patrick swayze

Remembering Patrick Swayze’s budget-busting shoes and the battle over ‘appropriate’ cutoffs for Jennifer Grey

Artwork from the cover of a 35th anniversary steelbook edition of Dirty Dancing.

Artwork from the cover of a 35th anniversary steelbook edition of Dirty Dancing.

A Catskills resort in the summer of ’63. A sensational and sultry musical climax. And a young, bright, idealistic Jewish girl who unexpectedly falls in love and finds her voice. A perfect melding of romance, dance and politics, 1987’s Dirty Dancing—a big-hearted shoestring indie that broke records and won a Best Original Song Oscar (for “The Time of My Life”)—is still as timeless and relevant today as it was 35 years ago.

Indeed, the story that gave us heartthrob Patrick Swayze’s ageless line, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner,” unsurprisingly continues to strike a major chord with audiences worldwide. After all, female-focused coming-of-age stories (especially those that earnestly acknowledge female sexuality and gaze) are still not as common as they should be today. And reproductive rights—the core of Dirty Dancing’s plot through dancer Penny’s (Cynthia Rhodes) illegal and near-fatal abortion—are under constant attack, especially after Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade.

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“I was very connected to trying to retell the story of Grossinger’s at that time,” Dirty Dancing costumer designer and renowned stage and screen artisan Hilary Rosenfeld tells The A.V. Club, in a conversation to commemorate the film’s 35th anniversary. Considering the budget constraints she had to work around, it was no easy task to accurately represent a bygone era on screen. In the end, Rosenfeld was able to bring a great deal of personal experience and period authenticity to the passion project, (very) loosely based on screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein’s own memories of her family vacations at Grossinger’s, the mountain resort that was the inspiration behind Dirty Dancing’s Kellerman’s and recently suffered a major fire. (The film was actually shot Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia.)

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  • August 24, 2022