Crocodile Dundee: The little wonder from Down Under that ended up conquering the globe.
A double “fish out of water” story with a heart of gold, this Australian production brought local Aussie TV comedy star Paul Hogan to the world in a big way.
The leather-skinned, easygoing Ocker had already won hearts across the Pacific with a series of Australian tourism commercials, but this film (which he co-wrote) made Hogan a bona fide international star.
American reporter Sue Charlton (played by the future second Mrs Hogan, Linda Kozlowski) travels to the island continent to interview Mick ‘Crocodile’ Dundee, a modern-day legend who reportedly lost his leg to a croc then crawled hundreds of miles back to civilisation.
In reality, Dundee sports a pair of working legs (one with a large, croc-given scar), but he’s every bit the rugged adventurer Sue’s readers would love to hear about.
The reporter convinces Mick to take her on a journey through the Outback, where an angry water buffalo, snakes and a hungry crocodile give her all the excitement she can handle.
Now that she’s seen his world, Sue invites Mick back to see hers – New York, New York.
Mick Dundee is the odd man out in this urban jungle, but the earnest Aussie has his own ways of dealing with muggers, transvestites, bidets and other challenges.
That kind of rural charm starts to warm Sue’s citified heart, but her fiancé obviously doesn’t feel the same way about this uneducated outsider.
Crocodile Dundee‘s low-key comedy and sweet centre, both buoyed up by Hogan’s natural charm, made it one of the biggest films of 1986, both in the US and around the world. Suddenly, all things Australian were hip in American culture, from “G’day mate!” to Energizer battery pitchman Mark “Jacko” Jackson (“Oi!”).
Mick Dundee returned for a 1988 sequel, Crocodile Dundee II, which sent Mick and Sue back to the Outback on the run from a drug kingpin.
Mick ‘Crocodile’ Dundee
Graham ‘Grace’ Walker
Reginald Vel Johnson