When Paul Hogan gave an interview for Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (2001), he put to rest the myth that there was a real Crocodile Dundee. He assured the interviewer that there was not, and that the idea for the character came from his own head. Hogan admitted that on a trip to New York he felt like a complete fish-out-of-water and the idea began to form in his head.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is shown in the beginning of the movie from the hotel window while Sue is on the phone to New York. Paul Hogan helped paint this bridge before he started his life as an actor and was said to have kept his co-workers laughing a good bit of the time.
Despite Paul Hogan's insistence that Crocodile Dundee was his own creation, it was later revealed that the real life inspiration for the character was bushman Rod Ansell. Rod Ansell became popular in Australia in 1977 when his boat capsized during a solo hunting expedition and he had to spend two months trapped in the wilderness. He survived by drinking cow blood, sleeping with snakes and occasionally fighting and decapitating the odd crocodile. During a later BBC interview about his adventure (which he reportedly attended barefoot), Ansell mentioned that the hotel they'd put him in was very nice and all but he'd decided to sleep on the floor. Oddly enough, it was this little detail - not any of the animal fighting stuff - that inspired Crocodile Dundee. Unfortunately, Ansell didn't see a cent from the use of his story and his life and marriage fell apart and he eventually developed a drug habit which culminated into a shootout with police officers, killing one. Some say he was driven mad due to his exclusion from the success of the Crocodile Dundee movies - the production company even banned him from starting his own "Crocodile Dundee tour".
Crocodile Dundee (1986) was the second highest grossing film of 1986. Platoon (1986) was the third biggest film of the year, with Top Gun (1986) coming in first. It took $177 million in the US alone, and $353 million worldwide.
The film is the fifth most watched film to be broadcast on British television when it was shown on BBC1 on December 25, 1989. It attracted 21.75 million viewers. It is also the most watched film to ever be shown on the BBC, as the four films with the most viewership - Live and Let Die (1973), Jaws (1975), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Diamonds Are Forever (1971) - were shown on ITV.
The abandoned lower level of the BMT Ninth Ave. station in Brooklyn was used for the subway scene near the end of the film. The route information signs were correct for service at 59th St.-Columbus Circle; however, double letter route markings had been dropped by the time the movie was released. The AA marking, for instance, had become the K.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
Paul Hogan had not considered writing and filming an alternate ending for the film. The alternate ending would had seen Sue arriving at the subway station only to find that she is too late and Mick has gotten on the subway train to go exploring the United States.