- Never mind the basic version - get two discs and lots of bonus features with Dirty Dancing: 20th Anniversary Collectors Edition.
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Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey star in this classic 1980s romantic comedy drama directed by Emile Ardolino. Frances 'Baby' Houseman (Grey) is a teenage girl on holiday with her family at a resort in the Catskill Mountains. Stumbling upon an off-limits employees-only party, she witnesses the staff getting down and dirty to the R&B hits of the day. The hotel's dance instructor Johnny (Swayze) catches her eye in particular, and, despite their differences in class, age and experience, the couple begin to fall in love. The film won the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for '(I've Had) the Time of My Life'.
Its inspired a hit musical. The soundtrack has sold in its millions. And its still, arguably, the most popular film on Patrick Swayzes curriculum vitae. Most worrying of all, perhaps, is that Dirty Dancing is now more than twenty years old. Now thats scary.
Still, it does offer the excuse for a special anniversary release, and thats exactly what we have here. And, to be fair, the film has never looked better. The story is still as straightforward and simple as it always was, baked just to the point where it can support the aforementioned Swayze and Jennifer Grey strutting their stuff. But Dirty Dancing nonetheless continues to work well to this day, with its rarely-rivalled, sizzling mix of romance, energy and music.
Of course, its an easy film to pick holes in, should you be inclined to do so. After all, at heart its a well packaged piece of hokum, thats never likely to contend in a Top 100 movies poll. But to pick holes would be churlish, and perhaps to miss the point. Because Dirty Dancings mantra is to entertain, and it delivers on that promise with some conviction. The late Emile Ardolino wisely keeps his direction zippy, and the two leads really do look like theyre having the time of their life.
Granted, this latest re-release isnt going to convert sceptics to the ways of Dirty Dancing, and the unfortunate, unwelcome sequel will remain a blot on its copybook. But this original is hard to beat, and its still a hard dish to resist. --Jon Foster