Dirty Dancing
Riffed by RiffTrax Presents
Riffers Cole Stratton, Janet Varney
Series None
Date Released September 23, 2008

Dirty Dancing is a 1987 American romantic drama film. Written by Eleanor Bergstein and directed by Emile Ardolino, the film stars Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the lead roles, as well as Cynthia Rhodes and Jerry Orbach. The story is a coming of age drama that documents a teenage girl's relationship with a dance instructor whom she encounters during her family's summer vacation. RiffTrax Presents released their riff in September 2008. It is the riffing debut of Cole Stratton and Janet Varney.

Plot Synopsis & SampleEdit

Dirty dancing rifftrax sample01:16

Dirty dancing rifftrax sample

Spoilers Begin

It's the summer of 1963, and Frances "Baby" Houseman (Grey) is vacationing with her affluent Jewish family at Kellerman's, a resort in the Catskill Mountains. The younger of two daughters, Baby is planning to attend Mount Holyoke College to study the economics of underdeveloped countries and then enter the Peace Corps. She was named after Frances Perkins, the first woman in the U.S. Cabinet. Her father, Dr. Jake Houseman (Orbach), is the personal physician of Max Kellerman (Jack Weston), the resort's owner.

During her stay, Baby meets—and develops a crush on—the resort's dance instructor Johnny Castle (Swayze), who is also the leader of the resort's working-class entertainment staff. While walking around on the resort grounds, Baby encounters Billy (Johnny's cousin), and when Baby helps Billy carry watermelons to the staff quarters, she observes their secret after-hours party and the "dirty dancing" (i.e., the rock'n'roll) involved. She becomes intrigued by the sexy dancing and receives a brief, impromptu lesson from Johnny. Later, Baby discovers that Johnny's regular dance partner, Penny Johnson (Rhodes), is pregnant by Robbie Gould (Max Cantor), a womanizing waiter who dates (and cheats on) Baby's elder sister Lisa. Baby learns that Robbie plans to do nothing about the pregnancy (as he says, "Some people count, some people don't"), so Baby secures the money from her father to pay for Penny's illegal abortion. Jake agrees to give the money to Baby despite her secrecy regarding what it will be used for, because of the trust he has always held in her. In her efforts to help, Baby also becomes Penny's substitute dancer for an important performance at the Sheldrake, a nearby resort where Johnny and Penny perform annually. The upcoming show requires Johnny to teach Baby the routine in time.

As Johnny teaches Baby to dance, tempers flare and a romance begins to develop. Their performance at the Sheldrake goes reasonably well, though Baby is too nervous to accomplish the dance's climactic lift.

When they return to Kellerman's, they learn that Penny's backstreet abortion was botched, leaving her in agonizing pain. Baby brings her father to help Penny, but when he asks, "Who is responsible for her?" he misinterprets Johnny's reply of "I am" to mean Johnny had impregnated her. For that reason, after the treatment (successful), Jake forbids Baby to associate with Johnny or his friends. Jake is furious at Baby for lying to him and betraying his trust. Baby, however, defies him and sneaks out to visit Johnny in his room later that same night, where they dance intimately and have sex.

Johnny and Baby's relationship is eventually revealed after Johnny is accused of stealing a wallet from one of the resort guests and is unable to provide a verifiable alibi. To save Johnny from being fired, Baby confesses that Johnny could not have been responsible, as she was with him in his cabin that night. Johnny is cleared of the theft; however, Max still fires Johnny for having an affair with a guest. Baby's selfless act inspires Johnny to realize, "there are people willing to stand up for other people no matter what it costs them."

At the final talent show of the season, Jake gives Robbie a check to help defray the costs of medical school. Robbie then willingly confesses to getting Penny pregnant and insults her in the process, leading Jake to angrily snatch the envelope back, clearly disgusted with his arrogant and careless attitude. Also, to everyone's surprise, although Johnny's been fired and left the premises, he returns to the resort to perform the final dance of the season with Baby. Criticizing the Housemans for their choice of Baby's seat at the table, Johnny declares the now-famous line, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner," as he pulls her up from their table. He leads her onstage, interrupting the show which is already in progress. After Johnny makes a brief speech about how "Frances" has made him a better man, he and Baby dazzle the audience with a stunning dance performance to the song "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", which ends with Baby doing the lift successfully for the first time.

After the dance, Jake apologizes to Johnny and admits that he was wrong to assume Johnny had gotten Penny "in trouble". Jake also praises Baby for her dancing. The film ends as the dance sequence continues and the room is transformed into a nightclub, where everyone (staff and guests) dances together.

Spoilers End

Cast and CrewEdit

  • Jennifer Grey as Frances "Baby" Houseman
  • Patrick Swayze as Johnny Castle
  • Jerry Orbach as Dr. Jake Houseman
  • Kelly Bishop as Marjorie Houseman
  • Jane Brucker as Lisa Houseman
  • Cynthia Rhodes as Penny Johnson
  • Jack Weston as Max Kellerman
  • Max Cantor as Robbie Gould
  • Lonny Price as Neil Kellerman
  • Charles Coles as Tito Suarez
  • Neal Jones as Billy Kostecki



See AlsoEdit

External LinksEdit

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