Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Dirty Dancing (1987)

Dirty Dancing (1987)

It’s the summer of 1963. Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) is a Catskills summer camp dance teacher (moonlighting as a “dirty dancer” in sleazy bars) who takes on a willing pupil – seventeen-year-old Frances Houseman (Jennifer Grey), who is vacationing with her parents, and who everybody calls ‘Baby’.

When Johnny’s dance partner has to rest up – after an unwanted pregnancy (not Johnny’s fault) and a botched abortion – Baby offers to help him out, dance-wise, and the two get close – and steamy.


Their love affair seems doomed from the start, and Baby’s father gets Johnny fired. But the sweetness that carries the movie beyond the dance floor is the way Baby brings out the dignity and self-respect Johnny’s never had and Johnny brings out the womanly wisdom Baby’s never experienced.

In one of the corniest finales on film, even Baby’s square, uptight parents see the light and fall for “dirty dancing “.

For girls, this is a deeply romantic film. The most romantic moment is (apparently) when Johnny says to Baby, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner!”  Then, if you’re a girl, you burst into tears . . .

Dirty Dancing‘s soundtrack really took off. (I’ve Had) The Time Of My LifeHungry Eyes, and She’s Like The Wind could be responsible for karaoke!

But how do you do ‘dirty dancing’? It’s a standard bumping-and-grinding arrangement with the emphasis on grinding. Basically just simulate sex on a dance floor in a vertical position. Wear deodorant.

Johnny Castle
Patrick Swayze
Frances “Baby” Houseman
Jennifer Grey
Penny Johnson
Cynthia Rhodes
Dr Jake Houseman
Jerry Orbach
Lisa Houseman
Jane Brucker
Marjorie Houseman
Kelly Bishop
Max Kellerman
Jack Weston
Neil Kellerman

Lonny Price
Robbie Gould
Max Cantor
Tito Suarez
Charles Honi Coles
Billy Kostecki
Neal Jones
Wayne Knight

Emil Ardolino