Because of its huge success, many people thought that Dirty Dancing was a big-budget, Hollywood movie. But that wasn’t the case at all. In fact, the film had a relatively low budget, and it was basically done in just over two months!
Considering a film usually takes at least a few months to produce, it’s quite impressive that Dirty Dancing was able to be completed in such a short time. This meant there were only two weeks for rehearsals – which were a lot – and only 44 days of filming. Unbelievable!
The Film Was Re-released in 1997 Thanks to Conan O'Brien
On its 10 year anniversary, in 1997, Dirty Dancing was released in theaters. but what you may not know is what actually caused this to happen - it was thanks to a gag by Conan O'Brien! In 1997, O'Brien asked his fans to flood the studio with letters demanding to see Dirty Dancing on the big screen again.
Even though the whole thing was meant as a joke, it actually worked! What's even funnier, O'Brien later admitted to not even liking the movie that much.
Clearasil Sponsors Backed Out
The famous skin-care brand from the 50s, Clearasil, was going to sponsor the film. It made sense since they knew the movie would be a hit among teenagers at the time, and what are teenagers most known for? Acne problems. Hence, Clearasil was very interested in becoming one of the movie's main sponsors. However, there was one tiny detail.
Once the company found out about the abortion plot in the movie, they became uneasy. They approached Bergstein about cutting the storyline altogether, but she refused. Thus, Clearasil quickly backed out.
The Best Dance Scene Was Done in One Take
Since there was very little time to rehearse, Jennifer Grey was very uneasy about the final dance scene, when Swayze lifts her up into the air. At first, Grey was really scared of losing her balance mid-air, so much so that she refused to practice the move even once. When the time came to shoot the scene, it was actually the first time they'd ever done it! Needless to say, they both got it perfectly in just one take.
Funnily enough, Grey said it was the first and last time she would ever do the lift; she refuses to do it even to this day. It's a good thing they nailed it in that first take!
1988 Was a Big Year for Dirty Dancing
Dirty Dancing was a worldwide success, grossing $215 million in movie theaters around the world. Even more impressive, it was done with a budget of only $5 million. Talk about return on investment! Even though 1987 was a huge year for the film, it was actually the year after that made waves for Dirty Dancing. Why? Because in 1988, the hit soundtrack song, "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life", won an Oscar for Best Original Song. Additionally, the movie became the most popular home video rental of the year!
In the photo above, you can see songwriters, Franke Previte, John DeNicola and Donald Markowitz holding their Oscar at the 1988 Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California.