Dirty Dancing is a 1987 American romantic drama dance film written by Eleanor Bergstein, produced by Linda Gottlieb, and directed by Emile Ardolino. Starring Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze, it tells the story of Frances "Baby" Houseman (Grey), a young woman who falls in love with dance instructor Johnny Castle (Swayze) at a vacation resort.
The film was based on screenwriter Bergstein's own childhood. She originally wrote a screenplay for the Michael Douglas film It's My Turn, but ultimately ended up conceiving a story for a film which became Dirty Dancing. She finished the script in 1985, but management changes at MGM put the film in development hell. The production company was changed to Vestron Pictures with Emile Ardolino as director and Linda Gottlieb as producer. Filming took place in Lake Lure, North Carolina, and Mountain Lake, Virginia, with the film's score composed by John Morris and dance choreography by Kenny Ortega.
Dirty Dancing premiered at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival on May 12, 1987, and was released on August 21, 1987, in the United States, earning over $214 million worldwide, and was the first film to sell more than a million copies for home video. It earned positive reviews from critics, who particularly praised the performances of Grey and Swayze, and its soundtrack, created by Jimmy Ienner, generated two multi-platinum albums and multiple singles. "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", performed by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
The film's popularity led to a 2004 prequel, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, and a stage version which has had sellout performances in Australia, Europe, and North America. A made-for-TV remake was also released in 2017.