Film and TV

The five Patrick Swayziest films of all time

Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the cinema of the '80s and early '90s knows the majesty of Patrick Swayze. Over the course of a handful of films, Swayze crafted a composite character who was somehow the toughest of tough guys while simultaneously the sensitive sweetheart who knew just the thing to say to his lady. Each of these characters was technically different -- written by different writers, directed by different directors -- yet all contained the essence of Swayze. And he managed to do this while rocking an egregious mullet, which has to be good for some bonus points. His film career comprises almost fifty roles, but in truth only a few movies really represent the true Swayze. Here, in honor of tonight's Film on the Rocks presentation of Point Break at Red Rocks, we have collected the Swayziest of movies in honor of the man, the myth, the legend: the Swayze.

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5) Red Dawn In 1984 two important historical thresholds had yet to be crossed. First, the Soviet Union had yet to fall to America's unbeatable economic might and general kick-assness. Second, nearly as important, the world had yet to learn the true majesty of Swayze. Arguably, it was Red Dawn that tipped both of those historical situations toward their eventual resolutions. At this point, Swayze had played the role of big brother in a few films, but here he got to play the best big bro ever. He not only looks after his little brother and his friends, he also leads the American insurgency against the invading commie scum, inspiring millions to take up the cause if and when the Soviets ever came for real. Knowing they could never win against the might of Swayze, the Russkies folded just a few years later. Wolverines!

4) Dirty Dancing The next milestone in the history of Swayze is the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing. Now, you're probably saying, "Wait a minute, isn't that movie about dancing and stuff? I thought this dude was supposed to be tough." Oh, he is. Tough yet sensitive, and this is where some of that sensitive comes in. But make no mistake -- just like nobody puts Baby in the corner, nobody emasculates Swayze, even by casting him as a dance instructor named Johnny Castle. Not everyone can pull off the name Johnny Castle, but Swayze can. And he looked cool doing it, becoming a major star just about overnight thanks to a little movie about romance and mambo that cost $6 million to make and earned $214 million. This movie is the reason your girlfriend loves Swayze at least as much as you do.

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Cory Casciato is a Denver-based writer with a passion for the geeky, from old science fiction movies to brand-new video games.
Contact: Cory Casciato

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