Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Faiman|
|Produced by||John Cornell|
|Screenplay by||John Cornell
|Story by||Paul Hogan|
|Music by||Peter Best|
|Edited by||David Stiven|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures
20th Century Fox
|Box office||$512 million|
"Crocodile" Dundee is a 1986 Australian-American comedy film set in the Australian Outback and in New York City. It stars Paul Hogan as the weathered Mick Dundee. Hogan's future wife Linda Kozlowski portrayed Sue Charlton.
Inspired by the true life exploits of Rodney Ansell, the film was made on a budget of under $10 million as a deliberate attempt to make a commercial Australian film that would appeal to a mainstream American audience, but proved to be a worldwide phenomenon. Released on 30 April 1986 in Australia, and on 26 September 1986 in the United States, it was the second-highest-grossing film in the United States in that year and went on to become the second-highest grossing film worldwide at the box office as well.
There are two versions of the film: the Australian version, and an international version, which had much of the Australian slang replaced with more commonly understood terms, and was slightly shorter. Although the film was a hit both in Australia and abroad, it became controversial with some Australian critics and audiences–who resented the image of Australian people as being "redneck" (or "ocker"). Although this view has been largely put to rest, the uncultured "larrikin bushman" has been firmly entrenched in Australian-related pop culture.
Sue Charlton is a feature writer for Newsday (which her father owns) and is dating her editor, Richard Mason. She travels to Walkabout Creek, a small hamlet in the Northern Territory of Australia, to meet Michael J. "Crocodile" Dundee, a bushman reported to have lost half a leg to a Saltwater Crocodile. On arrival in Walkabout Creek (by helicopter due to its remote location), she cannot locate Dundee, but she is entertained at the local pub by Dundee's business partner Walter "Wally" Reilly, who does his best to explain the town and some of its inhabitants, including the towering hulk Donk, who wins money by placing a glass of beer on his head and challenging people to try and spill the beer by punching him in the stomach. When Dundee arrives that night, Sue finds his leg is not missing, but he has a large scar which he refers to as a "love bite". While Sue dances with Dundee, a group of city kangaroo shooters make fun of Dundee's status as a crocodile hunter, causing him to knock the leader out with one punch. Feeling lucky, he then challenges Donk and makes him spill the entire glass by kissing him on the lips and startling him into dropping the tankard.
At first, Sue finds Dundee less "legendary" than she had been led to believe, being unimpressed by his pleasant-mannered but uncouth behaviour and clumsy advances towards her; however, she is later amazed, when in the Outback, she witnesses "Mick" (as Dundee is called) subduing a Wild Asian Water Buffalo, taking part in an Aboriginal tribal dance ceremony, killing a snake with his bare hands, and scaring away the kangaroo shooters from the pub from their destructive sport of shooting kangaroos. Mick shoots at their truck using a dead kangaroo as cover, making them think the kangaroo is shooting at them, which in their drunken state causes them to flee. The next morning, offended by Mick's assertion that as a "sheila" (Aussie slang for a female) she is incapable of surviving the Outback alone, Sue goes out alone to prove him wrong but takes his rifle with her at his request. Mick follows her to make sure she is OK, but when she stops at a billabong to refill her canteen, she is attacked by a crocodile and is rescued by Mick. Overcome with gratitude, Sue finds herself becoming attracted to him.
Sue invites Mick to return with her to New York City on the pretext of continuing the feature story. At first Wally scoffs at her suggestion, but he changes his mind when she tells him the newspaper would cover all expenses. Once in New York, Mick is perplexed by local behaviour and customs but overcomes problematic situations including two encounters with a pimp and two attempted robberies. After this Sue realizes her true feelings for him, and they kiss.
At a society dinner at her father's home in honour of Sue's safe return and of Mick's visit, Richard proposes marriage to Sue, and in a haze of confused emotions, she initially accepts in spite of Richard having recently revealed his self-centered and insensitive "true colours" during a period of intoxication. Mick, disheartened at Sue's engagement, decides to go 'walkabout' around the USA, but Sue has a change of heart and, deciding not to marry Richard, follows Mick to a subway station. There, she cannot reach him through the crowd on the platform, but has members of the crowd relay her message to him, whereupon he climbs up to the rafters and walks to Sue on the heads and raised hands of the onlookers and embraces her.
