Talk:Dirty Dancing

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Good article Dirty Dancing has been listed as one of the Media and drama good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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Box Office[edit]

The "Box Office" stats say it made "213,954,274 million dollars in worldwide boxoffice totals." That's a pretty big number, right there...especially a film marketed to young girls that includes an abortion. How much of the film's success is like Titanic where girls used babysitting money to see the film multiple times? Does anyone have a satistic on "rewatching" Cr8tiv April 10 12:03

hey... I'm not going to change anything because I'm ignorant on this subject, but the tagline on the picture it says "have the time of your life again", not "have the time of your life". It sounds like someone's got something wrong, but... What do I know? Gubby 11:19, 10 October 2005 (UTC) The "again" is because the cover is from the re-release, I think. Kel123

The term: "Dirty Dancing"[edit]

I think that dirty dancing is also a form of very sexually arousing dancing between couples that takes place in clubs and dance halls etc. If you agree, should separate reference be made to this in the article? -- 01:07, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

If you can provide a reliable source per wikipedia:Verifiability policy. `'mikka 01:22, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Importance in movie history[edit]

Should disproven rumors be included in this? Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze got along really well. Many of the more memorable scenes like the famous "Mickey and Sylvia" scene were improv scenes. They wouldn't have even existed if the two didn't work so well together. In fact they already knew each other from working well together on Red Dawn. I'd write more about this movie if someone would point me to how I reference a movie. I have both the original DVD release and the new 20th anniversary version (which has a much better transfer by the way [finally!]). Khadgar 00:54, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Don't worry too much about how to reference, just go ahead and add information, and other editors will help with the formatting, per WP:CITE. --Elonka 00:55, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
    • According to the documentary by The E! True Hollywood Story, Swayze and Grey did work together on Red Dawn, but did not get along at all. When Grey heard that Swayze might be cast for Dirty Dancing, she was opposed to the idea. But they got together in the makeup trailer and had a teary heart-to-heart, and figured out how to get past things. Then, according to both producer/writer Eleanor Bergstein and Patrick Swayze, when Grey and Swayze did their dancing screentest, it was "breathtaking." Swayze described it something like, "We looked around, and all of the crew were standing there with their jaws dropped." He also said that Grey was the first time in his life, aside from his wife, that he really realized how two people could have chemistry together. Their teamwork went well during the first part of shooting, but towards the end as the stress built (along with the weather problems and bugs), they began having some serious friction. But they were both professionals and continued with the scenes. In one of the bed scenes, Grey had just been stung by a wasp immediately before the scene, but carried on as though she didn't feel it. I'm not sure how much of this detail needs to go into the article though! --Elonka 20:23, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Featured status[edit]

So, in August 2007 will be the 20-year anniversary of this film. With a bit of work, we might be able to get this article to featured status by that point, to have it appear on the Wikipedia mainpage. Anyone interested in working towards that goal? :) --Elonka 00:55, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Steps towards featured status will be:
FYI, Elonka 20:57, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Automated peer review[edit]

The following suggestions were generated by a semi-automatic javascript program, and might not be applicable for the article in question.

  • Please expand the lead to conform with guidelines at Wikipedia:Lead. The article should have an appropriate number of paragraphs as is shown on WP:LEAD, and should adequately summarize the article.[?]
  • Per Wikipedia:Context and Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates), months and days of the week generally should not be linked. Years, decades, and centuries can be linked if they provide context for the article.[?]
  • See if possible if there is a free use image that can go on the top right corner of this article.[?]
  • Per Wikipedia:Context and Wikipedia:Build the web, years with full dates should be linked; for example, link January 15, 2006.[?]
  • Watch for redundancies that make the article too wordy instead of being crisp and concise. (You may wish to try Tony1's redundancy exercises.)
    • Vague terms of size often are unnecessary and redundant - “some”, “a variety/number/majority of”, “several”, “a few”, “many”, “any”, and “all”. For example, “All pigs are pink, so we thought of a number of ways to turn them green.”
  • Avoid using contractions like (outside of quotations): weren't, couldn't.
  • Please ensure that the article has gone through a thorough copyediting so that it exemplifies some of Wikipedia's best work. See also User:Tony1/How to satisfy Criterion 1a.[?]

