You’d be hard pushed to find a romance film fanatic that doesn’t hold Dirty Dancing in high regard. It’s a cult classic and one that inspired a whole generation to get up off the sofa and start dancing around the house. How could it not be with all of those iconic moments? just thinking of Johnny Castle saying “nobody puts baby in the corner” sends a chill down my spine. But that could just be because Walt’s turned off the heating in the house…
Like most romances, the main characters encounter struggles and obstacles but overcome them through a shared passion (in this case dancing… dirty) and love for one another. So, we’re left feeling all warm and fuzzy inside after watching it which is the reason we put it on in the first place.
But, there are plenty of things about the film that most people don’t know, some of them might even make you pull this face:
Whether you’re a Dirty Dancing fanatic, a bit of a film nut or just a distant admirer, let’s see how many of these lesser-known facts you knew!
15. When filming took place, Jennifer Grey was a full 10 years older than her character
Her skincare routine must’ve been on point! Obviously professional make up plays a big part, but to be 27 and play a 17-year-old you must be doing something right in your spare time. That or incredibly lucky genes. Either way, I’ll have whatever she’s having!
She still looks bloomin’ good now too!
14. Patrick Swayze wanted to do ALL of his own stunts
He wanted to make the film look as real as possible. Which is all well and good until the ‘log dancing’ scene caused Swayze to fall repeatedly, aggravating a pre-existing knee injury.
He had to be driven to hospital and have his joint drained of fluid… doesn’t sound healthy! Just another day in the life of a stubborn actor.
13. Jennifer Grey’s character ‘Baby’ was actually named after Frances C. Perkins
During the film, you might have caught on to Baby telling Johnny that her real name was Frances.
Frances C. Perkins, was the secretary of Labor from 1933 all the way to 1947 and she was the first woman in cabinet. “Why was she named after her though?” you might be asking, all will be revealed further down the list…
12. Patrick Swayze continuously got his fingers stuck in Cynthia Rhode’s dress
During the dance scene between Patrick Swayze’s character Johnny and Cynthia Rhodes’ character Penny, he kept getting his fingers caught in the back of her dress… cue lots of retakes.
11. This was actually Wayne Knight’s very first film
A familiar face in the world of acting, Wayne Knight has found success in big screen successes such as Jurassic Park and Toy Story. But, this was before all of those!
10. The producers offered Patrick Swayze big money to return for a sequel, only for him to turn it down!
A reported $6 million was being prepared for Patrick to don the heartthrob role of Johnny Castle once more, but he decided against it due to not being a fan of filming sequels. He might’ve been onto something there as well, as I’m not sure how how special the film would be now had they tried to create additional instalments. Quite while you’re ahead right?
Mind you, $6 million is a lot of money so good on Swayze for sticking to his principles.
9. Remember that ‘Water Dancing’ scene? Those trees were actually spray painted
Filming for this scene actually took place in Autumn, so much of the surrounding vegetation had already turned orange/brown. Which, kind of makes it seem a little less ‘at one with nature’ now. Saying that, I bet the water temperature definitely made them feel at one with it!
8. The famous ‘Crawling’ scene wasn’t planned
Nope. Believe it or not, one of the most famous scenes from the movie was actually filmed whilst the pair spontaneously decided to do it whilst warming up. The director liked what he saw so much that he ended up including it in the final cut.
And we’re glad he did!
7. Grey And Swayze Did NOT Get Along During Filming
It wasn’t their first time working together after all.
6. That ‘Arm Tickling’ scene was spontaneous too… and Swayze was genuinely peed off
Baby was not supposed to laugh in the original script, but she couldn’t contain her laughter. So, the clip of Swayze getting frustrated was real as he didn’t want to keep doing retakes.
Being ticklish has its upsides too it seems…
5. Some big names auditioned for roles in the film, including Sarah Jessica Parker and Billy Zane
Both went for the leading characters and both were turned down. Which, just goes to show that even successful actors/actresses have to deal with rejection sometimes.
4. The film gave birth to one of the most romantic quotes ever.
This is hardly surprising. But it seems that this isn’t just the opinion of a handful of avid fans. The Daily Mail actually ranked one particular line within the film as the most romantic movie quote EVER.
Can you guess which one it is? “I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.”
Did you think it was “Nobody puts baby in the corner”? Well, that’s probably more famous. But, Swayze actually hated it and had to force himself to say it.
3. The story took its inspiration from screenwriter Eleanor Bergsteins life. Her family used to visit the Catskills during the 60’s and she was even called “Baby” until she was 22.
She learned how to ‘dirty dance’ at house parties during the time. You go girl! Eleanor was likely named after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, hence Baby in the film being named after a political figure too to ensure an element of symmetry. Although, Eleanor’s older sister was also named Frances too so that could’ve had something to do with it also…
2. Val Kilmer was originally offered the role of Johnny but said no
I think he’d probably agree that might not have been the smartest move considering the films huge success and longevity. But when you don’t feel a role is right for you then it’s not right for you I suppose…
1. Dirty Dancing has become a cult classic and is one of the most ‘mimicked’ films of all time
Ok, like you need telling! But I couldn’t not include it. The fact that this film is still referenced so much is a credit to the originality of the story and the directing of some of the most imitated scenes ever recorded. It’s just perfect for those rainy Sundays when you’re feeling nostalgic and in need of a bit of added romance in your life.
Let’s face it, we all wished we were Baby at one point or another. Not just so that we could be wooed by Patrick Swayze either. Baby rebelled against those trying to restrict her and expressed herself, which in turn encouraged those around her to do the same. A pioneer of sorts!
How many of these facts did you know about Dirty Dancing? Let me know in the comments Acidheads!