In 1986, Crocodile Dundee burst into theaters. The film will forever be an iconic look at everything that is Australia. Audiences instantly fell in love with the rough and gruff Aussie. But, it’s interesting to see how an Aussie made a movie that became a sensation around the world.
If you’re lookin’ for a G’day, then you’ve come to the right place. I bet you didn’t know that there might actually be a real-life Crocodile Dundee.
Paul Has A Special Connection To The Sydney Harbor Bridge
The opening scene shows a view of the Sydney Harbor Bridge while Sue is on the phone to New York City. Little do most people know, but the actor has an interesting tie to that bridge.
Long before being known as “Crocodile Dundee,” Hogan worked as a day laborer in Sydney. One of his jobs was working as a rigger on the bridge. Apparently, the cast and crew found the fact quite hilarious.
Hogan Used His Real Life Experience In The Film
The Aussie helped convince a businessperson in New York City not to jump off the ledge of a high-rise building. However, that wasn’t the actor’s first time dealing with such a situation. During his time as a laborer on the Sydney Bridge, he was faced with many people attempting to jump off the bridge.
While Hogan was able to rescue some, there were others that unfortunately leaped from the bridge.
How Hogan Got Into TV
Hogan’s rise to fame was somewhat of a fluke. When he first started out, it was nothing more than a joke. He decided to appear on an Australian talent show, but not to show off his talents.
Instead, Hogan felt that the show was designed for the judges to mock the people who came onto the show. So, he showed up as a pretend tap-dancing knife thrower, just to mock the judges himself.
Hogan Had His Own Show Prior To Crocodile Dundee
The Paul Hogan Show ran for an impressive 12 seasons from 1973 to 1984. It was very popular in Australia, South Africa, and the UK. It was nothing more than a stand-up and sketch comedy show. And, it was so popular that people compared it to Saturday Night Live.
The show also co-starred John Cornell, who was Hogan’s close friend and would go on to be the producer of Crocodile Dundee.
Paul Hogan Was The Inspiration Behind The Character
The actor has stated numerous times the character is not real. In fact, Hogan came up with the idea after a trip to New York City. The Aussie felt like an alien in a city he never visited before.
Hogan was interviewed by the BBC, and he spoke of his experience. “I felt like an alien from another planet, some of the ‘Bushie’ guys I know would feel even more out of place.”
The Movie Was Rejected By Fox
Before signing the American rights to Paramount Pictures, producer John Cornell approached 20th Century Fox. They weren’t at all happy with the movie and weren’t subtle in their rejection.
The meeting was someone watching 20 minutes of the film, but repeatedly checking the time on his watch. Cornell recalled, “He was extremely rude. I sometimes get pleasure from thinking about what the look is like on his face at a time like this.”
The Movie Had A Very Small Budget
The film only worked on a budget of $8.8 million. Hogan and Cornell both contributed $600,000 of their own money, and the rest came from investors. Their investors were the ones who certainly paid off in the end. The movie raked in $328 million, becoming the second highest-grossing film in 1986.
Considering it finished runner-up to Tom Cruise and Top Gun, nobody expected the movie to become an overnight sensation.
No All Of The Cast And Crew Got Along With Each Other
Sometimes, people don’t see eye-to-eye. But, there was one particular cast member who refused to work altogether. When you’re working with a 2,000 pound water buffalo, you can’t tell it what to do. “It’s like he said, ‘I’ll just sit here.’ And you can’t do anything about it,” Hogan said to the BBC.
The scene with the buffalo took a whole day to film, and they had to wait for the animal to cooperate.
There’s A Different Title To The Movie, Depending On Where You Live
It might surprise any fan that the movie title is different all over the world. The film appeared as Crocodile Dundee in Australia, while in North America the film appeared as “Crocodile Dundee.
Apparently, the producers were concerned that people would think Dundee was a crocodile. The quotation marks were added for clarity that the reptile is just a nickname, so audiences knew they weren’t watching something else, like an animated crocodile.
The Film Had Unexpected Success
Hogan had no idea that the film would become an international success. To this very day, it’s still the highest grossing film in Australia. But, it also broke records in America and in other countries as well.
In an interview, the Aussie said, “I thought I was making a nice little comedy movie for Australia.” The film has an 87% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and it even spawned two sequels as well.
The Cast And Crew Had An Interesting Way Of Kicking It Back On Set
The cast and crew briefly stayed in huts during the filming of the first movie. Kakadu National Park is enormous, and it’s the same size as Slovenia. The location they were filming was so remote that there were no hotels nearby.
So, they came up with a way to keep everyone together. Eventually, they resorted to living in huts for a while. It almost felt like they were back in the Outback!
Not All Crocodiles Were Fake
Surprisingly, no one died with the crocodiles. But, the only fake crocodile used was the one that attacked Sue, played by actress Linda Kozlowski. And, it wasn’t a surprise that the directors thought that using a real crocodile for the scene was just too dangerous.
The mechanical crocodile that was built for the scene cost $45,000 to make. However, there was something about that mechanical reptile that just didn’t fit with the Australian Outback.
