Inspired by a visit to New York that left him feeling like a true fish-out-of-water, Australian film star Paul Hogan sat down and helped pen a script that would go on to become one of the most successful films of 1986. The story of Crocodile Dundee enchanted moviegoers of all ages, and made Hogan a household name.
The story actually begins in New York City where the legendary exploits of Australian bumpkin Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee reach the ears of reporter Sue Charlton (played by Hogan’s eventual spouse, Linda Kozlowski). Lured by the irresistible human interest story, Sue ventures down under to meet the man and discovers an easy-going Mick Dundee willing to take her on a hike through the outback that will retrace the steps of his formidable battle with a ferocious crocodile. Sue’s brave attempts to weather the elements include encounters with grumpy water buffaloes, poisonous snakes, and near death in the jaws of a sly crocodile. Mick saves her at every turn, his simple charm giving way to survivor instinct in the critical moments. Awed, grateful, and perhaps a little smitten, Sue invites Mick back to New York.
Thus begins the second leg of the double fish-out-of-water story as Mick endures his first plane ride, fights with pimps, terrifies muggers, and outs transvestites in the urban jungle of New York City. Confused at seemingly every turn by the strange world around him, Mick does his best to befriend everyone. Everyone, that is, except Richard (Mark Blum), Sue’s arrogant fiance who is determined to humiliate Mick at every turn. When Mick has had enough, he heads to the subway station to return to his homeland, but Sue isn’t ready to discard Dundee so easily.
Buoyed by a lighthearted script and an organic blending of genres, the success of Crocodile Dundee nevertheless lies almost uniquely in the relaxed charisma of the title character. Box office receipts would lead to one respectable sequel, Crocodile Dundee II a couple of years later, followed by a forgettable third installment in 2001, Crocodile Dundee in L.A. Hogan would go on to star in other largely mediocre films, but remains forever known to the world at large as Mick “Crocodile” Dundee.
IF you were a fan of Crocodile Dundee, we hope you’ll take a moment to share your thoughts in our comments section, and help us reminisce about this classic film of the 80s.