You may wish to browse through User:AndyZ/Suggestions for further ideas. Thanks, Elonka 05:50, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

GA on hold[edit]

Nice work so far, but the following is bothersome:

  1. Why are the cast names in the Plot?
    The cast names are in the plot, to help identify the characters. I've seen other films do it this way, and I like the style, but it's not a major issue. If they're the only thing holding back from GA, I can remove them, but I personally think that the section is easier to read with the names. --Elonka 05:20, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
    There are existing GAs with this style, so that certainly shouldn't prevent this article from reaching that status. The JPStalk to me 16:59, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
  2. "After the movie" should be renamed Legacy, and the first paragraph is uncited.
    Renamed to "Post-release," and cited --Elonka 05:20, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
  3. The pop culture is trivial. Perhaps it should be deleted and the notable part of inspiring a video game be intergrated. Alientraveller 10:52, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
    Agreed, and done. Thanks for the review, if you have any other questions or concerns, please let me know!  :) --Elonka 05:20, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Well despite the fact the article isn't quite how I would structure it, fair enough, cracking job, worthy of the green medal. Alientraveller 19:54, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Citation/ Web Link[edit]

The reception sections contains the following quote and citations:

The film's popularity has also caused it to be called "the Star Wars for girls."[3][14]

The phrase "Star Wars for girls" was first published by a writer called Nick Alaway around the turn of the millennium at (which has always featured prominently in google search results). This is easily verifiable by the The Internet Archive (Cannot include link as site appears to be down ATM)

I propose that the journalists took their quote from this site and that this citation be added/corrected and that a link to this long standing, non-commercial site be added. I had tried to do this but my edits were summararily deleted by editor "lndon" What does everyone think? please ignore -now done ThanksFanpot 08:37, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

The link attached to "Mountain Lake Hotel" goes instead to the article on Mountain Lake, which is an entirely different place (the hotel is near Roanoke; the linked lake is near Norfolk and not in any way associated with the hotel used in the film). The link should be removed. (Bill Kemp). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:20, 19 May 2013 (UTC)


I see that someone is trying to tone down the "goosebump" language in the lead, but I feel that it's well-sourced, by two major and reliable sources, the BBC and the Guardian:

Accordingly, I have put the language back in. If anyone disagrees, please feel free to offer comments here. --Elonka 16:20, 18 September 2007 (UTC)


Elonka asked me to look this over, and I went through and did some prose tweaks. I also had some other concerns/questions/suggestions, which I'm listing here: Details:

  • Pre-production section, first paragraph. "The vice-president Mitchell Cannold liked the story, as he too had spent some of his own childhood in the Catskills, and he and VP Dori Berinstein..." no good explanation of what VP means in this context.
    • Fixed. --Elonka 11:54, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Same section and paragraph, the introduction of the "... provided a new director was found for the project." clause is confusing as (unless I missed it) no director has been mentioned (producer yes, writer yes, no director that I see.)
    • Fixed. --Elonka 11:54, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I cut "great" before Gene Kelly. Personally, if you're going to use opinion, I'd go with "legendary" but it's probably a peacock term and shouldn't be used either.
    • The sentence just looked naked without a qualifier, so I added "legendary".  :) If it's a big deal though, let me know and I'll pull it. --Elonka 11:54, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Same section, third paragraph. "The next choice was 34-year-old Patrick Swayze, who had been noticed in his roles in ..." the "who had been noticed in his roles.." just seems clunky to me. Maybe " Swayze, noted for his roles..."? or at the very least "who had been noticed for his roles..."
    • Tweaked. --Elonka 11:54, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Was Joel Gray cast as Mr. Schumacher? If so, you need to say that apart from the bit about Dr. Ruth backing out. As it is written, it leaves it unclear if he was or was not cast.
    • Fixed. --Elonka 11:54, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Okay, in the Filming section, first paragraph. The last sentence is unclear. What exactly is meant by "contact"?
    • Expanded. --Elonka 11:54, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Post-production. First paragraph, was the May 1987 screening of the rough-cut mentioned in the sentence before? Or had there been more put together? This section is extremely skimpy on details, such as the time that rough-cut was put together, etc. Consider fleshing this out some.
    • I'm not sure what to do with this one. Of the sources that I have available, they don't give a lot more info. They tend to repeat the "Burn the negative" story. I'm not aware of any sources with that date, though if one becomes available, I'll definitely add the information. --Elonka 11:54, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Same section, second paragraph, the whole Clearasil bit comes out of the blue with not context at all for it being included. Consider fleshing this part out also. As it stands, it's very jarring to the reader.
    • Expanded a bit. --Elonka 11:54, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Reception section, the "Dirty Dancing Rocks to an Innocent Beat" quote needs a citation attached to it.
    • The citation is actually there at the end of the next sentence, which is about the same article. --Elonka 11:54, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Music section, first paragraph. Any reason we have a pronuciation of a redlinked guys last name in the Music section?
    • I went ahead and created a stub for him, and moved the pronunciation there.  :) --Elonka 11:54, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Same section and paragraph. What was Ienner chosen to do?
    • Expanded. --Elonka 11:54, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Same section and paragraph. Consider cutting the actors listed from "... 1984 film Grandview USA with Jamie Lee Curtis and C. Thomas Howell." as they really add nothing to the context.
    • Done. --Elonka 11:54, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Legacy section, first paragraph. "It was bought out in Jan 1991 .." Who was bought out? Vestron or the parent company? Context is unclear here.
    • Fixed. --Elonka 11:54, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Hope this helps a bit. Ealdgyth | Talk 01:47, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

