Since Dirty Dancing was released on August 21, 1987, it has remained a classic film enjoyed by future generations and a love story that’s inspired fans to continue searching for their soulmate for almost four decades.
The American romantic dance film was written by Eleanor Bergstein and told the story of Baby Frances Houseman, a young woman played by Jennifer Grey. She falls in love with Johnny Castle, played by Partick Swayze. Patrick and Jennifer were reunited in this production after having acted together a few years earlier on Red Dawn.
The movie begins with Baby as she has to spend one last summer on vacation at a sleepy resort in the Catskills with her parents before she can join the peace corps. She was initially disappointed with the destination, but this all changed when she met Johnny, the resort’s dance instructor.
The two fall in love, and while Baby’s parents forbid her from seeing Johnny, she’s determined to help him perform in the last big dance of the summer. This movie pulled on heartstrings across the world when it was released, with everyone trying to find a love like Baby and Johnny.
The screenwriter Bergesteins originally wrote a screenplay for the Michael Douglas film, It’s My Turn, but in the end, it would be slightly modified and turned into the story for what would become Dirty Dancing.
The movie was directed by Emile Ardolino and produced by Linda Gottlieb, filming took place in North Carolina, Mountain Lake, and Virginia. It premiered at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival a few months before its theatrical release on August 21, 1987.
The movie brought in around $214 Million and was the first film to sell more than a million copies for home video. The critics gave positive reviews to the movie, especially the performances of Grey and Swayze, with Grey being nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
The Dirty Dancing soundtrack, created by Jimmy Lenner, has been one of the most successful movie soundtracks in history, generating two multi-platinum albums and a single. The Time of My Life, performed by Bill Medley and Jeniffer Warnes, won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song, The Academy Award for Best Original Song, and a Grammy Award.
The film’s continued popularity led to worldwide stardom for Patrick Swayze as he became Hollywood’s new heartthrob, earning the central role in the 1990 hit movie, Ghost. Jennifer, too, would continue to gain prominent positions in future films, such as the 1992 movie, Wind.
Dirty Dancing revived a sequel almost twenty years later in 2004 and a stage version that sold out arenas in Europe, Australia, and North America. The movie still reminds people that love is out there and that we can all find it in the most unsuspecting places.