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?
Whether the lines of the film are corny or not, the plot remarkable or average, one cannot deny the one sure-fire facet of the film: the dancing skills exhibited in it are one major factor that makes it live on through generations.
Actor, Patrick Swayze, showed off his outstanding dancing ability that helped him pull off a tough move in one scene: Baby being lifted up in the air and leaping back into Johnny’s arms in a perfectly timed catch and fit. Both characters in the movie rehearsed that maneuver many times, but the real actors surprisingly performed an impromptu. When asked about it, Jennifer Grey said, “I only did it on the day I shot it. Never rehearsed it, never done it since.”
The production of Dirty Dancing was done on a very low budget and, therefore, getting corporate sponsorship was key to keeping it going. The film struggled to gain interest from companies that didn’t want to be involved in a movie that carried a subplot on abortion.
An American brand of skincare initially showed interest in the film because it felt that it could reach out to a teen audience. They were already into the work of promoting it when they found out about the abortion scene regarding Penny. They wanted it cut, but this request was rejected. This impasse led to their mutually agreed plans to promote the film being dropped.
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.
A Memorable Soundtrack
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.