[Screen It]


(1987) (Jennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Minor None *Moderate None None
Mild None None Minor Mild
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Moderate Minor Mild Mild Mild

Drama: A teenager falls for a resort dancer in the 1960's much to her father's disapproval as he believes the dancer isn't good enough for his daughter.
It's 1963 and the Houseman family has arrived at the Kellerman summer lake resort, an old-fashioned family place run by Max (JACK WESTON) and his grandson Neil (LONNY PRICE) where the entire family can relax and have fun. That holds true for dad Jake (JERRY ORBACH), mom Marjorie (KELLY BISHOP) and oldest daughter Lisa ( JANE BRUCKER), but not Baby (JENNIFER GREY), a girl in those awkward teenage years where she's trying to break free from her parents. She gets the chance here when she meets Johnny Castle (PATRICK SWAYZE) and Penny Johnson (CYNTHIA RHODES), two of the resort's dance instructors. Seen by the management as second class citizens who are expected to entertain the guests but not fraternize with them, the dancers are attractive to Baby and she starts to hang out with them. When it turns out that Penny is pregnant and Robbie Gould (MAX CANTOR), one of the rich waiter boys, is the father and won't take responsibility for his deeds, Baby gets money for Penny to have an abortion. Since Penny consequently can't compete in an important dance competition, Baby steps in and learns the moves. Soon she and Johnny become lovers, much to her father's chagrin and from that point on, Baby must decide whether to please her father or stand up for what she believes is right.
Those who have heard about this film might, but since it was originally released in 1987 and the cast members didn't become huge stars, this might not be much of a draw to kids.
The reason was not available, but we'd guess it was for strong thematic elements (abortion) and the rather sensual/sexual nature of the dirty dancing and several non-explicit sexual encounters.
  • JENNIFER GREY plays a teen who sneaks off to hang around with the dance staff and falls for the main "hunk." She does sleep with him several times, and borrows money from her father for another woman to have an abortion.
  • PATRICK SWAYZE plays the head dancer who becomes sexually involved with a teen who appears much younger than him. He does appear to love her and defends her honor when it's tarnished.
  • CYNTHIA RHODES plays Johnny's dance partner who finds that she's pregnant from a rich waiter boy and has an abortion.


    OUR TAKE: 6.5 out of 10
    With the massive success of the re-release of the "Star Wars" trilogy, it was inevitable that other big films such as "The Godfather" would follow, with future plans for "Close Encounters" also to make another trip to the big screen. But "Dirty Dancing?" While it's a rather enjoyable film with two engaging lead characters, its re-release is questionable at best and the movie probably won't last longer than a week or two in the theaters. Sporting a new digital soundtrack, the re-release features one of the stronger aspects of the film -- the period music and the dance numbers. The movie does have an incredibly infectious feel to it stemming from the early 1960's rock and r&b songs and the many well-choreographed dance scenes. The inclusion of modern music (from the 80's when this film was made) is rather jarring and even includes a ridiculous moment when a character actually plays the modern tune that they're/we're hearing on a record player. Of course the modern songs were included to sell the soundtrack album and from a purely marketing standpoint was a good idea. For the film, however, it ruins the period piece feel and the newer songs are nowhere as good or as enjoyable as the golden oldies. Swayze and Grey are good in their roles (both received Golden Globe nominations) and they do have a certain chemistry together that works very well for the picture and during their dance scenes. With dancing in their blood (Swayze had professional training while Grey's father was a big Broadway star), the two look very natural on the dance floor and it's a great deal of fun watching her "learn" how to dance. The plot, while not great, is serviceable and provides enough filler to sustain the scenes between the dance numbers. While neither Swayze nor Grey turned into the big stars everyone thought they would after this feature, they're enjoyable to watch in this lightweight, entertaining film. We give "Dirty Dancing" a 6.5 out of 10.
    An abortion that's never mentioned by name (and isn't seen) and the title dancing style are probably the biggest issues of concern for parents. While the abortion is implied (although we do see the injured woman after the procedure is botched), some viewers may find this objectionable as they might Baby's efforts to get the money for the procedure. Others may find the rather sensual/sexual nature of the dirty dancing to be a bit much. That, along with a few sexual encounters cause us to rate that category as having moderately objectionable material. Beyond that, some bad attitudes and some mild violence (mainly one brief fight) and profanity, the rest of the movie has relatively little objectionable material. We do suggest, though, that you examine the content if you're worried about whether this film is appropriate for you and/or your children.