  • It helps a lot, thanks! Let me know if you'd like any other clarifications, Elonka 11:54, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Vestron's investors and the soundtrack[edit]

I don't have a citable source, but perhaps someone can suggest good search terms to find one in a database ... my parents were Vestron investors for this movie and I distinctly remember that they said the company unfortunately had sold off the rights to the soundtrack before the film came out, and that the picture itself ended up a financial loss for investors because of this mistake. That would have been as of 1988-ish, so it may not take into account any money made by people who held on (?) to the point that it got more international. Unless I missed it, there appears to be no mention in the article of Vestron not having a cut of the fortune that the soundtrack earned, and when I think of what search terms to try, I come up with "Vestron" "Dirty Dancing" "investors" "soundtrack" -- which it seems to me would not return news articles so much as listings of the DVD or CD. Thoughts? Lawikitejana (talk) 18:04, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

That's some great information and I'd love to include it in the article, but you're absolutely right that we'd need a source. I find it hard to believe though that the picture itself was a financial loss, considering how much it pulled in. It is possible that Vestron might not have gone under if they'd kept the music rights though. I'll poke around in some of the library databases and see what I can find. --Elonka 04:41, 13 April 2008 (UTC)


None of the sources listed in "further reading" seem to be doing anything. If they are in fact useful, then they should be used and cited. All the more so as many of the source that are in fact used are not great: E! documentaries, DVD soundtracks, and the like.

Meanwhile, here's another:

  • "Rock 'n' Roll Sound Tracks and the Production of Nostalgia." David R. Shumway. Cinema Journal, Vol. 38, No. 2 (Winter, 1999), pp. 36-51. This is about DD plus American Graffiti and The Big Chill.

It might also be worth looking at M. Gillespie, Television, Ethnicity, and Cultural Change (New York: Routledge, 1995), which apparently has a mention of the film at least. And Jane Feuer, "A Postscript for the Nineties," in Simon Frith's Popular Music: Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies. (NB this last discusses the film in the context of musical, which might merit some reflection.) But some proper research needs to be undertaken. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 18:37, 5 May 2008 (UTC)


  • Caroline Joan, From Ballroom to Dancesport: Aesthetics, Athletics, and Body Culture (SUNY Press, 2006).
  • Ian Inglis, Popular Music and Film (Wallflower, 2003).
  • Roy Shuker, Understanding Popular Music (Routledge, 2001).
  • Robert Stam and Ella Shohat, Unthinking Eurocentrism (Routledge, 1994).

