Making Of...
Making Of...

Dirty Dancing Behind The Scenes

AKA:
Dirty Dancing Picture
1987
... Having practised dance...
Go behind the scenes and learn what went on during the making of the 1987 Dance / Music movie starring Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach et al.
Contributed by: Monique
The "giggle" scene is so priceless, because it was very real. During filming, Jennifer was laughing and Patrick really was frustrated with her. Thankfully the filmmakers had the sense of fun to leave it in to add this wonderful moment.

Jennifer Grey was said to have disrupted filming on several occasions by her behaviour, so to be fair to her it should be said that here Swayze strokes right through her armpit and she was very ticklish! But she got over it and the result is one of the most beautifully erotic scenes in the film.
Contributed by: Alicia
Patrick Swayze, when he made the film Dirty Dancing was really 35, he was supposed to be 25. Jennifer Grey was really 27 years old!
Contributed by: Michelle
Jennifer and Patrick actually bumped heads when shooting one of the dance sequences; it wasn't scripted but they liked it so much they left it in.
Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze worked on "Dirty Dancing" immediately after finishing "Red Dawn". They had not got on during the making of that movie and had to be pursuaded to work together again.
Contributed by: Jenna Jewelson
While in production Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey often fought behind the scences, but when the cameras began filming they put aside their anger and pretended to be lovers.
Several hot and heavy dance sequences were left out to get a PG-13 rating.
During the scene where Baby and her sister are trying on wigs, you will notice that no one will walk on the pathway that is directly behind them. This is probably because it was just a thin layer of sand that covered the grass and, if disturbed, the grass would show through.
Contributed by: Erin Wittig And Alex
When rehearsing the scene where Baby and Johnny were dancing on the tree limb, Patrick fell off and his knee swelled up but he had it drained and the next day he was dancing again.
Contributed by: Ryan
Patrick Swayze, being the son of a choreographer, was already well-tuned into dancing. During the final dance scene filming, he twisted his ankle. He would only dance once again on the big screen, in the appropriately titled movie "One last dance" with his real life wife Lisa Niemi. He did, however, dance on Saturday Night Live alongside Chris Farley when they had a dance off trying out for the Chip n Dales.
Contributed by: Megan
The "Sylvia and Mickie" scene, where Johnny and Baby are lip-synching with a song, was actual a real occurence. To warm up, the director put on that song, and Jennifer and Patrick were just fooling around and improvising. The director liked what he saw, filmed it, and kept it in the final cut of the movie.

Victor Quayle kindly wrote in to add that one day the director came into the practice studio and found Kenny Ortega, choreography and Miranda Garrison, assistant choreographer, (who also played Vivian Pressman because another actress was taken ill), dancing a threesome with Jennifer Grey to help her with attitude and rhythm. The director took this up and had it danced by Penny, Baby and Johnny. What came out of it was elegant, restrained and beautifully erotic.
The movie Dirty Dancing took a while to film and fall came early. Since the movie was set in the summer of 1963, they couldn't film the trees colors of orange and brown. Patrick Swayze says, "It was the wierdest thing in the world to see guys going out with spray cans painting brown leaves green again."
The temperatures soon nose-dived. The water lift scene was a very important part of the movie and couldn't be left out. So Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey went out in the water when the temperature outside was about 40 degrees. Jennifer Grey remembered: "I remember people standing all around filming us dressed in coats with their hoods up and gloves, and we had to go in the water wearing only jeans and a shirt."
Contributed by: Holly Smith
The breaking the car window scene when Patrick loses the keys to his car in the rain, had to be shot numerous times. The car was owned by a local tow truck company owner. They had to teach him how to break the window in the old car the correct way. It finally worked. After the tow truck driver hung around for a while, Patrick took the "girl dancers" (extras) for a joy ride in the tow truck. They hung off the back of the bars.
It is well-known that Patrick Swayze did his own stunt in the log dancing scene. But what about Baby? Did they use a stunt woman?

A stunt women, Denise Amirante, is mentioned in the end credits and I can't think where else in the film a stunt woman would be needed. But, in her audio commentary, Eleanor Bergstein says: '... and here's Jennifer being very brave.' My speculation: Once they are actually on the log, dancing, Baby's face is never shown and most shots are middle distance or feet only. It seems to me that 'Baby' is considerably fuller round the hips. I also noticed greenish pants just showing through 'Baby's' jeans, which is not so in other Baby shots in this scene. Am I seeing things? Does anyone know definitely if Jennifer Grey was on the log in person or not?

UPDATE: Denise Amirante wrote in to say "I was Jennifer's stunt double on the log scene and other scenes in the movie... I am currently living in Nashville TN writing songs and doing some acting on the side." - So now we know :-)
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Deleted Scenes
When movies are made, scenes are often left on the cutting room floor.
In the first versions of the movie when Johnny got up from making love to Baby, it clearly showed his butt. In the later versions it doesn't. It just shows him pulling up his black pants.
Production was already in the preview stage when Jennifer Grey called Eleanor Bergstein and asked her if they could cut the explicit nudity which had already been shot. Bergstein agreed because 'baby was just someone's daughter and nobody really wanted to see he nude.' So some frames were cut and the movie is the better for it.
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Alternate Versions
Sometimes, there will be several versions of a movie floating about on cable, tv or video etc. Other times, a Director may release a special cut of the movie.
I saw a scene on abc family today where Lisa is complaining about a broken lipstick being smeared on a towel in her dresser complaining about wanting the maid fired, and Baby says she did it, Lisa says she is lying and Jerry Orbach said if baby said she did it then she did it, baby doesn't lie.
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Dirty Dancing