Aug. 8, 2020

#10 - “Dirty Dancing” (1987) with Tyra Williams

#10 - “Dirty Dancing” (1987) with Tyra Williams

In 1987 a small Connecticut-based direct-to-video company made their first feature film for a true theatrical release.  With low expectations from investors due to a female-driven plot in the midst of a testosterone-heavy Summer blockbuster season, this small movie became a word of mouth sleeper hit, made a dancing football player turned actor into a bonafide sex symbol movie star, and birthed the world-wide phenomenon called, “Dirty Dancing”.

On this episode, Tim Williams and guest co-host Tyra Williams share their memories of this 80's romantic classic.  They also share favorite characters, movie moments, and behind the scenes trivia along the way.

Here are additional behind the scenes trivia we were unable to cover on this episode:

  • Cynthia Rhodes asked Eleanor Bergstein to write the scene where Penny tells Baby that she doesn't sleep around. It was written the night before it was filmed, and David Chapman built the locker room for it on such short notice that it was a surprise to Eleanor Bergstein.
  • In the last scene, Baby's mother, Marjorie Houseman (Kelly Bishop), says of Baby's dancing, "I think she gets it from me." This is a two-fold "in-joke". First of all, Jerry Orbach and Kelly Bishop (Baby's parents) appeared together on Broadway in 1968 in the original cast of 'Promises, Promises', for which ORBACH won the Tony Award. In 1976, Orbach was again nominated for a Tony for originating the role of Billy Flynn in 'Chicago'. He did not win this time but Kelly Bishop DID win the Tony for originating the role of Sheila in 'A Chorus Line'.
  • The song "She's Like The Wind", co-written and performed by Patrick Swayze was originally written for his first feature film role, Grandview, U.S.A. (1984), but was used in this movie instead.
  • The shooting wrapped on October 27, 1986, both on-time and on-budget. No one on the team, however, liked the rough cut that was put together, and Vestron executives were convinced the film was going to be a flop. Thirty-nine percent of people who viewed the film did not realize abortion was the subplot. In May 1987, the film was screened for producer Aaron Russo. According to Vestron executive Mitchell Cannold, Russo's reaction at the end was to say simply, "Burn the negative, and collect the insurance."

Sources: Wikipedia, Imdb, Rotten Tomatoes, "The Movies That Made Us: Dirty Dancing" (Netflix Original Documentary Series), "I Am Patrick Swayze" (Paramount Network Documentary)

Intro & Outro Music: “Total Eclipse” by Nathaniel Wyver

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