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The top 7 Patrick Swayze movies

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Swayze has performed in more films than most realize; in addition to classics like
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Swayze lives on forever through these films.

Patrick Swayze has been in probably more movies and TV shows than anyone realizes. According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), Swayze has been in 50 movies and TV shows. His first on-screen appearance was in the 1979 Scott Baio movie "Skatetown U.S.A." Two years later, he played Private Gary Sturgis on the TV show "M.A.S.H." - two years after that he had an uncredited role as a dancer in the John Travolta smash hit movie "Staying Alive."

Not long after that, he began to get better roles and soon became a leading man. Check out the top 7 Patrick Swayze movies in no particular order (well…mostly).

7 "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar"

For many ladies out there (and probably a few men as well), the most memorable moment of this film will be at the very beginning where a very strapping and very naked Patrick Swayze walks into frame adjusting the towel that just barely covers his nether regions.

In this film with the ridiculously long name, Swayze, along with equally strapping Wesley Snipes, play drag queens who have just tied for the title of 'drag queen of the year' and win an all-expenses-paid trip to Hollywood to compete for the national title. Thanks to some tender-hearted fast talking on the part of Vida (Swayze), they decide to take along a third queen, played by John Lequizamo, who is depressed because he didn't win.

Simply the sheer fun of seeing these three guys who normally exude 'manliness' playing highly effeminate drag queens is more than enough to make this film worth seeing.

6 "Red Dawn"

Before the end of the Cold War, there was considerable fear that the Soviet Union would invade the United States at any moment. "Red Dawn" is a filmic expression of those fears.

Swayze plays Jed, the leader of a group of teenagers who escape a Soviet/Cuban invasion of the United States. The boys head out into the woods to avoid capture and remain there for months, learning to hunt for their food and survive in the wild. After almost accidentally getting a taste for blood, the kids begin their own war against the Soviets occupying their town, calling themselves wolverines and going on raids and attacks against the enemy.

This film starred several actors who had already been in films with Swayze, such as C. Thomas Howell, and actors who would later star in other movies with him, like Jennifer Grey, who would play Baby in "Dirty Dancing."

5 "The Outsiders"

This one goes way back for Swayze. Like Red Dawn, this 1983 film is packed with teenaged actors - some newcomers, some already well-known who are now all famous actors. Along with Swayze, this film stars Matt Dillon, Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Emilo Estevez, Ralph Macchio and C. Thomas Howell.

In this strong supporting role, Darry Curtis (Swayze) has to come to the rescue of his little brother, Ponyboy (C. Thomas Howell), who accidentally killed a member of a rival gang in a fight. Swayze is the leader of their gang, the Greasers, who then have to deal with all of the trouble that ensues when the enemy gang - the Socs - find out.

Certainly deserving of being on the list of the top 7 Patrick Swayze movies, this classic film is packed with stars - a must-see, whether you're a Swayze fan or not.

4 "Road House"

Swayze plays an unlikely bouncer. Lacking the huge body a bouncer stereotypically has, Swayze used martial arts and attitude to make up for the lack of bulk.

He comes to a bar as its new 'cooler,' the head bouncer. The bar is so tough, the band has to play behind a fence to protect them from the patrons. On his very first night on the job, Dalton is fixed up by the local doc, played by the beautiful Kelly Lynch. She's none to fond of what she thinks is "Dalton's kind," but eventually realizes there's more to this tough guy than meets the eye and they fall in love. 

Not his best film, but still fun to watch if you can handle a bit of gore.

3 "Point Break"

Swayze plays Bodhi, the 'bad guy' so-to-speak, opposite undercover FBI agent Johnny Utah. While Swayze's character is supposed to be a 'lovable' kind of bad guy, there's a hint of Manson in him - he sees everything as a game and doesn't seem to have too much respect for life. The people who commit crimes with him treat him more like a messiah or a guru than a gang leader or crime boss. They are all hard core extreme sports types and simply use crime as a way to pay for their playing and add that extra edge of danger to their lives. 

Agent Utah gets caught up in the aura that surrounds Bodhi and begins confusing right from wrong as he gets more and more deeply involved with the gang. In the end, only Bodhi and Utah are left. It was a wild ride, but eventually Agent Utah cornered his man. But he simply lets Bodhi go.

Some have given this film a bad wrap and pan it, but it's really not a bad flick at all.

2 "Ghost"

This Swayze film, also starring Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, is about a man who loved his wife so intensely that he was able to reconnect with his still-living wife from the grave. Full of memorable and touching moments, this film captured the imagination in a totally new way, using a concept completely unique in the realm of romance films. Kind of a cross between a 'chick flick' and "The Sixth Sense," this film was able to jump the usual demographic of a romance film and draw in other audiences. 

Swayze is Sam Wheat, who is killed when a cook botches a robbery attempt on Wheat and his fiancé Molly (Moore). Goldberg plays a 'psychic' named Ona May who doesn't even believe she has any real ability and is shocked when she finds Sam communicating with her from beyond the grave. She has to convince Molly that her dead fiancé is using her to speak to Molly. An important figure in Sam and Molly's life turns out to be involved in the death, and he pays a horrible price for his sins - but I won't say any more about that, in case you haven't seen the film.

While not as popular overall, this is my personal favorite filmic effort by Swayze.

1 "Dirty Dancing"

Set in 1963, this film stars Jennifer Grey as Baby and Swayze as the appropriately named Johnny Castle, her knight in dancing armor who sweeps her off her feet and rescues her from insane boredom. The first time she sees him, he's being reprimanded by his boss and told to keep his hands off the ladies.

The next time, he's on the dance floor giving an exhibition dance with a smoking hot blonde in an equally hot pink dress. The two show off for the guests with a spirited mambo. The owner of the place gives him a dirty look when the dancing between the two gets a bit too hot for this crowd of stodgy old folks and uptight whiter-than-white collar types. Baby breaks away from her rich mommy and daddy and starts covertly hanging with the employees of the club.

When Johnny's dance partner ends up having to miss work to get an abortion, Baby steps in and it really all begins. Johnny slowly gets over his animosity towards this rich young princess and slowly falls for her as he teaches her the dance moves she needs to fill in for his regular partner. The rich doctor's daughter and the boy from the wrong side of the tracks deal with stereotypes and misconceptions.

Pretty much everyone in this film gets the wrong impression about everyone else - Baby and Johnny get caught in the middle of it. This is a great movie, and while not my personal favorite Swayze film, it is certainly the most popular and well-remembered. And it has a great soundtrack.

Swayze's years of education at two elite dance schools really paid off for this flick. He has to appear perfect in any number of dance styles as the club's lead dance instructor and stage performer.

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