We Found The Original Ending Of ‘Dirty Dancing,’ And Boy Is It Violent

June 17, 2019 by , featured in Pop Culture
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As many of you surely know, Hollywood is full of secret, elite, and highly exclusive parties—many of which feature secret, elite, and highly exclusive auctions. Which is precisely how the Bunny Ears staff gained access to the original, unproduced ending of Dirty Dancing, the 1987 classic starring Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze. This alternate ending was apparently never shot, as director Emile Ardolino found it “not tonally consistent with the rest of the film” and “deeply unsettling.” As movie lore has it, the filmmakers quickly rewrote and filmed the Dirty Dancing ending that we all know and love, and buried this alt finale deep in the Vestron Pictures vaults.

Now, read on for the original Dirty Dancing ending, for all our cinephile readers out there!

INT. KELLERMAN’S RESORT BALLROOM – NIGHT

It’s the end-of-the-summer talent show, and several employees and a handful of guests, including BABY, stand on the stage, singing the last few lines of “Kellerman’s Anthem.” The song ends, and the audience, seated at tables, applauds. The employees and guests walk off both sides of the stage into the wings, leaving Baby alone in a spotlight.

CUT TO:

INT. KELLERMAN’S RESORT BALLROOM BACKSTAGE

JOHNNY hurriedly arrives and takes off his leather jacket to reveal a black tank top. He hands a 45-style record to the DISC JOCKEY, who looks confused.

DISC JOCKEY
What is this?

JOHNNY
Just play it, Hoss.

DISC JOCKEY
Whatever you say, Johnny.

CUT TO:

INT. KELLERMAN’S RESORT BALLROOM

MUSIC: “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes

The record plays over the ballroom’s SOUND SYSTEM. Johnny saunters out onto the stage and pulls Baby close, half in the performative duty of a dancer, and half in genuine romance. Suddenly the music kicks up and Johnny and Baby are off and running, completely in sync with each other and expertly executing the dance they’ve practiced for weeks. Their bodies are a perfect metaphor for the song to which they dance.

CUT TO:

The shocked audience sits perfectly still in their seats. They’re mortified. No clapping. No grooving. Just expressions of confusion and horror. Then we hear a woman shriek, a baby cry, and a chair violently screech as a RESORT GUEST abruptly stands, pointing a shaking finger at Johnny.

RESORT GUEST
Demon! He’s a demon from the bowels of Hell!

Other guests similarly stand and also shout “Demon!” and “Explain yourself, demon!” The shrieking and crying intensify.

CUT TO:

Back on the stage, Johnny and Baby try their best to dance, but can’t quite concentrate with the crying, shrieking, and general hysteria. “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” continues to play. Johnny and Baby stop and stare at the crowd. They grow silent, and it just seems to make the song feel louder.

RESORT GUEST #1
This music he brings. It is strange. It could
only be the song of the devil himself!

RESORT GUEST #2
This is not the music of our world, or of
our time, by which I mean the year 1963.

RESORT GUEST #3
Music of our time is organic and made with real
instruments. Guitars, pianos, and such.

RESORT GUEST #2
Well, not entirely. The man singing sounds
like Bill Medley. From the Righteous Brothers. 

RESORT GUEST #3
True, but the music. It is so … bland. So slick.

RESORT GUEST #1
It’s as if no instruments were used at all.
The drums were clearly produced by a machine.
It has been synthesized and compressed. 

RESORT GUEST #2
This music sounds like the music to which
they would listen in … the future!

The crowd gasps.

RESORT GUEST #1
(O.S.) He’s a future man!

The DISC JOCKEY slowly walks out from backstage. He points to JOHNNY.

DISC JOCKEY
He gave me the record. He … he told me
he’d shoot me with a laser gun from
the future if I didn’t play it.

JOHNNY
Oh come on, I didn’t…

BABY
Johnny, is this true?

JOHNNY
Nah, Baby, of course not…

PENNY
(O.S.) He made me get an abortion!

(GASPS)

PENNY
If I didn’t, he was going to steal my baby to use as fuel for his time machine to get home!

BABY
Johnny, how could you!

Baby runs to her family’s table. She goes straight for her father, DR. JAKE HOUSEMAN, burying her face in his chest as she cries.

JAKE
Seize him!

From the wings of the stage, BAILIFFS in 17th-century garb emerge and wrestle Johnny to the ground. They handcuff him, shackle his feet, and place a black hood over his head.

CUT TO:

JAKE, now wearing black robes and a powdered judge wig, stands in front of the angry mob of Kellerman’s guests and employees, who have all procured pitchforks and burning torches somehow. One of them holds a noose.

JAKE
Bailiffs! Bring him to my courtroom.

CUT TO:

EXT. KELLERMAN’S RESORT HALL OF JUSTICE

CUT TO:

INT. KELLERMAN’S RESORT HALL OF JUSTICE – COURTROOM

The courtroom consists of an elaborate judge’s bench, elevated on a platform. Johnny sits before the bench on a single wooden stool, still bound and hooded.

BAILIFF
This session of Catskills Court shall come to
order. The all-powerful Judge Jake Houseman presiding. 

JAKE
Johnny Castle, you stand accused on one count of
being a future man and 400 counts of disturbing
the peace and majesty of this Catskills resort by
playing your sickening, haunting, and blatantly
anachronistic music. How do you plead?

JOHNNY
(Muffled) I didn’t do it, man!

JAKE
The court accepts your plea, Mr. Castle. You must
now prove that you are not, in fact, a future man.

JOHNNY
How in the hell am I supposed to do that?

JAKE
Trial by Lake shall reveal all. If, in fact, you are
a future man, you will simply zap your way out
of danger. At which point we will hang you.
If you drown in the lake, then the Catskills Court
was wrong and will apologize to your next of kin.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE LAKE WHERE JOHNNY AND BABY PRACTICED THE LIFT FOR THEIR BIG DANCE – DAY

The BAILIFFS toss Johnny, still with his arms and legs tied up and the hood on, into the lake. The water ripples, and bubbles float to the surface as if there’s a struggle below. The movement slows, then stops completely. The lake is still.

BABY (V.O.)
 In accordance with resort law, they drained
the lake 48 hours later. Johnny’s body was nowhere
to be found. It turns out he really was a future man
who traveled back to the year 1963 to introduce us to
manufactured, corporate, over-produced lite rock.
And that was the summer of my 17th year.

MUSIC: “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes (reprise)

FADE OUT

There you have it. The original, unproduced “Dirty Dancing” ending. Thoughts?

Image: Vestron Pictures


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3 Comments

  1. This is art. How dare they not produce such a beautiful and appropriate ending to a movie that was clearly science fiction from the get go. I. Am. Appalled.

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