There are plenty others. This article is under-sourced for a FA candidate. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 18:56, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

In fact, I'm moving these sources over here until they get read and cited by an editor working on the article:

  • Denisoff, R. Serge; William Romanowski (1991). Risky Business: Rock in Film. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers. ISBN 978-0887388439. 
  • Fiske, John (1988). Cultural studies 2.3. London: Routledge. ISBN 041500957X. 
  • Giroux, Henry A. (1992). Border Crossings: Cultural Workers and the Politics of Education. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415904667. 
  • Parish, James Robert; Pitts, Michael R. (1992). The Great Hollywood Musical Pictures. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0810825291. 
  • Rheindorf, Marcus (2004). "The Multiple Modes of Dirty Dancing: A Cultural Studies Approach to Multimodal Discourse Analysis". In Ventola, Eija. Perspectives on Multimodality. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 137–52. ISBN 158811595X. 

Meanwhile, I'd note that the only scholarly source cited in the article itself, William Wians's "Baby in the Underworld," is really rather unreliable: a conference paper rather than a publication, by someone in (Ancient!) Philosophy rather than film or popular culture, and very much at a tangent from the consensus of critical concerns. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 19:13, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) Elonka, I watchlist the talk pages of several people that you requested help from, and after seeing your requests (and since I love this movie), I came by earlier to check out the article. I read through the article and concur with all of jbmurray's points. His comments are not meant as a personal attack on you; even the best contributors sometimes need help seeing what to do with their favorite articles. Bringing an article to FA status is hard work, and sometimes it is harder to do in a group setting than it is by yourself. Please take the comments in the good faith they were offered, and see them as an opportunity to improve the article, not an attack on you. Karanacs (talk) 02:42, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Note: the comment above refers to a now-deleted conversation on these pages. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 04:55, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Why the sources should be improved[edit]

There's been a bit of a discussion on my talk page, that would probably be more useful here. I was asked to do some copy-editing, and started to do so, before seeing that the problem with this article isn't really the prose (though that could indeed be significantly improved) than with the sourcing. Judging from Elonka's comments, she's not keen on doing much about the references, saying that she's "chosen the most relevant sources [she] could find." So I'm putting this here, in case anybody else is willing to do the work, that's necessary before this becomes a serious candidate for FA status.

I said that "overall the article reads like a fansite," to which Elonka took some umbrage, but the comment was descriptive rather than evaluative. Morevoer, she would like more details: "How does it sound like a fansite? What section(s) need improvement? Which sentence(s) needs fixing? Or getting back to the sources, it would be helpful if you could say how sources could help the article? Is there a section that's weak and needs more information? Is the article too short? Too long? Is too much screen-space spent on a particular topic? Is there some concept that you were expecting to read about, that wasn't covered?"

Passing over for the moment the fact that this is not an FA review, or even that my previous comments would no doubt be enough for an FA review, here goes...

The article focuses precisely on the kinds of things beloved of fansites: biographical details of the writer, details of production, the relationship between the stars, "where they are now," public opinion surveys on favourite quotations or most-watched films, newspaper reviews, and above all an affective ("goosebumps") response to the film.

None of this is a surprise. Such are, indeed, the vast majority of film articles on Wikipedia, created by fans, and using only online sources, led astray by the one easily-available semi-academic source to hand (the conference paper on classical themes). It really doesn't help that the major source is an E! cable documentary! As such, and as a fairly competent example of the genre, this article probably deserves its "Good Article" label.

As it happens, however, this is a film that has been fairly extensively discussed in the critical literature on 1980s film and music. This could be a featured article, an example of "our very best work," if a bit of effort went into it.

Now, the precise effects on the article of doing that work would be unpredictable: you could only know once you'd read the sources. Above all, however, it would serve to contextualize the film: at present context is dealt with symptomatically only under the rubric of "pre-production" whereas "Legacy" (even after I took out some real trivia) remains on the order of "where are they now?"

OK, so let's have a quick look at some of those unused sources...

Serge Denisoff's Risky Business looks at the way in which the film pioneered a new relationship between film and soundtrack. His initial comparison is with Saturday Night Fever. But he also indicates the way in which musical difference in the film reflects and anticipated cultural differences. (NB think also of the film's context in the 1980s culture wars, even as it displaces them back to the 1960s. I suspect other critical literature looks at this, too.) NB this source, like many others, essentially treats the film as a musical, suggesting a change already to the WP article's opening line, which stresses rather romance (affective, fan response, again). Indeed, it looks at how the film helped to revive the genre of the "dance musical," again alongside others such as Saturday Night Fever. And it looks at the way in which the dance musical is thereby transformed in new cultural circumstances. The book also focusses on the gender difference in the film's reception (a fact that is hidden in the WP article's first footnote, and in fact elided in the lead). It also suggests the film's importance in the growth of the still-nascent video (which is indicated in the WP article, but in terms of trivia, rather than as part of a serious discussion)

