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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

'Crocodile' Dundee (1986)

#2 - 1986 Box Office: Gross $174,803,506

He's survived the most hostile and primitive land known to man.
Now all he's got to do is make it through a week in New York.
Newsday reporter, Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) had been sent to Australia by her editor/boyfriend Richard Mason (Mark Blum) where she hears of legendary Michael 'Crocodile' Dundee (writer, Paul Hogen), a man who lost his leg to a crocodile attack in the Outback.  Sensing a great story, she hunts him down only to find the story was greatly exaggerated—Mick still has his leg, with a scar.  With some time on her hands, she decides to hear his story and travels the wilderness with Mick and his assistant, Walter (John Meillon).  Mick amazes her by soothing a savage buffalo, telling time by looking at the sun and shaving with his large Bowie knife.  One point, while bathing, Sue is attacked by a crocodile, but peeping Mick comes to her rescue and kills the beast.  An attraction grows, and wanting more time with the man, Sue invites Mick back to New York, where fish-out-of-water craziness ensues.  Mick gets scared by an escalator, confuses an African-American limo driver (Reginald VelJohnson) for a tribesman, grabs a transvestite's crotch to check if she's a man, and confuses a cocaine user's sniffles for a cold, mixing his cocaine with hot water to create a steam bath.  Richard begins to feel threatened by Mick, Sue begins to question her true feelings for both men, and Mick continues to try and fit in despite his obvious out of placeness.  Will Mick decide to go back to Australia while on walkabout around NYC?  Will Sue make up her mind in time before losing Mick to the Outback forever?

Trivia (mostly courtesy of the IMDb)
  • While only #2 in the US Box Office, this film went on to become the #1 film worldwide at the box office
  • The quotes in 'Crocodile' Dundee were added for the American release to ensure people didn't think that Dundee was a crocodile
  • The wild and ferocious buffalo that Mick Dundee pacified was drugged
  • Paul Hogan helped paint the Sydney Harbour Bridge (which is visible through the hotel window behind Sue when she is on the phone with New York) before he started his life as an actor
  • The only film in the trilogy rated PG-13 in the United States; the other two received PG ratings
Now that's a knife!
Never before saw this film and I actually (mistakenly) thought that the Mick visiting NYC plot was something in the sequel.  Due to this, I was sort of treated to two movies—Sue meeting Mick in the Outback and Mick meeting civilization in NYC.  I enjoyed the story and applaud Hogan for his (seemingly) innate acting and writing ability.  No idea how much of Mick's awkwardness was real or acting, but Hogan played some of the smaller funny bits really well.  I'm reminded of how he silently asks Walter for the time while Sue is walking toward him and then pretends to be able to read the sun and tell the time to the minute.  Or the scene where he's using a disposable Bic razor blade to shave, but quickly switches to his Bowie knife when Sue approaches.  There are some other bits that are a bit cheesy (e.g. using a kangaroo carcass to attack poachers or the final scene in the subway station), but overall, the film was enjoyable enough.  Not quite enjoyable enough for me to seek out either of its sequels though (Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles?! Really?!?) 

Ponch's Rating:


  1. I remember exactly one line from this movie:
    "You call that a knife? Now this, this is a knife!"

  2. Yeah... Not a lot of memorable lines. I remember another of Mick's re: NYC, "Imagine seven million people all living together. New York must be the friendliest place on earth!"