Dirty Dancing (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

Dirty Dancing1987

Dirty Dancing (1987)



Critic Consensus: Like its winsome characters, Dirty Dancing uses impressive choreography and the power of song to surmount a series of formidable obstacles.

Dirty Dancing Photos

Movie Info

A teenage girl learns about love, adult responsibility, and how to do The Dirty Boogie in this romantic drama. In 1963, "Baby" Houseman (Jennifer Grey) is a 17-year-old spending the summer with her family at a resort hotel in the Catskills; she plans on being in the Peace Corps next summer, so this is expected to be her last summer as a carefree adolescent. Baby doesn't get along with her older sister, Lisa (Jane Brucker), and she's bored to tears by most of the older guests at the resort. However, one night Baby hears what sounds like a party going on in the employee's dormitory, and she pokes her head in to discover most of the hotel staff enjoying the sort of close dancing that would get you kicked out of the senior prom in no time flat. Baby is particularly struck by handsome Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze), a dancer in the resort's floor show, and falls head over heels in love, wanting to be near him. When Johnny's dance partner, Penny (Cynthia Rhodes), finds herself pregnant after a fling with one of the waiters, Baby volunteers to learn her steps and take her place; however, Baby's father, Dr. Jake Houseman (Jerry Orbach), will have none of it, convinced that Johnny is a low life and that his daughter is too young to understand her own feelings. Dirty Dancing was a surprise box-office hit, and the soundtrack album was an even bigger success, spawning several hit singles and inspiring a top-drawing concert tour featuring several of its artists. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Jennifer Grey
as Frances Baby Houseman, Frances
Patrick Swayze
as Johnny, Johnny Castle
Jerry Orbach
as Dr. Jake Houseman, Jake
Cynthia Rhodes
as Penny, Penny Johnson
Jack Weston
as Max, Max Kellerman
Jane Brucker
as Lisa Houseman, Lisa
Kelly Bishop
as Marjorie, Marjorie Houseman
Lonny Price
as Neil Kellerman
Max Cantor
as Robbie Gould
Neal Jones
as Billy Kostecki
Tom Connold
as Bus Boy
Paula Trueman
as Mrs. Schumacher
Alvin Myerovich
as Mr. Schumacher
Miranda Garrison
as Vivian Pressman
Garry Goodrow
as Moe Pressman
Antone Pagan
as Personal, Staff Kid
Tom Cannold
as Bus Junge, Bus Boy
M.R. Fletcher
as Dirty Dancer, Tänzer
Jesus Fuentes
as Dirty Dancer, Tänzer
Heather Lea Gerdes
as Tänzer, Dirty Dancer
Karen Getz
as Dirty Dancer, Tänzer
Andrew Charles Koch
as Dirty Dancer, Tänzer
D.A. Pauley
as Dirty Dancer, Tänzer
Dorian Sanchez
as Dirty Dancer, Tänzer
Jennifer Stahl
as Tänzer, Dirty Dancer
Jonathan Barnes
as Tito's Band, Titos Band
Dwyght Bryan
as Tito's Band, Titos Band
Tom Drake
as Tito's Band, Titos Band
John Gotz
as Titos Band, Tito's Band
Dwayne Malphus
as Tito's Band, Titos Band
Clifford Watkins
as Titos Band, Tito's Band
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Critic Reviews for Dirty Dancing

All Critics (71) | Top Critics (20)

It's a movie best seen through the hazy amber filter of '80s nostalgia, and if you're watching it without those rose-colored glasses on, God help you.

May 27, 2016 | Full Review…

I loved this movie. It seems to dream itself, as it tells the story of a young girl who comes alive in the summer of 1963.

August 20, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

What seems an enjoyable piece of fluff about a summer camp romance is, in its own quiet way, a powerful morality tale.

December 18, 2014 | Full Review…

The dancing here brings out the sensual dreaminess of the songs. Dirty Dancing -- what a great title! -- is such a bubbleheaded, retro vision of growing up in the sixties (or any other time) that you go out of the theatre giggling happily.

May 6, 2013 | Full Review…

If the ending of Eleanor Bergstein's script is too neat and inspirational, the rough energy of the film's song and dance does carry one along, past the whispered doubts of better judgment.

March 25, 2013 | Full Review…

Although the plot is sometimes implausible, the movie's music, dancing and romantic spirit carry a lot of it. In addition, Dirty Dancing has the virtues of a female main character (a bit unusual in a coming-of-age movie) and an interesting setting.

March 25, 2013

Audience Reviews for Dirty Dancing


I should hate this film because all the girls in my class were so crazy about it that they voted for it instead of Never Say Never Again on video night during a school ski trip. Not sure I watched it ever since, but everything still felt oddly familiar. For some weird reason it still works as a film set in the 60s as well as a film made in the 80s, just like the great soundtrack simply covers both eras without addressing the paradox of songs showing up 20 years before they were written. Long story short: for what it sets out to be, it pushes exactly the right buttons and there is nothing wrong with that.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

My wife makes me watch DD. Too bad that this was Jennifer Grey's defining role as an actor. It is a movie I don't mind watching over. I like the music, and the story is uplifting. Interesting comment by Mr Kellerman that this style of holidays is losing popularity.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer


Original rating of 2 upped half a star. That still isn't saying much. An average movie for me is usually a 3. Decided I would re watch this movie. I last watched it when I was 13 and that was under duress as my nan and auntie were drooling over Patrick Swayze in a quite disturbing manner. I couldn't see it, and I still can't, really. It's a nice enough little story and the leads are good, although they don't necessarily look good together. The many dance scenes are pretty cheesy. I found most of it pretty embarrassing (for them) in all honesty, rather than hot. Patrick in that black top thing with his hair slicked back. Oh please! Still, it was watchable and my original rating may have been harsh and due to the dubbing of Patrick as "next year's man" (as my 13 year old self was clearly not old enough to appreciate his hotness). No, didn't happen, but I did come to appreciate him as an actor in his later years and he did seem to be a nice person too). Inoffensive quite sweet story that I don't think I will watch a 3rd time.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

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