- Paul Hogan as Michael J. "Crocodile" Dundee
- Linda Kozlowski as Sue Charlton
- John Meillon as Walter Reilly
- Terry Gill as Duffy
- David Gulpilil as Neville Bell
- Reginald VelJohnson as Gus
- Steve Rackman as Donk
- Gerry Skilton as Nugget
- David Bracks as Burt (roo shooter)
- Peter Turnbull as Trevor
- Rik Colitti as Danny
- Christine Totos as Rosita
- Graham 'Grace' Walker as Angelo
- Mark Blum as Richard Mason
- Michael Lombard as Sam Charlton
- Caitlin Clarke as Simone
- Nancy Mette as Karla
- John Snyder as Pimp
- Anne Carlisle as Gwendoline
- Anne Francine as Fran
- Paige Matthews as Party Girl
- Paul Greco as New Yorker
The idea to make the film came to Paul Hogan when he was in New York. He wondered what it would be like if a Northern Territory bushman arrived in town. Paul Hogan:
There's a lot about Dundee that we all think we're like; but we're not, because we live in Sydney. He's a mythical outback Australian who does exist in part—the frontiersman who walks through the bush, picking up snakes and throwing them aside, living off the land who can ride horses and chop down trees and has that simple, friendly, laid-back philosophy. It's like the image the Americans have of us, so why not give them one?... We've always been desperately short of folk heroes in this country. Ned Kelly is pathetic. So are the bushrangers.
The film's budget was raised through the 10BA tax concessions via Morgan Sharebrokers. Paul Hogan used his regular collaborators from TV, including John Cornell, Peter Faiman and Ken Shadie. Linda Kozlowski was imported to play the American reporter; Actors' Equity Australia objected to this but eventually relented.
Six weeks of filming were spent working out of Jaja, an abandoned uranium mining camp in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory with an additional week in Cloncurry. There was a further six weeks filming in New York. Filming finished on 11 October 1985.
A number of minor changes were made to the film for its US release.
When the film finished Hogan said he expected it would make millions of dollars around the world. Hogan also said of the film, "I'm planning for it to be Australia's first proper movie. I don't think we've had one yet—not a real, general public, successful, entertaining movie."
James Berardinelli of Reelviews.net gave the film three stars out of four stating, "What the storyline lacks in ambition, it makes up for in sheer, unfettered likability."
The film was released theatrically in the United States by Paramount Pictures in September 1986. It grossed $174,803,506 at the U.S. box office. It was the second highest-grossing film that year (after Top Gun) for both the studio and the United States box office.
|Academy Award||Best Original Screenplay||John Cornell, Ken Shadie & Paul Hogan||Nominated|
|BAFTA Awards||Best Original Screenplay||Nominated|
|Best Actor||Paul Hogan||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Won|
|Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture||Linda Kozlowski||Nominated|
|Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy||John Cornell||Nominated|
|Saturn Award||Best Fantasy Film||Nominated|
|Best Writing||John Cornell, Ken Shadie & Paul Hogan||Nominated|
|BMI Film & TV Award||Best Music||Peter Best||Won|
|Golden Screen||Best Sold Tickets||Won|
|MPSE Award||Best Sound Editing - Foreign Feature||Tim Chau||Nominated|
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- Baxter p28
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- Baxter p29
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- John Baxter, "A Fistful of Koalas", Cinema Papers, May 1986 p27-29
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: "Crocodile" Dundee|
- "Crocodile" Dundee on IMDb
- "Crocodile" Dundee at the TCM Movie Database
- "Crocodile" Dundee at Box Office Mojo
- "Crocodile" Dundee at Rotten Tomatoes
- Crocodile Dundee on australianscreen online
- Location of the Pub featured in the film, situated in McKinlay QLD
- Crocodile Dundee at the National Film and Sound Archive