The story I have is that Paul Hogan worked as a rigger on the Sydney Harbour Bridge when fame came to him. Apparently watching the telly at a pub he boasted he could do that stuff, and he gave it a try. Shortly he was a regular, and by the 1980s he worked his way into feature length films. He wrote and took the title role in Crocodile Dundee, about an Outback adventurer coming to experience big city life for the first time. He is Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee, and he is now a household name. This came out in 1986 from Paramount Pictures. I once had a VHS but shucked it during my last move. I found it last week on Hulu. Details are from Wikipedia.
Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) is a photojournalist, and she is in Australia, out from New York. Her assignment has finished, but she hangs on for a few more days to follow up on the story of an Outback adventurer who had his leg bit off by a crocodile and managed to work his way back to civilization over 100 miles. She must do a story.
“Mick” Dundee runs a safari service, and Sue lays out $2000 for the tour and the rights to the story. She hooks up with Mick, and the two of them trek to the spot where the crocodile (almost but not nearly) bit off Mick’s leg. There had been some exaggeration in the original story. The pair find a lot to appreciate in each other.
On a dare, Sue strikes out ahead, forging into unknown territory while Mick keeps his distance and a careful eye on Sue. Worth the look.
Seconds after the above picture a crock snaps the canteen dangling from Sue’s pretty neck and makes preparation to pull her under and drown her for his next meal. Mick comes to the rescue and drives his trusty blade into the beast’s brain. Sexual attraction blossoms.
Naturally, Mick has to travel to New York. Having lived all his 40 years in the boondocks, Mick finds the Big Apple a high piece of sticker shock, and that’s the whole plot. The problem with the movie is this is the entire plot.
Here Mick dines at a fancy Manhattan restaurant with Sue and her boyfriend Richard Mason (Mark Blum). We have seen this movie plot before. Sophisticate Richard intends to show up backwoods Mick by offering to let him order from the Italian menu.
The plot proceeds along predictable lines. Mick continues to be mystified by Manhattan’s quirky upper crust, populated by cross dressers, con artists, artists, spoiled rich. Sue continues to be impressed by Mick’s rough and ready real-life talents. The iconic image from the movie comes when the pair are confronted by a hood on the street demanding their money.
Mick asks why he needs to give the jerk his money. Sue points out the jerk has a knife. Mick demurs. That’s not a knife. This is a knife.
Richard is determined to not let Sue’s infatuation with Mick ruin his plans. He is editor of the newspaper they work for, but Sue’s father is the owner. At a lavish dinner at the Charlton mansion Richard springs an engagement ring on her.
Mick, sensing he’s a third shoe, decides to ease out and go walkabout. He gets as far as the subway platform before Sue catches up with him.
Hogan got an Oscar nod for his story, but the movie is no great shakes, despite garnering Rotten Tomatoes 89%. Hogan won Golden Globes for best actor in musical/comedy. The budget was $8.8 million, and gross receipts were $328 million. A sequel was guaranteed, and sure enough, Crocodile Dundee II came out in 1988. Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles was released in 2001. I won’t be reviewing any of the sequels but might take a look at some of Hogan’s other films.
Hogan married, divorced, married his first wife again, then threw her over for co-star Linda Kozlowski. The two stayed together until 2013.