Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘Dirty Dancing’: Why Patrick Swayze Wanted His Most Iconic Line Cut

‘Dirty Dancing’: Why Patrick Swayze Wanted His Most Iconic Line Cut

Dirty Dancing is chock full of iconic moments, chiefly a career-defining line said by star Patrick Swayze. However, Swayze hated it. In fact, he desperately wanted the epic line cut from the film altogether.

Directed by Emile Ardolino, 1987’s Dirty Dancing takes place at a holiday resort and introduces us to Baby, a young woman on vacation with her family. Fed up with the other resort-goers, Baby sets out to find some excitement at a rock ‘n’ roll bar, where she crosses paths with the charismatic local dancer Johnny Castle, portrayed by the ever-charming Swayze. Of course, this sets the stage for dance training montages and epic choreography set to classic rock music.

The movie achieved tremendous success at the box office, generating an astonishing $214 million and captivating audiences worldwide.

Easily the most iconic line of dialogue is towards the climax of the film. Patrick Swayze utters “nobody puts Baby in a corner,” with the ultimate swagger, elevating Dirty Dancing to an instant classic.

However, it turns out that Patrick Swayze couldn’t stand his biggest Dirty Dancing moment. During an interview with AFI the actor dove into the iconic line and pondered its elusive meaning.

“I hated that line, ‘nobody puts Baby in a corner,’ and it was only because I couldn’t understand the meaning behind it,” Swayze explained in 2009. “I thought, ‘this is the time for Patrick Swayze as Johnny Castle to come back in this room and do his big dance number.’”

How Patrick Swayze Found Hungry Eyes for His ‘Dirty Dancing’ Line

Patrick Swayze said that once he understood the meaning, the scene and dialogue finally came together. An ancient proverb helped him find the line’s significance.

“It was about coming back to serve. There is an Eastern adage that says, ‘only when one learns to serve can one be truly mastered,’” he recalled.

“It was only when I started this kind of thought and looking beneath the surface was when that line worked for me,” Swayze added. “When I went to her (Baby) and said that I truly believed it, but up until that point and not until I found that background and the passion as an actor, I hated that line, and I was going to do anything in my power to get it cut.”

Well, they say there are many paths to Buddha… We’re just happy that Patrick Swayze made peace with his Dirty Dancing line. It’s hard to imagine fans would have had the time of their lives watching the film without it.