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One of the great things about movies is that every once in awhile the
unexpected happens, something comes along that you know immediately is just
a bit different and special somehow. Usually it's the film itself, but on
occasion-- and this is one of them-- a character will emerge who is not just
a character in a movie, but IS the movie. Here, it's the title character of
`Crocodile Dundee,' directed by Peter Faiman, and starring Paul Hogan as the
inimitable Mick Dundee, a rather unique individual hailing from the small
hamlet of Walkabout Creek, Australia. Mick hit the big screen in 1986, and
from the first moment he appeared, right up through the end of the second
sequel, it's been a `G'day' for audiences around the world.
In Australia on assignment for her New York newspaper, journalist Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) runs across a story she just has to pursue. It's about a legendary `local' from one of the small towns on the cusp of the bush, a crocodile hunter who, the story goes, had his leg bitten off by a croc, then managed to survive by crawling, alone, for days on end across the outback. So it's off to the town of Walkabout Creek in search of this larger-than-life character, who it turns out is quite a `character' to say the least. He is, in fact, one of a kind.
After a memorable meeting in the town's only pub (one of about four buildings in the whole place), Michael J. `Mick' Dundee agrees to take her on a tour retracing his steps and reconstructing the famous event where it actually took place. He promises a hard journey through some rugged terrain-- no place, in fact, for a `Sheila'-- but, like any good reporter, she's ready for anything; or so she thinks. And it's the beginning of an adventure she, as well as the audience, will never forget.
Hogan concocted the story and created the character, then wrote the screenplay along with John Cornell and Ken Shadie, after which he turned it over to director Faiman, who did a worthy, if not exceptional, job of translating Hogan's vision to the screen. Faiman, however, is destined to be the forgotten man with regards to this project, inasmuch as he was not only necessarily overshadowed by writer/star Hogan, but he presented the film in a fairly straightforward manner, without anything particularly noteworthy that `he' did that would put his `signature' on it. Add to that the fact that this was the first of only two films Faiman ever directed (his second was the lackluster `Dutch' in 1991); simply not enough to reference him, nothing added to his resume afterwards to make you take notice and say, `Oh, yes, he directed Dundee,' too.' Still, filmmaking is inherently a collaborative medium, and as they say, a film does not `direct' itself; so credit must be given where it is due, and considering how good this film is, and how well it did at the box office, it points up that whatever Faiman did, he did right. And he deserves to be acknowledged for it.
It's no secret, of course, what really makes this film work. Aside from the engaging story with it's romantic notions of adventure, from beginning to end it has the four `Big Cs' going for it: Character, Charisma, Chemistry and Charm. Let's face it, Paul Hogan is `The Man' as Mick Dundee; he's the guy other guys admire and want to be (whether or not they'll admit to it), and he has the kind of natural good looks, charisma and charm that is irresistible to the ladies (whether or not they'll admit to it). And the chemistry between Hogan and Kozlowski is irrefutable; it's the kind that makes you want to put another shrimp on the barbie. Besides all of which there is an innate honesty about Hogan's Mick that shines through like a 1st order Fresnel light in a London fog. He's laid-back and grounded, with a refreshingly logical outlook on life-- this guy's never going to need a pill for hypertension-- and what adds even more to his appeal is that there's a touch of larceny in his make-up, hiding just beneath that twinkle in his eye and his obvious integrity. You also know instinctively that this is the guy you want in your corner when the chips are down. All of this and more is what Paul Hogan captures in his performance; this is the Mick `Crocodile' Dundee he brings to the screen.
In her motion picture debut, the lovely Linda Kozlowski brings some sizzle to the screen and proves to be the perfect counterpoint to co-star Hogan. Something of an `Ibsenesque' role model, she demonstrates that a woman can be strong and ultra feminine, capable yet vulnerable, and all at the same time. It makes her portrayal of Sue Charlton convincing, well rounded and real; much more than just a cardboard cutout kind of a character that could have been used as nothing more than a vehicle to move the story along. Instead, though this is without question Mick Dundee's story, she makes it her story, too, and it gives the film an added perspective and considerably more depth than what is usually found in light comedy, which is essentially what this film is. And there's a look in her eye and something in the way she smiles at Mick that has an absolute ring of truth to it. You could say, in fact, that Hogan and Kozlowski are the Bogie and Bacall of the outback.
