Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dirty Dancing for 25 Years

It was 25 years ago that audiences first saw Patrick Swayze lift Jennifer Grey up in that now iconic dancing scene at the end of Dirty Dancing. It's a moment that I've probably seen a hundred times in my multiple viewings of the film or just re-watching the clip on Youtube over and over and over again. It's one of the best movie scenes I've seen, a perfect climax and capper to one of my favorite movies of all time. Yes, all time. It of course helps that the Academy-winning song "(I've Had the) Time of My Life" was used as the backdrop of this wonderful scene.

It's undeniably hot from the get go with both Johnny and Baby giving each other a lingering look before he runs his hands over her body...

After that steamy prelude the song ramps up and so do they by showing off their mad dance and partnering skills, both of which they've been working on for most of the film. There are turns, lifts, and side by side sequences and I'm sure a bunch of other dancing elements I'm not equipped to accurately describe. It's a joyous sequence as the audience hears Johnny's co-workers cheer in the background. Baby's mom, played by Kelly Bishop, is also impressed gleefully noting that her daughter must have gotten this from her.

More hot dancing follows, but there are also moments when the two of them just get lost in each other's embrace giving this expertly choreographed dance a more natural feel. I'm talking about two shots in particular, the first where they both just look at each other as the music continues to play and the second where he grabs her towards him and all she can't help but laugh...

Johnny then jumps out into the audience leading up to one of my favorite moments of the scene when he leads his fellow dirty dancers through the aisle in a coordinated dance.

Then that magic moment comes. He looks up on to the stage at Baby and slightly nods. She nods too and makes her way down the stage. The song starts to swell. She runs to him. He lifts her up. Movie magic...

The scene and film then ends with everyone dancing albeit some dirtier than others. Watch the entire scene below and I dare you not to smile or dance along:

1 comment:

  1. I was 12 when this came out, and Patrick Swayze remained a huge crush of mine basically up to his death (which was like a gut punch).

    You're right. There basically is no better happy final scene to a film than this one. Nobody puts Baby in a corner. Nope, you put her right where everybody can see. Perfect.


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