When it was decided that “I’ve Had The Time Of My life” was going to be the played at the finale of the film, there was a special request to have it recorded by Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers, and Jennifer Warnes.
The song was an instant success. It won a number of awards including an Academy award for Best Original Song, a Grammy award, and a Golden Globe award. Oddly enough, the song was listed among those most popularly played during funerals in a 2006 survey.
A Cursed Set?
The production team of Dirty Dancing aren’t necessarily superstitious, but a series of events happened that would lead them to think the set was cursed. We can’t really blame them, not after all the reports about the strange happenings on the sets of The Poltergeist and The Exorcist. While Dirty Dancing wasn’t in the horror genre, the “curse” left male star, Patrick Swayze, injured. He hurt his knee badly while balancing on a log and had to be brought to the hospital.
An intruder stole property from the set, then a deluge caused the roads to be blocked by landslides and scraps that destroyed their van. Aside from Swayze’s injury, other cast members were hurt, too, while at working on-set. Plus, a number of crew members fell ill due to food poisoning. How would you explain all that happening in a day?
The Famous Crawling Scene
What makes Dirty Dancing such an iconic movie are its many improvisations by its actors. That way, the flow of the story seems very natural and artistic, and this was greatly encouraged by its director. It contrasts with other films marked by its staginess, and hammed up behavior.
When Johnny and Baby practiced at the studio one afternoon, they spontaneously crawled to each other while they lip synched to “Love is Strange,” eyes intent upon the other until they touch and kiss. None of it was planned, it just came upon them, as if the moment’s honesty demanded it. And there we have one of the most memorable scenes in the film ever.
Not Impressed With The Film
Not many were impressed with the vision of the Dirty Dancing movie when it was first presented. It was rejected 43 times by different producers, and many of those who read the script were skeptical at best. Bill Medley, who was asked to record “The Time of My Life,” was among those who doubted the film at first.
When told about the production, he had a strange feeling about it and even described the whole project as sounding like a “bad porno.” He checked out the cast, and was equally doubtful of its outcome, as he had never heard of Patrick Swayze or Jennifer Grey at the time.
In spite of the efforts of its cast, the post-production of the film came out a disappointment. Nobody liked how the movie was strung together, and the producers gave director, Emile Ardolino, the impression that they believed the whole project was going to be a flop.
When they approached producer, Aaron Russo, with raw results, his reaction was to "burn the negative, and collect the insurance.” Unfazed, and given the chance to polish things up, now we have a movie that has netted more than $200 million worldwide.