Another invaluable asset to the film is the performance of the likable John Meillon as Mick's friend, Walter Reilly. The part is a true character actor's character, and Meillon does it beautifully. The supporting cast includes Mark Blum (Richard), Michael Lombard (Sam), Steve Rackman (Donk) and Reginald VelJohnson (Gus). A memorable film filled with unforgettable characters, `Crocodile Dundee' will take you to the top o'the world... `down under.' 10/10.
Crocodile Dundee is a great comedy from 1986 which can be enjoyed after
repeat viewings. Over the years I've heard a lot of criticism of this film
and I cannot understand it. If you don't like this film, then something must
It's great to see the tough but naive Crocodile Dundee-played excellently by Paul Hogan-come to New York and after a sequence of events meet up with journalist Sue Charlton played by Linda Koslowski. Koslowski and Hogan made a great team in this film.
Like all comedies I won't spoil the scenes for anyone who hasn't seen the film but there are some great scenes particularly one where two youngsters try to mug Dundee with a knife. You'll laugh at what happens next.
All in all, a great comedy. Ignore any criticism you've heard of this film and enjoy a great film.
Paul Hogan's original tailor-made 'fish out of water' flick became a massive hit in 1986 and still remains a warm, amusing and irresistibly enjoyable. In terms of plot, its simpler than simple - American reporter Linda Kozlowski is sent to Australia to investigate the legendary 'Crocodile' Dundee (Hogan) and ends up bringing the charming rogue back to the Big Apple. It's a winner in every sense from Hogan's wonderfully laid-back performance to his own screenplay, featuring an array of classic quips and moments. Peter Best's excellent musical score also deserves applause in helping to ensure that this film remains great, exciting and still novel entertainment almost two decades on.
What a wonderful adventure romance! This is a film that neither my
husband, my teenage son, or myself can resist watching time after time,
whenever it happens to be on TV.
The movie tells the tale of Mick Dundee, a charismatic adventurer from Walkabout Creek in the Australian outback, who ends up as a 'croc out of water' (as some reviewers have cleverly phrased it) in New York City. Naturally, there's a 'sheila' with him, a love interest in the form of beautiful blonde American journalist, Sue Charlton. The sparks fly between them, the chemistry cooks, and so on.
This movie of course is made solely by the legendary character of Mick Dundee, played to charming perfection by Paul Hogan, both in his native bush and also Big City settings. You'll be in stitches, you'll cheer for him, you'll be amazed at his adaptation of his unique Down Under bush survival skills to the streets of the Big Apple. The knife incident...what can I say? He displays an endearing innocence of the seedier aspects of Big City life, notably its drugs and prostitutes. But it's not only Mick's humour and charisma, this adventurer is a guy with integrity that would put most everyone, rural or urban, Australian or American, to shame.
The greatest supporting role here must surely go to Mick's bush buddy, Wally, who's basically 'all talk and no action', yet one of the most likable ever film characters.
The ending? I won't give it away, but it's a dilly, a dandy, and a doozy. Just one of the many reasons I can watch this great movie again and again. The first Crocodile Dundee sequel is equally entertaining, and though the second (Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles) doesn't quite measure up, I can never resist watching Mick in action.
When you mix good comedy with action and a very likable leading
character you get a hit movie. I never met anyone who didn't like this
film, although there are always detractors to any movie and no movie is
However, this was an extremely entertaining that made an international star out of Australian Paul Hogan. Two sequels followed this movie. They were decent but could not measure up to this effort.
Not only was this a big success for Hogan and everyone else connected with it, but I believe he got a wife out of this wife, going on to marry his co-star Linda Kozlowski.
As someone pointed out, Hogan, as crocodile man "Mick Dundee" made the rest of the world aware of a number of Aussie phrases. Few men played as manly as likeabe and charismatic a hero in the 1980s as Hogan and "Mick."
Twenty years later, this is still a fun movie to watch now and then.
Crocodile Dundee - 4/5 stars
A Film Review by John Ulmer
"Crocodile Dundee" is one of those Fish Out of the Water tales; the innocent outsider thrown into the frustrations of modern life. Or is it the Croc out of the Water? Whatever it is, it's one of the best of its genre.
