“That was the summer of 1963… when everybody called me Baby, and it didn’t occur to me to mind. That was before President Kennedy was shot, before the Beatles came… when I couldn’t wait to join the Peace Corps, and I thought I’d never find a guy as great as my dad. That was the summer we went to Kellerman’s.”
If you were a teenage girl in the 80s, you saw it multiple times. If you were the boyfriend of a teenage girl in the 80s, you saw it… multiple times. It was the 11th biggest movie of 1987, the biggest video rental of 1988, and readers of UK’s Sky Movies voted it the all-time, #1 most-watched film among women.
It is Dirty Dancing.
Young Frances Houseman (Jennifer Grey) is in the Catskills with her family for a quiet summer vacation before she heads off to attend Mount Holyoke, but one glimpse of the dreamy dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze), and it’s all over.
And who can blame her? Not for nothing, but the strapping Mr. Swayze was just about the hottest thing to hit movie screens since the pretty flyboys played volleyball in Top Gun a summer earlier. Plus… he could dance.
And we mean he could really dance.
When Johnny agreed to give Frances (make that “Baby”) a few lessons, he never expected sparks to start flying, but indeed they did, and we were all treated to one of the sweetest, most romantic films of our favorite decade.
The music was great (“Hungry Eyes”! “Love is Strange”!), there was plenty of drama (back-alley abortions! stolen wallets!), and there was scene after scene after scene of Baby and Johnny practicing for what would ultimately be one of the most iconic moments in all of chick flick-dom:
We gotta admit we’re glad that Billy Zane and Sarah Jessica Parker (who both auditioned) didn’t get the roles that cemented Swayze and Grey’s spot in our hearts during the late summer of 1987… just like we have to admit we’ll always love what was, for most of us, our first ‘favorite movie’.
…because nobody puts Dirty Dancing in a corner.
We ♥ Dirty Dancing.