of the plot, the Houseman family and many other main characters are supposed to be Jewish. The resort on which "Kellerman's" was based, Grossinger's Hotel (along with most of the other Catskills resorts in the so-called "Borscht Belt") was opened in the early twentieth century to cater mostly to Jewish vacationers; this was because at the time, it was very common for other hotels and resorts to reject Jewish customers. Max Kellerman uses the Yiddish terms for "grandmother" and "grandfather" ("bubbie" and "zaydee") when reminiscing about his grandparents "serving the first pasteurized milk to the boarders." When this movie was released, many reviewers mentioned the family's Judaism as a matter of course; for example, Vincent Canby's New York Times review called Baby's background "conventionally liberal [and] Jewish," and Roger Ebert's print review said that "the family's opposition to a Gentile boyfriend of low social status" was "obviously the main point of the plot." In a 2011 interview, screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein characterized it as a Jewish movie "if you know what you're looking at."
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136 of 152 found this interesting Interesting? |
Delays in the shooting schedule pushed filming into the autumn, which required the set decorators to spray-paint the autumn leaves green.
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Eleanor Bergstein originally wanted "Cousin Brucie" Morrow to portray the social director, but then later asked him to play the part of the magician.
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Producers could only afford 14 days of shooting in the Catskills, so they moved to a boys camp in North Carolina with a pavilion to film the dance sequences.
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The song "She's Like The Wind," originally written for Grandview, U.S.A. (1984), was used in this movie instead.
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Paula Trueman (Mrs. Shumacher) was a serious dancer earlier in her career before breaking into "serious acting." In fact in one of her scenes she mentions taking dancing classes in her younger years.
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When the film's song "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" took home the Oscar for Best Original Song, it marked the third time Jennifer Warnes sang the hit song receiving this honor. The other two were: "It Goes Like It Goes" from Norma Rae and "Up where We Belong" from An Officer and a Gentleman.
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Voted number two "Must See Movie" of all time by listeners of Capital FM in London, England.
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With an original gross of $62,811,299 (only in USA) over a budget of $6,000,000, the movie raised 10.4 times its cost. Counting the worldwide gross ($213,954,274), the movie raised 35.6 times its cost.
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This was the top rental video of 1988.
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The producers of It's My Turn (1980) cut an erotic dance sequence out of it. This inspired that movie's screenwriter, Eleanor Bergstein, to write the screenplay for this movie.
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Patrick Swayze and Jerry Orbach died of cancer. Orbach died of prostate cancer on December 28, 2004, at the age of sixty-nine. Swayze died from pancreatic cancer on September 14, 2009, at the age of fifty-seven.
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Billy Zane was considered for the lead role, but he didn't dance well.
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In 1997, the film was re-released in American cinemas to celebrate the film's 10th anniversary.
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In a 2010 interview with Jezebel's Irin Carmon, Eleanor Bergstein says that the moment Johnny first falls in love with Baby during their performance at the Sheldrake Hotel, when she botches the lift and instead improvises a dance step with her thumbs that Bergstein calls the "hitchhiker move."
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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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Numerous photos are seen in Penny's bedroom, and one on her nightstand appears to be a promo shot of Penny and Johnny (seen when Dr. Houseman comes in after her abortion), while another on her wall (seen behind Baby when she visits her the morning after her abortion) definitely depicts Johnny, but he could be shown with either Penny or Baby.
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The scenes at Kellerman's were shot at the Mountain Lake Hotel in Virginia. The crew could only film during the hotel's off-season in autumn, even though the film was set in summer. In several scenes, autumn leaves had to be painted green, scenes had to be reframed because steam from the hot lights kept drifting into the shots, and the cast, who did all their scenes in light summer clothes, wore coats between takes. In their scene in the lake, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey are shown only from a distance because close-ups revealed them covered in goosebumps and shaking from the ice-cold water.
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The cast stayed in the same hotel at Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia, and at the 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa in Lake Lure, North Carolina.
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Swayze drives a 57 Chevy in the movie, in Point Break he says "looks like a 57 Chevy I used to have", when referring to Keanu Reeves surfboard.
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Johnny was born in 1938.
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The iconic scene is actually a recreation of a practice rehearsal. Director Emile Ardolino had walked into the studio and seen choreographer Kenny Ortega and his assistant dancing with Jennifer Grey in the middle to help with her rhythm. Emile loved that moment so much that he recreated it with Patrick and Cynthia.
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Baby was born in 1946.
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Jennifer Grey spoke of Patrick Swayze saying "I knew in that moment Patrick was the only person who could have played that part. If I had the guts to jung, he was always going to be there to catch me."
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A reboot was out in 2017,but got bad ratings with some calling it a disgrace to the 1987 film.