"Crocodile Dundee" is about a newspaper journalist (Linda Kozlowski) who travels out to the Outback, where she meets with Mick Dundee, better known as "Crocodile" Dundee. After wandering around in the Outback for a few days with Mick, writing her little story about surviving in the Outback, she decides that it would be interesting for her (or her newspaper?) to bring Mick back to New York City, where she lives. Mick reluctantly agrees, and travels to New York City clad in his croc-skin vest and Australian hat. Now Mick will have to adjust to modern life if he wishes to survive in New York.
"Crocodile Dundee" is, in a way, very typical of its kind. For example: Mick walks off the plane to NYC and steps onto an escalator, dressed in his Australian attire. Now, no matter how innocent and inexperienced a guy is, you can't tell me he's not going to realize he looks a bit odd in his clothes. The first thing I'd do is try to change to fit in better. But, you see, this is half the fun of this films, and all Fish Out of the Water films for that matter. If the main character did adapt straight away to his new surroundings, not only would it make for an awfully boring tale, but it would not be a proper Fish Out of the Water film.
Not only is Paul Hogan completely convincing in his role as Mick Dundee, he is utterly likable from the start. He's a nice, innocent Outback man who learns what the fast life is like, yet sticks to his old ways. As we can see from the less-successful sequels, Mick never really adapts to his surroundings. He learns how to survive, but he never buys fancy clothes or such: he sticks with his croc-vest and hat.
While "Crocodile Dundee" isn't exactly a great comedy, it's one of those that can be remembered for being very funny, and it is easy to watch. It has a certain charm to it, like many of those eighties' comedies. It makes it hard to hate them. Just yesterday I wrote a review for "Opportunity Knocks" with Dana Carvey. That movie wasn't great, but it's hard to dislike it. While "Crocodile Dundee" is about ten times greater than "Opportunity Knocks," it still isn't an excellent comedy. But because of its likable charm and great sense of humor, it's definitely one to see and watch many, many times.
There have been a lot of these kinds of films: "Blast From the Past," "Bubble Boy," to name a few recent of the genre. But "Crocodile Dundee" ranks as one of the best of its kind.
4/5 stars -
Hogan was the reason for this films success.He really comes off naturally and is very charming.The direction techniques of this movie was only fair and the story is very very simple BUT another secret of this movie besides Mr. Hogan is the great screenplay.No wasted scenes and the story just moves along taking the audience with it for more.The screenplay works so well that although the movie is one of the most predictable movies ever,the audience still enjoys the ending,and to top it all off,the audience actually wants more!Now this is a way to make simple movies.Charm our hearts and take our emotions and curiosity for an entertaining and educational ride.Extreme gimmicks and million dollar effects are not always required.Back to the basics filmakers!
The Australian film industry first began to come to international
notice in the seventies and early eighties with films like Peter Weir's
"Picnic at Hanging Rock" and "Gallipoli", Fred Schepisi's "The Chant of
Jimmie Blacksmith" and Bruce Beresford's "Breaker Morant". Most of
these were films with a serious theme and, often, a historical setting.
"Crocodile Dundee" was different. Not only did it have a contemporary
setting, it was also perhaps the first great Australian comedy-
certainly the first Australian comedy to achieve international success.
The protagonists are Mick Dundee, a bushman from northern Australia, and Sue Charleton, an attractive young female journalist from New York. Sue is on assignment in Australia, and hears stories about a legendary crocodile hunter from the small outback village of Walkabout Creek. (The name may be homage to Nicolas Roeg's film "Walkabout", one of the earliest manifestations of the Australian New Wave. One of the stars of that film, David Gumpilil, has a part in Crocodile Dundee). Sue meets Mick to interview him and travels with him into the bush to see the scene of his famed encounter with a crocodile that nearly cost him his leg. She then arranges for him to travel back to New York with her- the first time he has been outside Australia or visited a city.
The film is essentially a romantic comedy. Romantic comedies generally deal with a couple in love and the way in which they overcome obstacles to their love. A common type of obstacle is a discrepancy in their social backgrounds, and this is the type we have here. Sue and Mick seem to be polar opposites. She is a typical product of the American East Coast elite- urban, wealthy, professional, politically committed to liberal causes. He is from a working-class background, rural, apolitical with no fixed employment. As another reviewer has pointed out, he is as much a fish out of water in the city as she is in the outback. To make things worse, he is considerably older than her, and she already has a boyfriend, her editor Richard. There is, however, a saying that polar opposites attract, and this is as true of characters in romantic comedies as it is of magnets. The marvellous ending on the crowded subway station is one of the most memorable finales to any romantic comedy, rivalling that of "The Graduate".