The Rheindorff article also stresses the way in which the film deals with conflict: both representing it and defusing it at the same time. (Again, no doubt, the displacement to an idealized version of the past is no doubt crucial, but something that is accepted rather than questioned by fans.) He points out that "film as a conventionalised mode of representation tends to reduce almost any sot of social conflict--and in particular conflicts of class, race, and gender--from a global to an individual level. [. . .] Thus, film can stage but also resolve class conflicts on an individual level, leaving the underlying social structure of its fictional world not only intact, but effectively unchallenged" (139). It looks as dance as a mode "that allows for an apparent dissolution of boundaries on the dance-floor, a space that (like the sports-ground) is often conceived of in popular imagination as transgressing all class boundaries."

I was going to go through a few more of the sources (or rather, the snippets I can see on Google books), but I think already looking at one and (not even) a half of a source begins to give some idea of how this article could and should be transformed before it becomes an instance of our very best work on Wikipedia. It's not much to do with copy-editing, to be sure, though I have now repeatedly volunteered to do such copy-editing when the article itself is properly sourced and in decent shape.

But in short, the sources should be improved because poor sources make for poor articles. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 22:47, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

NB I'd be happy to come back to this at the weekend, and work on adding some of these sources. Though I won't have time to do very much. --04:53, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Don't forget the secondary source for the undeniable fact that, as the article says, "Dirty Dancing" is similar to The Odyssey. Tempshill (talk) 16:01, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Questionable screenshot[edit]

I am not sure if Image:Dirty-dancing-corner.jpg has a sufficient fair use rationale. I hate to be a stickler, but I do not think that a non-free image of the scene in which the quote is uttered significantly increases readers' understanding. The better alternative is to provide descriptive text -- the quote itself. There is nothing that the reader can perceive in the scene that would really help the context. Is the full quote what is notable? Perhaps {{Quote box}} or {{Cquote}} could be used. —Erik (talkcontrib) - 17:18, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree. – sgeureka tc 19:38, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

"One of the most-watched films"[edit]

I'm removing this line. The source says that Dirty Dancing is one of the films "[surveyed women] most love to watch over and over again", not one of the most watched films in any global sense as the line leads one to believe. (talk) 06:03, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Budget: $5 million or $6 million?[edit]

For most readers, this issue will be very minor but it's been on my mind for a while. The New York Times reported in a December 9, 1987 article: "A year ago last summer, Bob Feiden, a pop talent scout and consultant to RCA Records, read the script for a movie called Dirty Dancing. Set in the Catskills in 1963, the film, budgeted at under $6 million, was to be the first feature entirely originated by Vestron Pictures, the home video company that had recently decided to branch out into movie production." Box Office Mojo and IMDB also confirm that the budget was US$ 6 million. United Press International, Business Week, and a couple of other newspapers say "less than $6 million". We currently cite $5 million based on one newspaper article. Can we please change it to $6 million? Are there any objections to the change, please let me know. Thanks, J Readings (talk) 08:03, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Category:Biographical_films ?[edit]

Not sure if this fits there ? + DD2 ? -- (talk) 14:58, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Dirty Dancing/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

GA Sweeps: Pass[edit]

As part of the WikiProject Good Articles, we're doing sweeps to go over all of the current GAs and see if they still meet the GA criteria. I went through the article and made various changes, please look them over. I believe the article currently meets the criteria and should remain listed as a Good article. Altogether the article is well-written and is still in great shape after its passing in 2007. Continue to improve the article making sure all new information is properly sourced and neutral. It may be beneficial to look for any updates, or see if there were any more recent stories in the news. I would also recommend updating the access dates of the sources. If you have any questions, let me know on my talk page and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. I have updated the article history to reflect this review. --Happy editing! Nehrams2020 (talkcontrib) 02:38, 14 May 2009 (UTC)


<excoriating> Really?!? couldn't come up with a more common word or phrase to mean the same thing - like - I dunno -- severely criticizing?! Pretentious snots. </excoriating>