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Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes, Jack Weston ... see more see more... , Jane Brucker , Kelly Bishop , Lonny Price , Max Cantor , Charles "Honi" Coles , Neal Jones , Tom Connold , Tom Drake , Heather Lea Gerdes , Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow , Wayne Knight , Paula Trueman , Alvin Myerovich , Miranda Garrison , Garry Goodrow , Antone Pagan , Jesus Fuentes , Dorian Sanchez , Jennifer Stahl , Jane Bruckner

A teenage girl learns about love, adult responsibility, and how to do The Dirty Boogie in this romantic drama. In 1963, "Baby" Houseman (Jennifer Grey) is a 17-year-old spending the summer with her fa... read more read more...mily at a resort hotel in the Catskills; she plans on being in the Peace Corps next summer, so this is expected to be her last summer as a carefree adolescent. Baby doesn't get along with her older sister, Lisa (Jane Brucker), and she's bored to tears by most of the older guests at the resort. However, one night Baby hears what sounds like a party going on in the employee's dormitory, and she pokes her head in to discover most of the hotel staff enjoying the sort of close dancing that would get you kicked out of the senior prom in no time flat. Baby is particularly struck by handsome Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze), a dancer in the resort's floor show, and falls head over heels in love, wanting to be near him. When Johnny's dance partner, Penny (Cynthia Rhodes), finds herself pregnant after a fling with one of the waiters, Baby volunteers to learn her steps and take her place; however, Baby's father, Dr. Jake Houseman (Jerry Orbach), will have none of it, convinced that Johnny is a low life and that his daughter is too young to understand her own feelings. Dirty Dancing was a surprise box-office hit, and the soundtrack album was an even bigger success, spawning several hit singles and inspiring a top-drawing concert tour featuring several of its artists. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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90% liked it

1,052,606 ratings


71% liked it

55 critics

PG-13, 1 hr. 45 min.

Directed by: Emile Ardolino

Release Date: August 21, 1987

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DVD Release Date: August 19, 1997

Stats: 78,162 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (78,162)

  • July 3, 2013
    Original rating of 2 upped half a star. That still isn't saying much. An average movie for me is usually a 3.
    Decided I would re watch this movie. I last watched it when I was 13 and that was under duress as my nan and auntie were drooling over Patrick Swayze in a quite disturbi... read moreng manner. I couldn't see it, and I still can't, really.
    It's a nice enough little story and the leads are good, although they don't necessarily look good together. The many dance scenes are pretty cheesy. I found most of it pretty embarrassing (for them) in all honesty, rather than hot. Patrick in that black top thing with his hair slicked back. Oh please!
    Still, it was watchable and my original rating may have been harsh and due to the dubbing of Patrick as "next year's man" (as my 13 year old self was clearly not old enough to appreciate his hotness). No, didn't happen, but I did come to appreciate him as an actor in his later years and he did seem to be a nice person too).
    Inoffensive quite sweet story that I don't think I will watch a 3rd time.
  • March 10, 2013
    Completely anachronistic boilerplate dance film: young person - man this time, played by Patrick Swayze - of lower social class wins heart of upper-class young person (woman, Jennifer Grey) through the power of dance... or something. What made this movie watchable for me was the ... read moreparticularity of its setting; I don't know of any other films set in the Catskills in the 1960s, and buried within it is a story of (Jewish) identity and coming of age, told nostalgically and enjoyably. The bubble bursts when a 1980s song drives the film's finale - selling the soundtrack more than the story, to say the least - but, (along with Saturday Night Fever), it cast the mold for a certain kind of film: the summer sing-and-dance blockbuster. Essential viewing, unfortunately - even for guys like me who don't want to admit it,
  • January 27, 2013
    Classic dance movie. Baby and her sister Lisa spend the summer at a holiday camp where they meet guys and fall in love. Baby learns to dance and helps Penny a dancer who gets into trouble. Fab soundtrack. Patrick's best role ever. Amazing!
  • September 13, 2012
    I can't believe it took me twenty years or so to see this gem. It's just such a nicely-packaged little story. It doesn't try to be anything other than a sweet bildungsroman that tackles class issues while treating the audience to beautifully choreographed dance routines.
  • September 5, 2011
    If someone sang the lyrics, "I've had the time of my life, and I've never felt this way before", and the first thing that came to mind was something completely unrelated to this film, namely the fairly recent Black Eyed Peas song "The Time (Dirty Bit)", then first of all, I pity ... read moreyou, because that means you obviously have not had the chance to witness the extraordinary dancing found in this film. DIRTY DANCING certainly is not perfect, but even from a critical perspective, it is a whole lot of sensual, well-acted fun. And trust me--this is not just any old MTV dance-fest like what you would find in STEP UP; nor is it a cool-guy-gaga, musical, corny, so-called "classic" such as GREASE. True, this one is like GREASE, in the way that it rewinds a few decades and looks at life in a coming-of-age way, but we can see that Patrick Swayze can do the final dance better than John Travolta can do "Greased Lightning", and there is no way to easily compare Jennifer Grey with Olivia Newton-John--hands down. This is an absolute must-see, and even more a definite must-hear.
  • August 25, 2011
    One of the oldest and most loved girly movies of all time that I have never been ashamed to say I love. The acting is terrible, the special effects have holes in them and the story line is sporadically poor but the soundtrack and simplicity of the instant love between Baby and Jo... read morehnny is what every 14 year old girl (including myself at that age wanted). As I have got older, the age difference between them unnerves me slightly but then most things unnerve me in my old age. A definite keeper, even if it is complete hogwash.
  • July 5, 2011
    Have The Time Of Your Life.