Some romantic comedies concentrate on romance at the expense of comedy, but Crocodile Dundee is not one of them. The film is brilliantly funny, especially in the second half when the action moves to New York. The main source of the humour is Paul Hogan's title character. Mick is a rough diamond, but decent, kindly and good-hearted. Most of the laughs arise from his innocent misunderstanding of the seedier aspects of life in the big city- there are jokes at the expense of prostitutes, criminals like the muggers who flee when they see Mick has a bigger knife than they have ("That's not a knife. THAT'S a knife!"), transvestites (one of whom Mick mistakenly tries to chat up), drug takers (Mick thinks cocaine is a cure for blocked sinuses) and psychiatrists ("Haven't you got any mates to talk to?") This last sentiment touched a chord in Britain, ever suspicious of the American obsession with psycho-analysis. Mick may be apolitical, but he is also politically incorrect- much of the humour is aimed at the culture of political correctness, just starting to burgeon in the mid-eighties. There are jokes about race and gender, and Dundee is not only a drinker but also a heavy smoker. (And this during a decade when smoking was almost banished from the screen).
Some of the humour is perhaps a bit exaggerated- it is, for example, difficult to believe that Mick does not recognise the prostitutes for what they are, as he is no sexual innocent but a red-blooded ladies' man with an eye for the Sheilas- but this is deliberate exaggeration for satirical effect. The film both satirises and celebrates Australia's self-image as a land of self-reliant pioneers from the outback- most modern Australians, in fact, live in the suburbs of a few large cities- by contrasting idealised rural Australian values with the supposed vices of urban America.
Despite the great success of this film, the sequel was less successful and Paul Hogan and his lovely co-star Linda Kozlowski (who later became his wife) did not perhaps go on to the glittering careers that some had predicted for them. Nevertheless, Mick Dundee will live on as one of the great comic characters of all time, and the film itself as one of the best comedies of the eighties and possibly the best Australian comedy ever. 9/10
New York reporter Sue Charlton hears of a guy in the outback of
Australia who survived an attack by a crocodile. For research she meets
up with "Crocodile Mick Dundee" and spends time with him out in the
dangerous Bush Country. Finding a rapport during their time together,
Sue convinces Mick to go back with her to New York, which brings
interesting results as Mick becomes a big hit by treating the Big
Apple, and all that comes his way, the same as he would the Outback.
Crocodile Dundee has a standard fish out of water comedy premise, yet with a number of truly funny sequences and an appealing turn from Paul Hogan as Dundee; it became a monster smash hit that the cinema watching public lapped up with glee. In a decade that is often considered to be the worst for film, it may just be that cinema goers were desperate for a pick me up movie? Something that Crocodile Dundee most assuredly is. But to give that credence would, I feel, be doing it a disservice, for in spite of the rickety concept and the obviousness of where we will ultimately end up, it has bundles of earthy charm, a charm that many can identify with.
As Dundee goes about his way, meeting pimps, transsexuals and muggers et al, they are not only very funny scenes, they are also points of reference to the ever changing way of the Continents. The film does come dangerously close to falling into a sugary rom-com mire, but with a strong performance from Linda Kozlowski as Sue, and Hogan introducing an icon to 80s cinema, Crocodile Dundee safely hits the target that it was surely aiming for. Besides, the love story here is very easy to get on side with.
Two sequels would follow, the first one was a retread reversal and just about passable, the second one, after a gap of 13 years, was bad and evidence that the joke had long since passed. Crocodile Dundee 86 holds up well as the escapist piece of cinema that it is. A nice film to revisit every other year, it be simple, warm, and yes, I'll say it again, damn funny. 8/10
Paul Hogan bring the character of Mick 'Crocodile' Dundee to life. Sue
Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) is a beautiful reporter from New York on a
quest into the Austrailian Outback in search of a story, but she gets
way more than she thought when she meets 'Crocodile' Dundee in the
The scenes in the outback are my favourite, a great blend of action and comedy, with some simply beautiful cinematic views thrown in; but the film does get funnier once they head back to New York. His naivety in the big city opens the door for lots more comedy moments.
Overall it's a really good comedy 7/10
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