Dirty Dancing Movie Behind The Scenes

Making Dirty Dancing

Have the time of your life...
Dirty Dancing Picture
... Having practised dance...


Go behind the scenes on the 1987 Dance / Music movie starring Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes

Jack Weston, Kelly Bishop, Jane Brucker, Max Cantor, Charles 'Honi' Coles, Miranda Garrison, Garry Goodrow, Neal Jones, Wayne Knight, 'Cousin Brucie' Morrow, Alvin Myerovich, Antone Pagan, Lonny Price, Paula Trueman, Thomas Cannold Update Cast

We believe the following info is all legit. If it's bogus or you have additional info, please update us.

Thanks to 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.
Thanks to 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!
Thanks to 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.
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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.
Thanks to 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.
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Several hot and heavy dance sequences were left out to get a PG-13 rating.
Thanks to Lloyd
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.
Thanks to 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.
Thanks to 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.
Thanks to 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.
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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."
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During filming in the autumn, 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."
Thanks to 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.
Thanks to Victor Quayle
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?

In the DVD commentary Ortega does say that Jennifer used a double in the log scene as well as when they were coming up to that scene in the car right before they park. There was a grassy slope they drove down and they thought it could be a little risky so again you can see the double's substantially curlier hair in the sihlouette sitting in the car right before they park and the song "This Overload" ends.

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 :-)
Thanks to Sue Tabashnik
It really was not raining when Johnny broke out the car window. Hoses were used to make it look like rain. In fact, you can see the sun was shining!
Thanks to MaryLouise
I keep wondering: in the driving down to the water scene, is the car really stationary with off-scene lights making it seem to be moving?
Editor Nick
After filming on Dirty Dancing completed, but before the movie's release, Jennifer Grey and her then-boyfriend Matthew Broderick were involved in a horrific, fatal car accident.

On Aug. 5, 1987, the pair were in Northern Ireland on vacation when the accident occurred. He was 25. She was 27.

As Broderick drove their rented BMW along a country road in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, he apparently ended up in the opposite lane, smashing head-on into a car carrying a mother and daughter, tragically killing both instantly.

Broderick suffered a fractured leg and ribs, collapsed lung and concussion. He spent the next four weeks in hospital. Grey escaped with minor injuries.

Tests showed that Broderick had not been drinking. He was unable to recall the incident saying "I don't remember the day. I don't remember even getting up in the morning. I don't remember making my bed. What I first remember is waking up in the hospital, with a very strange feeling going on in my leg."

He was initially charged with the British crime of 'causing death by dangerous driving' and faced up to five years behind bars. He was later convicted of the lesser charge of 'careless driving' and given only a small fine - which the victims stunned family called "a travesty of justice" at the time.

Dirty Dancing hit movie theaters just days after the accident.

But Jennifer was traumatized, saying "The juxtaposition of that deep sorrow, the survivor's guilt, and then being celebrated as the new big thing just didn't jibe. It didn't feel good to be the toast of the town", adding in another interview "That movie's about a loss of innocence, and I feel like when that movie came out, 6 days before, I was in a car crash where a mother and daughter were killed, and I feel like my life changed, and that was a loss of my innocence."

She sadly never fully recovered from the trauma, effectively retiring from showbiz at just 27 years old for many years; "My head was never the same, my ambition was ever the same."

Both stars have confirmed that they are sill haunted by events on that lonely Irish road. Even today.
Editor Nick
Director Emile Ardolino first read the script for Dirty Dancing while serving jury duty in Manhattan

Next Section: Deleted Scenes

Deleted Scenes

There are often scenes cut from the final version of a movie. Sometimes these will have been seen by preview audiences, or be included in Blu-ray or DVD extras etc.

The following missing scenes from Dirty Dancing are believed legit. If you disagree or have additional info, please update us.

Thanks to Kayla
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.
Thanks to Victor Quayle
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.

Next Section: Alternate Versions

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 on Blu-ray or DVD.

The following versions of Dirty Dancing are apparently real. If you disagree or have additional info, please update us.

Thanks to Jamie
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.
Thanks to Stacie
I saw a scene on abc family where Johnny is in the woods with another woman before Baby goes up to where they were dancing.

BUT, Susan wrote in to say that it isn't Johnny in the woods, it's Robbie the waiter with Baby's sister (the one who got Penny pregnant)... Holly kindly added that: There is the scene with Robbie and Lisa coming out of the woods, but there was also a scene of Johnny and a giggling bungalow bunny in the woods while Baby peaked through the trees.
Thanks to marisa
Yesterday I saw a scene that I think it should have been one of the last scenes of the movie, where Johnny and Baby (while dancing) talk about the future of their relationship and we know that it is not only a summer romance!! Baby seems to be scared but Johnny says "we Will fight Frances"

-Why did they cut this scene?? It's magic...

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1987 Vestron Pictures
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