    Great Movie! I knew I was gonna like it. Great love story, superb acting and excellent 80's songs!

    In the 1960s, Frances "Baby" Houseman, a sweet daddy's girl, goes with her family to a resort in upstate New York's Catskill Mountains. Baby has grown ... read moreup in privileged surroundings and all expect her to go on to college, join the Peace Corps and save the world before marrying a doctor, just like her father. Unexpectedly, Baby becomes infatuated with the camp's dance instructor, Johnny, a man whose background is vastly different from her own. Baby lies to her father to get money to pay for an illegal abortion for Johnny's dance partner (Johnny is not the father). She then fills in as Johnny's dance partner and it is as he is teaching her the dance routine that they fall in love. It all comes apart when Johnny's friend falls seriously ill after her abortion and Baby gets her father, who saves the girl's life. He then learns what Baby has been up to, who with and worse - that he funded the illegal abortion. He bans his daughter from any further association with "those people". In the first deliberately willful action of her life, Baby later sneaks out to see Johnny - ostensibly to apologize for her father's rudeness - and ends up consummating her relationship with Johnny. A jealous fellow vacationer sees Baby sneaking out of Johnny's bungalow the next morning and in an act of retribution, tells management that he is responsible for a theft the evening before, knowing he would not furnish his real whereabouts. In an act of bravery, Baby states that Johnny is innocent, and alibis him by confessing that they were together all night. This revelation causes a huge rift in the family and Baby makes an impassioned speech to her angry and bereft father. At the closing night performances, and although he has been fired and banned from attending, Johnny returns and takes the stage to tell everyone about the woman whose faith in him and whose courage changed his life. They do one final show-stopping dance together. Baby's father learns that Johnny was not responsible for his partner's pregnancy and learns to accept that although his beloved daughter is transitioning to womanhood, she will always love him.
  • June 23, 2011
    Nothing more to say than a timeless classic. If you haven't seen this film, you are missing out on one of the most gorgeous love stories of all time. Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey have incredible chemistry and this film makes you nothing but happy. One of the many reasons why ... read moreI love the 80's and their films so much.
  • April 30, 2011
    I wouldn't call it a classic, but it certainly is a good romance and a great memory of Patrick Swaze.
  • April 28, 2011
    Dirty Dancing is pure sex. When they were crawling on the floor toward each other, butts cheekily pointed upward, I ... well, I got a little excited.

Critic Reviews

Pauline Kael
May 6, 2013
Pauline Kael, New Yorker

The dancing here brings out the sensual dreaminess of the songs. Dirty Dancing -- what a great title! -- is such a bubbleheaded, retro vision of growing up in the sixties (or any other time) that you ... Full Review

Richard Schickel
March 25, 2013
Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine

If the ending of Eleanor Bergstein's script is too neat and inspirational, the rough energy of the film's song and dance does carry one along, past the whispered doubts of better judgment. Full Review

Jay Boyar
March 25, 2013
Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel

Although the plot is sometimes implausible, the movie's music, dancing and romantic spirit carry a lot of it. In addition, Dirty Dancing has the virtues of a female main character (a bit unusual in a ... Full Review

Sheila Benson
March 25, 2013
Sheila Benson, Los Angeles Times

Smart and funny, touching and unabashedly sensual. Full Review

Dave Kehr
March 25, 2013
Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune

This is a shapely film, considered and concise. And if its rhetorical slickness eventually covers up its emotional core, that slickness has a pleasure of its own. Full Review

Jonathan Rosenbaum
February 12, 2008
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

While the music on the soundtrack is predictably overloud, the period detail is refreshingly soft-pedaled. Full Review

Desson Thomson
February 12, 2008
Desson Thomson, Washington Post

The dance finale between Gray and Swayze, although an obvious crowd-pleaser, is performed to a contemporary song clearly intended for the charts, which blows the period feel right off the dance floor. Full Review

Variety Staff
February 12, 2008
Variety Staff, Variety

Good production values, some nice dance sequences and a likable performance by Grey make the film more than watchable. Full Review

Anna Smith
January 26, 2006
Anna Smith, Time Out

The film's easy charm, infectious soundtrack and tidy choreography should still win over new fans as well as old. Full Review

Vincent Canby
May 20, 2003
Vincent Canby, New York Times

Dirty Dancing works best when it's most direct and unpretentious. Full Review

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    • Johnny Castle: You wanna hear somethin' crazy? Last night I... I dreamed that we were walkin' along and we met your father. He said, "Come on," and he put his arm around me. Just like he did with Robbie.
    • Johnny Castle: Look, spaghetti arms. This is my dance space. This is your dance space. I don't go into yours, you don't go into mine. You gotta hold the frame.
    • Johnny Castle: I'll never be sorry.
    • Frances "Baby" Houseman: Neither will I.
    • Dr. Jake Houseman: I won't tell your mother about this. Right now, I'm goin' to bed. And take that stuff off your face before your mother sees you.
    • Lisa Houseman: I've been thinkin' about the Domino Effect. Now, if Vietnam falls, what does that mean China's next?
    • Penny Johnson: Johnny, what are you doin'?
    • Johnny Castle: Don't worry about Max, I'll tell him your grandmother died or somethin'.
    • Penny Johnson: How many times have you told me never get mixed up with them?
    • Johnny Castle: I know what I'm doin', Penny.
    • Penny Johnson: You listen to me, you gotta stop it, now!

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Dirty Dancing Trivia

  • In 'Dirty Dancing' what was Baby's real name?   Answer »
  • What is 'Baby's' real name in Dirty Dancing?  Answer »
  • "Most of all I'm scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way that I feel when I'm with you."  Answer »
  • What 2 movies did Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey star in together?   Answer »

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