The film "Dirty Dancing" is 30 years old: how the cult melodrama was filmed
The film "Dirty Dancing" is 30 years old: how the cult melodrama was filmed
The film "Dirty Dancing" is 30 years old

Thirty years ago, a film was released on the wide screen, on the preview of which critics unanimously declared that it would be a failure. But the audience felt otherwise, and the film had a completely unexpected and overwhelming success, hitting the box office record holders. The box office was almost 36 times the original budget. We are talking about a film beloved by millions of women, a touching melodrama "Dirty Dancing", imbued with musical romance and sensual choreography.

The creators of this low-budget film did not expect such a success either. Director Emil Ardolino was still little known at that time, the film had no special effects or Hollywood stars of the first magnitude, moreover, the script was not accepted the first time, it had to be redone.

The plot is based on the relationship between two lovers from different social strata. The film is set in America in 1963. The main character, high school student Francis Housman, nicknamed Baby, the daughter of a successful Jewish doctor, comes with her parents to a resort on vacation and meets a young sexy dance teacher Johnny. And, of course, falls in love with him, Johnny loves her back.

Shot from the movie Dirty Dancing

However, parents do not allow their daughter to date a guy who does not correspond to her social status. Suddenly, Johnny's partner leaves, and a dance number that they jointly prepared is in jeopardy. Frances loves to dance, she even danced a little, and Johnny invites her to try to perform with him. Unbeknownst to their parents, they begin to train.

On the set of the film Dirty Dancing Shot from the movie Dirty Dancing

But soon Johnny had to leave - he was fired.

Shot from the movie Dirty Dancing

The day of the performance comes, sad Frances sits with her parents at a table in the corner. Johnny suddenly appears, walks up to her, and with the words: "The child cannot be cornered," he takes her by the hand to the stage …

Shot from the movie Dirty Dancing

The screenplay, written by Elinor Bergstein, was partly autobiographical. She herself was the daughter of a wealthy Jewish doctor and loved to dance. In the 60s, the family often went to fashionable boarding houses for the summer, where parents had fun playing golf, and young Elinor had fun dancing until she dropped. Everyone called her Baby then. The baby danced the best at that time, the Latin mambo dance, popular at that time, participated in the championship in "dirty dancing", as they called in those years a very frank rock and roll. And in the film, the main characters are dancing mambo, with the exception of only one scene.

While discussing the film with producer Linda Gottlieb, Eleanor told her about her hobby for dancing and about the Dirty Dancing competition. “It's a million dollar name! "- exclaimed Linda, not even suspecting then how right she is. So the name of the film was born spontaneously.

Elinor Bergsteen herself was looking for candidates for the main roles. Once she saw pictures of the handsome Patrick Swayze, she immediately invited him to audition. And when it turned out that he, moreover, danced beautifully, Eleanor had no doubts about him, Patrick was approved for the main role, even though he was 10 years older than the script required.

Jennifer Gray, a girl from a dancing family, who auditioned for the role of the main character, in principle, suited Elinor - she danced well and had a non-standard, memorable appearance.The only problem was that Jennifer, like Patrick, was 10 years older than her character. But she was able to transform into a teenager so successfully in just five minutes that she was also accepted.

However, there were problems during filming. The relationship between Patrick and Jennifer, who were supposed to play a couple in love, was not at all friendly, and they could not improve them in any way. Pedantic Patrick constantly nagged at Elizabeth, he was infuriated by her constant whims and infantilism. In addition, as a professional, it was difficult for him to dance with an amateur partner. But she had a hard time, because she was required to dance worse than she could. Patrick's constant nagging pissed off Jennifer. Their quarrels and teasing each other continued throughout all the filming, but on the screen their dislike for each other is completely invisible, only a romantic "spark" is visible. The film included a lot of unplanned episodes, filmed unnoticed by the actors during rehearsals, thus it was possible to catch their natural emotions. So, in particular, the famous scene was filmed when the actors, fooling around, crawl to each other on the floor.

Shot from the movie Dirty Dancing

As the filmmakers were on a budget, they limited themselves to low-cost resorts when choosing a location. In addition, the atmosphere there was more reminiscent of the atmosphere of the 60s … Most of the filming took place in the summer of 1986, in extreme conditions. It was a monstrous heat, from which many even fainted. Filming dragged on, and the scene with the support, which the actors perform while standing in the water, had to be filmed in October, when the water was already icy. In addition, the yellowed leaves in the background had to be repainted green.

Shot from the movie Dirty Dancing

During the filming of their performance, Patrick, having unsuccessfully jumped from the stage into the hall, severely injured his knee, but, overcoming the pain, continued to dance so as not to spoil the filmed take.

Patrick Swayze became the main discovery and star of this film. After "Dirty Dancing", already in the status of a Hollywood star, he starred in several more films - "Ghost" (1990), "On the Crest of a Wave" (1991), "City of Pleasure" (1992), "Desperate Dad" (1993), "Black Dog" (1998), "Letters from a Killer" (1998), "Donnie Darko" (2001) and others. Unfortunately, in the fall of 2009, at the age of 52, after an incurable illness, Patrick Swayze passed away.

Jennifer, who also became a star after this film, decided to tweak the shape of her nose, which she always disliked. But after the operation, she became practically unrecognizable, lost her individuality, and now she is rarely removed.

Jennifer Gray before and after surgery

Especially for those who love movies with dancing, Top 100 dance scenes from your favorite movies in 5 minutes.

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