If there is one movie I will never get tired of watching or listening to or dancing along with it’s “Dirty Dancing” starring Patrick Swayze. The movie opened to the public on August 21, 1987, all across the U.S. I remember the first time I saw the movie and instantly fell in love with it was on a hot, sweltering day in New York City and the ice-cold movie theater felt like a bit of heaven. Then the movie started and I was swept away to the Catskill Mountains of New York state where I spent my happiest childhood days.
You can imagine that “Dirty Dancing” was a smash hit and the music well incredible. The movie soundtrack was awarded multi-platinum. Among the hit singles were “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life” which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, “Hungry Eyes” by Eric Carmen and as a surprise “She’s Like the Wind” co-written and sung by Swayze himself. Now this song will be ever the sadder now that Swayze has passed away.
The movie was set in 1963 and told the story about a resort in the Catskill Mountains named Kellerman’s. Jennifer Grey did an amazing acting job portraying Frances “Baby” Houseman who develops a crush on the resort’s dance instructor Johnny Castle played by Patrick Swayze. When Johnny Castle’s dance partner becomes pregnant Baby replaces her and as unexpected things happen Baby and Johnny fall in love. As the story unfolds you find yourself laughing, cheering, wanting to dance and also shedding a tear or two. The ending absolutely blew me away when a now unemployed Johnny returns to Kellerman’s closing ceremony and places Baby center stage to “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life”. It just made you feel so good all over.
I’m sure that I was among the many who after seeing this movie just wanted to keep on “dirty dancing” the night away. I must say I tried a few routines which Jennifer Gray made look simple however I wound up with a sprained ankle. I still enjoy the movie and the music. The “Dirty Dancing” script was written by Eleanor Bergstein based on her own growing-up experiences, it was the debut for movie director Emile Ardolino and the choreographer Kenny Ortega, trained with Gene Kelly and later on directed the High School Musical movies. So if you’re in the mood for some really great dancing head on over to YouTube put on the great “Dirty Dancing” hits and start moving. I’ll open up my window, turn up the music and see if I can catch Swayze doing a few good moves across the stars.