  • Wine and champagne are served at dinner.
  • Some staff members, including Johnny, drink what appears to be beer.
  • Johnny's cousin brings him and Penny some sort of alcohol to drink.
  • None.
  • Since an abortion occurs in the story (not seen or even mentioned by name), some may view this and Baby's efforts to borrow money from her dad for it as having both.
  • Max tells his staff to entertain the ladies... "even the dogs" (referring to unattractive women). He also often talks down to his staff, as does his grandson, Neil, who does so particularly to Johnny (implying that he'll fire him if he doesn't follow personal orders).
  • Despite getting Penny pregnant, Robbie wants nothing to do with her after this. He then tells Baby that "some people count, some people don't."
  • Thinking that Baby is just some rich kid, Johnny and Penny aren't nice after first meeting her.
  • None.
  • None.
  • Phrases: "Wise ass," "Knocked up" (pregnant), and "Wimp."
  • Teens may imitate the dirty dancing that occurs in the movie.
  • Baby pours a pitcher of water onto Robbie's crotch after learning what a jerk he is.
  • Johnny finds that he locked his keys in the car. To get inside, he pulls a short pole from the ground and breaks one of the windows.
  • Johnny and Baby dance on a fallen, horizontal tree that straddles a creek (ten feet or so up in the air).
  • None.
  • None.
  • A song contains the lyrics, "We're gonna make love tonight. It's gonna be all right...Hugging and squeezing and loving and teasing all night..."
  • 2 slang verbs used for sex ("ball" and "humped"), 4 "s" words, 4 asses, and 3 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "Oh my God," "My God," "Oh God," "Swear to God," and "Jesus" are used as exclamations.
  • There are several scenes where "dirty dancing" occurs with couples dancing and then grinding or thrusting their pelvic areas together, sometimes with the man between the woman's legs. Other than some exposed upper thigh areas, there's no nudity.
  • When told not to fraternize with the guests, a dancer mentions getting some "ass" in the woods, but not having any conversations with them.
  • Lisa asks Baby to cover for her since she's going to the golf course to make out (nothing's seen).
  • A middle-aged woman who dances with Johnny shows some cleavage.
  • We learn that Penny is pregnant (from an encounter with Robbie -- not seen).
  • Robbie mentions that he's not going to bail out someone (Penny) who he thinks will "ball" (have sex with) every guy in the place. Penny, however, tells Baby that she doesn't sleep around and that she thought she loved Robbie.
  • Baby is seen in her bra in several scenes (some sexual, others not).
  • Johnny and Baby do some private dirty dancing where they also feel each other's butts, and he then takes her shirt off (she's seen in her bra). Later, they're seen in bed (as they are two more times later in the movie), implying that they had sex. After the first time, he gets up and his bare butt is briefly seen. She then asks him if he's "had many women" and he says that he hasn't, but that many women give him their room keys. We do see one instance where a middle-aged woman tells him that this is their last night together.
  • Lisa tells Baby that she's decided "to go all the way" with Robbie, and later tells her that "tonight's the night."
  • Lisa walks in on Robbie having sex with a woman. She's on top of him, but no nudity or movement is seen.
  • Some staff members smoke.
  • A man smokes a cigar while playing cards and Max smokes a cigar.
  • Johnny lights a cigarette for a woman.
  • Baby and her father have a falling out over her borrowing money from him to pay for Penny's abortion. She's disappointed in him after he treats Johnny like a second class citizen.
  • Penny talks about how her mother kicked her out of her home at the age of sixteen.
  • Standing up for people or ideals that you believe in while weighing the consequences.
  • What happened to Penny (she has an abortion that's not seen or even mentioned by name). Younger kids might not know what's being referred to.
  • Class differences between the rich and working class.
  • Johnny finds that he locked his keys in the car. So, he pulls a short pole from the ground and breaks the car window to get inside.
  • Johnny grabs Robbie who's made disparaging remarks about Baby. He slams him against a porch, throws him to the ground and then kicks him. He grabs him by the hair and delivers punches to the gut and face and then challenges Robbie to punch him. He does and Johnny then punches Robbie several more times.

  • Reviewed August 16, 1997

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