When Dirty Dancing was first released, it was an instant hit. The story of Baby and Johnny touched many people’s hearts. It has been 30-years since the movie was released, and those of us who were around when it came out, love it. The new generation who weren’t around when the movie came out also love it. People fell in love with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey instantly. Even if you know the entire movie line by line, there are things that you don’t know about the movie.
Patrick Swayze wasn’t the first choice for the role of Johnny. It was first offered to Val Kilmer, who declined the role. He had just finished starring in Top Gun and was worried that he would be portrayed as a hunk if he took the part. Instead of taking the role of Johnny, he took the hunk role in the movie, Willow, which failed miserably. To this day, he regrets his decision.
One of the most iconic scenes in Dirty Dancing is when Johnny tried to teach Baby the life in the water. The scene was filmed at a lake in North Carolina in October. The water was freezing, and it was turning Patrick and Jennifer’s lips blue. This is the reason why there were no closeups during this scene.
A Five Minute Audition
Patrick vouched for Jennifer to play the role of Baby, but everyone else was unsure. She was ten years older than Baby and needed to prove that she could play the role of someone so young. It took her just five minutes to convince everyone that she was right for the part.
Box Office Cash
It cost $5 million to make the movie. When it hit theaters worldwide, it brought in $214 million. At that time, this was an incredible achievement.
Virginia In the Fall
In the film, Baby and her family traveled to a resort in the Catskills at the beginning of summer. Except for the lake scene, the film was shot in Virginia in the fall. The cast was very underdressed for the weather because it was supposed to be summer. The leaves were changing because it was fall, and the crew had to spray paint them green to make it look like summertime.
Jennifer’s Dancing Genes
It is clear that Jennifer is an excellent dancer. This could have something to do with her father, Joel Grey, who was one of the best Cabaret performers in the world. The talent for dancing clearly runs in the family.
Mrs. Schumacher was the thief in the movie who was stealing wallets at different resorts, and Johnny was blamed. Initially, they wanted Dr. Ruth Westheimer to play the part. She ended up declining, worried that playing a thief would cause problems in her professional career. The role ended up going to Paula Trueman.
Because of Dirty Dancing’s success, it became a musical onstage. It was successful in Chicago, Toronto, and Europe. Fans of Baby and Johnny hope to one day, see it on Broadway.
A TV Series
The movie was such a success that producers wanted to capitalize on that as much as possible. In 1988, they made it into a TV show starring Paul Feig and Melora Hardin. Later, Melora would play Jan on The Office. The series lasted only 11 episodes.
A Great Career Move
Bill Medley almost declined to the opportunity to record a song for Dirty Dancing. He is thrilled that he didn’t because it was a huge move for his career. He considered Patrick Swayze his lucky charm and composed a song for another of Patrick’s movies, Ghost.
The famous lift was used in many other movies. In the film, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Ryan Gosling uses the lift on Emma Stone. Jennifer went to see the film with her husband and being such a massive fan of Ryan Gosling; she was thrilled that he said her name.
Dirty Dancing Weekends
Dirty Dancing was filmed in Pembroke, Virginia, and three weekends out of the year, the town holds Dirty Dancing themed weekends. Visitors are even able to try the famous lift.
She’s Like the Wind
Patrick showed off his dancing skills as Johnny, and he also got to show off his singing skills. He co-wrote and sang, She’s Like the Wind, and it was a huge hit.
No To a Sequel
Dirty Dancing was a fantastic movie, and it did great in the theaters. The producers wanted to do a sequel, but Patrick refused. He told the producers that he hated movie sequels, and turned down $6 million to do Dirty Dancing 2. Some think that it was for the best because it could have been challenging to duplicate the magic from the first movie.
While Patrick and Jennifer had amazing chemistry onscreen, it was a bit different off. Patrick says that there was friction between the two after shooting all day. There were times that she would burst into tears and others where she got into silly moods and couldn’t stop laughing. It drove Patrick crazy. When he got angry, she got mad. This is the real reason she couldn’t stand Patrick Swayze on most days.