Almost every movie, no matter how large the budget allocated for production, contains editing errors. Dirty Dancing was most certainly not a heavily financed film, having been shot for under five million dollars. But despite the low cost, it proved to be an immensely profitable film. Let me walk you through some of the editing omissions, and there are quite a few. Once you see them, you’ll never miss them again, and there’s a distinct possibility that you’ll ask yourself, having watched the movie so many times, how you missed these oversights in the first place.
The first blooper is more the result of the low budget than a lapse in the editing room. Originally the role of Marge Houseman was slated to be played by an actress named Lynne Lipton. Lynne Lipton, who had blond hair at the time of filming, was on the set at Mountain Lake for only a week before she fell ill and returned to New York to recuperate. Kelly Bishop, who was originally cast to play Vivian, portrayed Marge for the better part of the film at the suggestion of Jerry Orbach. She quickly shuffled over into her new role as Lisa and Baby’s mother. If you look closely at certain scenes, such as the night dance in the gazebo, you might notice a certain coyness in her eyes. Perhaps that was because she had prepared to portray a vixen and not a wholesome, motherly type.
Lynne Lipton filmed two scenes before taking ill: the arrival scene and the rainy-day game segment in which Lisa bemoans her lost lipstick. They reshot the rainy-day scene in its entirety because they had to, naturally, but the arrival scene, not so much. When the Housemans arrive at the front of the hotel, before Lisa complains about not packing her coral shoes after seeing the porter carrying the stack of shoeboxes, we catch a glimpse of Lynne Lipton—ironically, as Lisa whines about the coral shoes and Marge assures her that she brought ten pairs. They reshot the better part of that scene, but in the editing process left just a fleeting glimpse of Lynne Lipton in the finished movie. As the Housemans’ car first pulls up in front of the hotel, if you look closely, you’ll notice blonde Lynne Lipton in the passenger seat, not brunette Kelly Bishop. Moments later, as the camera pans down behind the Housemans’ Oldsmobile, now parked behind the red Thunderbird, if you look through the rear window, you’ll notice it’s still Lynne Lipton. Seconds later, as Lisa removes her sunglasses to bemoan her shoe-packing skills, it’s Kelly Bishop in the passenger seat.
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