STUDIO: Lions Gate
MSRP: 29.98
RUNNING TIME:  105 minutes
   •Commentary track with writer/co-producer Eleanor Bergstein, Commentary track with Kenny Ortega, Miranda Garrison, Jeff Jur, Hilary Rosenfeld, and David Chapman.
   •Kellerman’s: Reliving the Locations of the Film
   •Dirty Dancing: The Phenomenon
   •The Rhythm of the Dancing
   •Trivia Track
   •Tributes: In Memoriam
    -Tribute to Patrick Swayze
    -Emile Ardolino Tribute
    -Tribute to Jerry Orbach
   •Vintage Featurette
   •Fan Reel
   •Theatrical Trailer
   •The Classic Story on Stage
   •Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swayze
   •Music Videos for “Hungry Eyes”, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”, and “She’s Like the Wind”
   •Multi Angle Dance Sequence
   •Cast Interviews
   •Original Screen Tests
   •Deleted, Alternate,and Extended Scenes

The Pitch

Patrick Swayze without the punching. Jennifer Grey before the surgery. The ultimate dancing romance.

Those that know fear burn at the touch of the Swayze Thing

The Humans

Director:  Emile Ardolino

Cast:  Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes, Jack Weston, Jane Brucker, Kelly

Bishop, Lonny Price, Max Cantor

The Nutshell

Baby Houseman is a naive upper classer living between youth and adulthood. On a vacation to a summer resort Baby(Jennifer Grey) is challenged both physically and perception wise when a lower class dancer, Johnny(Patrick Swayze), opens her mind and legs. Daddy(Jerry Orbach) doesn’t approve of it when asked to help one of Johnny’s friends after a botched abortion. Will the power of dance break down the barriers of prejudice and teach Johnny and Baby to be stronger and better individuals?

Alternate ending to the movie Frog Dreaming

The Lowdown

What could be said about this movie that is going to bring any new people to watch it? You either know if it’s your thing or not by now. Nearly two decades of love for this film has probably created too much of a haze to properly evaluate this film. I found it more interesting than I expected if mostly due to the understanding of the films power over audiences since its release. Several generations of female targeted entertainment has come and gone since this movie came out, yet this one endures. What is it that this film has that keeps it evergreen to a certain audience?

Baby, the protagonist of the film, is the original Bella Swan. She is pretty and relatable even if she is more capable and of greater means than most of the audience. It is an illusion but one most don’t have to stretch too much to believe. It is her movie and Johnny is the almost unbelievable love interest. Johnny is better drawn a character than Edward Cullen ever is, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is more a fantasy than anything. Both graceful and masculine, beautiful and forceful, passionate and unrefined. He is as real as a vampire, but I won’t fault the film for this too much. This is something done almost always in male fantasy films, so why the need to hold accountable a film that is never meant to be much more than a lovely fantasy for women of all ages.

“Tell me again about your children”

I do appreciate the economy of storytelling in this movie. There isn’t too much in the way of fat. Subplots are all used in service of the main plot. Johnny’s previous dancing partner Penny finds herself with an unwanted pregnancy which becomes crux of the divide that comes between Baby and Johnny. Jerry Orbach is set up as a good and caring father so that when he becomes upset with Baby it has bearing on her decision making process. I mean none of this is truly revolutionary, but it should be appreciated for being well structured.

Jennifer Grey is very well suited in the role of Baby. Her large expressive eyes giver her an openness and innocence that are pretty much the most prominent characteristics of Baby. She plays the sexiness as well as the innocence without letting one overtake the other. Portraying familial love mixed with the need for independence and individuality in a way that seems idealized but friendly. Her ability as a dancer is showcased very prominently, of course. She is the star even if Swayze gets most of the attention. Obviously, I’m kind of in love with this Jennifer Grey.

That Patch Adams is wonderful

Patrick Swayze is the magical hunk that leads Baby to a sexual awakening. There isn’t anything wrong with Swayze, although I do think he plays it a little stage broad at times, he is just asked to play a fairly unrealistic character. Swayze is a terrific dancer and gets to show that more than anything. Playing masculine while dancing with the grace of Gene Kelly is the main reason he was cast and in that respect he owns his role. It isn’t all about women swivelling on his cock. The fact that he became an icon in action films as well as romance films is unsurprising based on the work he did here.

Jerry Orbach as the Father to Baby comes across like much of the film, a warm recollection filtered through selective memory. He is the father that all little girls would want or have imagined that their father is: successful, warm, and giving. Jerry Orbach is good in the role even if, like Swayze, he is playing a fantasy.

This dance is called ‘the Giant Sleazebag’

This movie certainly isn’t my cup of tea, but I can appreciate it for what it is. I don’t need to tell you it’s good, certainly decades of continued success has done that for it. Without a doubt this is a pleasant fantasy designed to reach women both young and old. It is very successful being that fantasy of a time and place that probably never existed. On these terms the movie just works.

The Package

There are few sets out there as exhaustive as this one. I’m pretty sure at this point I’m some sort of Dirty Dancing expert. If you love Dirty Dancing there is no good reason not to own this. I can’t imagine something more complete could exist. Thus set is just bursting with content.

Bettie Page South Pacific style

The commentary tracks are informative and contain a lot of quality material on the making of the film and what went into the dance sequences. Surprised to see a lack of any of the main actors in this category, but it isn’t terribly missed because this covers so much info. The featurette on the location is a bit excessive in that it runs 13 minutes and covers the Virginia resort standing in for the Catskill mountains. I question if you really need to know as much about it as covered, but it wasn’t made for me anyways. There is a 14 minute feature on the phenomenon of the film.

Disc 2 starts with the Memoriam’s with special focuses on Director Emile Ardolino and stars Patrick Swayze and Jerry Orbach. I have to say I was shocked at how many people that worked on this film are dead, are we sure this doesn’t have a Poltergeist-like curse on it? Don Swayze cameos in the Swayze tribute (True Blood connection!). There is about 40 minutes worth of dead folks here. It’s crazy!

“I carried a watermelon”

The fan reel is mildly terrifying. It’s about 6 minutes worth of folks showing their undying devotion to this movie. There is a preview of the stage show, boring. There is a Swayze on Dirty Dancing feature, that has about the bulk of what we get with Swayze discussing the movie.

There is a too short outtakes reel, a (fairly, cool) multi-angle dance sequence for fans of the dancing. Screen tests are surprisingly short and Patrick Swayze light. The interview section contains about all of Jennifer Greys involvement with the special features(looking nothing like she did in the film). There are deleted, alternate and extended scenes. A vintage feature covers the time period of the movie and the touches they included to help convey that. Photo gallery and credits round out the disc.

Finally the set includes a collectible booklet with featuring stills from the movie, some of the more famous quotes ,some character bios and some trivia type stuff. There is also a coupon for fifty dollars off a stay at the location that became Kellerman’s in the movie (it pays for itself!). The packaging is nice if a bit flimsy. It might not hold up on your shelf if it gets moved around too much.

OVERALL 7.5 out of 10