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Dirty Dancing found itself in the headlines again in May 2022, after a draft opinion overturning Roe V. Wade (the 1973 Supreme Court opinion making abortion legal) was leaked to the press. Glamour magazine published an article by Elizabeth Logan titled "Don't Forget That Dirty Dancing Has a Powerful Pro-Choice Message." On Pop Sugar, Victoria Edel wrote an article called "Beyond the Romance, 'Dirty Dancing' Is a Cautionary Tale About Abortion Inaccessibility." Jennifer Grey, who was a guest on The View on May 3 (the day of the leak) was asked her opinion about the draft in light of the fact that Dirty Dancing contains a subplot about a pre-Roe illegal, botched abortion. She replied, "I'm really, like so many of us--hopefully, maybe, most of us--I'm horrified that this is really on the table again in 2022. I mean, talk about being in the corner. Like, this is the ultimate--if you don't want to have an abortion, don't have one. Just don't have one. Don't take away the choice. It's insane. The idea that we would be . . . rolling back . . . It's made me feel physically ill today."
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Included among the American Film Institute's 2002 list of the top 100 America's Greatest Love Stories movies.
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Cynthia Rhodes, who plays Johnny Castle's first dance partner Penny, previously played Tina Tech, one of the dancers at the Mawby Bar in Flashdance (1983). Both films' leads are named Jennifer. In both movies the main female protagonist learns to conquer her own fear.
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Most of the cast and crew stayed at Mountain Lake Lodge (Kellerman's) for the scenes shot in Virginia, because it's a rather remote location to access. The property now features an extensive gift shop with Dirty Dancing memorabilia, and they also display the guest registry page with Patrick Swayze's signature for Room 232. A replica "Room 232" guest key is for sale in the gift shop. (Keys were later replaced with magnetic card entry). The hotel was built in 1938. Unfortunately, the original "232" bronze numbers have been and replaced with a decal.
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The board at Vestron Pictures, which had previously only produced works straight to video, had final say on casting for the film. Their first choice for Baby was Pia Zadora.
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On an episode of American Pickers (2010), Mike and Frank visited one of the locations where filming took place.
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The wooden floors from the Boy Scout camp gymnasium, where the interior dance scenes were filmed, are now located at the Esmerelda Inn in Chimney Rock, North Carolina.
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First choice for the role of Baby was Mindy Cohn, but she was unavailable.
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A running gag through out the movie is Stan making bad jokes.
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Critic duo Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert were mixed about the movie. Gene Siskel gave the film a "marginal Thumbs Up" and stated that he liked Jennifer Grey's acting and the development of her character. Roger Ebert gave it a "Thumbs Down" due to its "idiot plot", calling it a "tired and relentlessly predictable story of love between kids from different backgrounds."
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Even though the movie is set in 1963 and several of the dance songs are from that period, the song "I've Had the Time of My Life" was written in 1987.
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Jane Brucker's debut.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 2004 list of the top 100 America's Greatest Music in the Movies for the song "(I've Had) The Time of My Life."
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Included among the American Film Institute's 2004 list of 400 movies nominated for the top 100 America's Greatest Music in the Movies for the song "Do You Love Me?"
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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 director Emile Ardolino liked it so much, he kept it in the film.
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Director Emile Ardolino encouraged the actors and actresses to improvise, and often kept the cameras rolling, even if actors and actresses went "off script". One example of this was the scene where Jennifer Grey was to stand in front of Patrick Swayze with her back to him and put her arm up behind his head while he trailed his fingers down her arm (similar to the pose seen in the movie poster). Though it was written as a serious and tender moment, Grey was exhausted, found the move ticklish, and could not stop giggling each time Swayze tried it, no matter how many takes Ardolino asked for. Swayze was impatient to finish the scene, and found Grey's behavior annoying. However, the producers decided the scene worked as it was and put it into the film, complete with Grey's giggling and Swayze's annoyed expression. It became one of the most famous scenes in the movie, turning out, as choreographer Kenny Ortega put it, "as one of the most delicate and honest moments in the film."
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The movie's line "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." was voted as the #98 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
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Patrick Swayze actually hated the line 'Nobody puts Baby in a corner,' and had to muster all his strength to get it out.
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It is never explicitly stated, but Penny needs Baby's money for an illegal 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 U.S. It remained illegal in New York State (where this movie is set) until 1970 and in most other places in the United States until the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973.
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Dr. Ruth Westheimer was asked to play the role of Mrs. Schumacher opposite Joel Grey as her husband, but turned it down when she realized the character was a thief.
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The shooting wrapped on October 27, 1986, both on time and on budget. No one on the team, however, liked the rough cut that was put together, and Vestron executives were convinced the film was going to be a flop. Thirty-nine percent of people who viewed the film did not realize abortion was the topic of the subplot. In May 1987, the film was screened for producer Aaron Russo. According to Vestron executive Mitchell Cannold, Russo's reaction at the end was to say simply, "Burn the negative, and collect the insurance."
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The "Cry to Me" love scene was longer and featured "She's Like The Wind" performed by Patrick Swayze. 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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