Dirty Dancing (Vestron Pictures, 1987)
Dirty Dancing was a 1987 American romantic drama film starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. At the time, Dirty Dancing was a low budget film by a new studio and had no major stars (except Broadway legend Jerry Orbach in a supporting role). With a summer 1987 release, that all changed. Swayze and Grey were thrown into superstar status, the studio had super fat pockets to the tune of over $214 million. Dirty Dancing was the first film to sell a million copies on home video. The film created another star: soundtrack single (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life won both a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Song, plus a Grammy Award for Best Duet. Not bad for some low-budget, “take-a-chance-on-it” flick. The enduring love for Dirty Dancing finally got it a sequel, which turned into a prequel, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004). Recently, Dirty Dancinghas been adapted into a worldwide-touring stage production. In Lake Lure, North Carolina, (since 2009) there is an annual Dirty Dancing festival.
If you’ve never seen the film, 17-year-old Baby (Grey), while vacationing in the Catskills, falls for a dance instructor (Swayze). Yes, there’s a lot of dancing. And it’s very steamy. They don’t call it Dirty Dancing for nothing.
The accompanying soundtrack that created a star? Well it gave birth to several stars. The soundtrack spent an astounding 18 weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart, was certified 11 (!) times Platinum and sold an incredible 32(!) million copies around the world. (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life (by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes) topped the pop charts. She’s Like the Wind (by actor Swayze) peaked at #3. Hungry Eyes (by Eric Carmen) peaked at #4. In fact, trying to determine whether Dirty Dancing is best known for the dancing or the soundtrack is a very tough call.