Study Guide

Dirty Dancing Director

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Emile Ardolino

To direct a film like Dirty Dancing, you need someone who specializes in the act depicted in the title. That means finding someone who knows their way around a bottle of Windex or something who can hoof it on the dance floor.

Wisely, Emile Ardolino was chosen over the Sham-Wow guy. Ardolino directed a hit dance documentary in 1983 called He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'. We always say that about Patrick Swayze, so Ardolino was the perfect fit for Dirty Dancing.

After Dancing, Ardolino directed a handful of other films, including the Whoopi Goldberg classic comedy Sister Act, and a sequel that pretty much ended Steve Guttenberg's career: Three Men and a Baby. Men raising a daughter. Hilarious. What will they think of next?

Sadly, Ardolino died of AIDS-related complications in 1993, but his films still make Shmoop feel like dancing.

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