You Can’t Book A Room At The Plaza Hotel
The hotel room the character stayed at when he arrived in New York City was just a set built for the movie. Once the movie was released, the Hotel received a ton of inquiries asking to stay in the exact room. Or, people would jokingly ask if Crocodile Dundee was still at the hotel.
In 1987, the PR Department of the hotel mentioned, “We also get calls asking for rooms with bidets, something we don’t have.”
There Are A Few Errors In The Movie
Watchful fans may have noticed some goof ups in the movie. For instance, Gus hits the pimp and thugs with his limo, shattering the windshield. Then, the very next morning, the windshield somehow isn’t shattered.
It’s unlikely that he had the time or the money to get the windshield replaced overnight. And, Gus can be seen replacing the radio antenna, implying that the limo is the exact same one from the night before.
The Mechanical Croc
There was something entirely off with the mechanical reptile. Based on the roundness of the snout and the placement of the teeth, it’s a giant American alligator. Nevertheless, the croc felt so lifelike, during one of the scenes they were filming, someone reported the crew was poaching crocodiles.
As soon as the authorities realized that the crocodile was indeed mechanical, all was forgiven. Thank goodness it didn’t escalate into something more.
One Of The Most Quoted Lines Has To Do With A Knife
One of the most referenced lines was in one scene when Dundee and Sue are held at knife-point by a thug trying to steal their money. The quote is also frequently misquoted. Dundee pulls out his Bowie knife and says “That’s not a knife, that’s a knife.”
Many Bowie knives were made for the production of the movie and Hogan kept one of them, and promised not to sell it.
But, The Writers Didn’t Enjoy A Different Line
The scene where Crocodile Dundee pulls out his Bowie knife and says “That’s not a knife” almost didn’t happen. Screenwriter Ken Shadie didn’t think the line was funny and had little belief that the movie was going to have success.
According to Shadie, “it just wasn’t funny on paper.” After the movie hit theaters, he was hoping to get the money he invested in the film. But, he got a lot more.
There Was Some Poaching Controversy
There was controversy surrounding the movie regarding whether Crocodile Dundee should be considered a crocodile poacher. It’s illegal in Australia to do such a horrific act, and the use of his rifle to “catch fish” wasn’t very believable.
So, the writers went ahead to clarify that point in the sequel. The writers made sure to showcase Dundee’s extreme fishing techniques. In one scene, Mick Dundee uses a stick of dynamite to catch a fish.
A Crossover Movie Was In The Works
A former chairman of Paramount Pictures revealed some potential news. The company told the LA Times that they had once pitched the idea for a crossover movie. It would have been Crocodile Dundee and Beverly Hills Cop, and the movie would have been the third for each franchise.
But, Eddie Murphy wasn’t keen on the idea of a crossover movie, so the idea was scrapped altogether. Oh, what could have been, right?
Crocodile Dundee II was released in 1988. The sequel would become another box office success. From a production budget of a mere $14 million, the film grossed a huge $239.6 million.
It wasn’t as successful as the first one, but audiences loved it regardless. It was Paramount’s second highest-grossing film of 1988. The film finished runner-up to Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America. But, both movies did better than Rambo III.
The Australian-American Differences
There are numerous differences that were changed for the American version of the movie. Lots of the dialogue in Australian slang was dubbed in the American version. Producers of the movie felt like the heavy Australian slang would be off-putting to the American audience.
All in all, 10 minutes of footage would be cut. Barry London, president of distribution at Paramount, stated, “We accelerated the pace to the taste of the American consumer.”
Is There A Real Crocodile Dundee?
To some, the “real” Crocodile Dundee is a man named Rod Ansell. The Aussie made headlines in 1977 after surviving two months in the Outback all alone. Ansell’s boat capsized on the Fitzmaurice River in the Northern Territory, leaving him stranded and forced to survive in the harsh terrain alone.
After the incident, Ansel was invited to Sydney for an interview. He reportedly didn’t wear shoes and slept on the floor of his hotel room.
Ansell Took Hogan To Court
Crocodile Dundee was an unexpected success. However, Ansell took Hogan to court, believing he was entitled to the royalties from the film. Of course, he was unsuccessful and didn’t get any money whatsoever.
After failing to achieve some lump sum, Ansell remained bitter about the ordeal until his death in 1999. According to sources, Hogan was inspired by Ansell to create the character Mick “Crocodile” Dundee after seeing an interview.
The Critics Weren’t Pleased With The Sequel
Crocodile Dundee II did well at the box office, but not so much with the critics. They described the film to be a “crowd-pleaser” but not in a good way. The sequel was deemed inferior to the first movie.
The New York Times said that “The novelty has begun to wear thin, even if Mr. Hogan generally remains irresistible.” Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a score of a miserable 11%.
Hogan Won A Golden Globe For For His Role In The First Movie
The Aussie took home the Award for Best Actor In A Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Plus, he won a BMI Film & TV Award for Best Music. And, he earned a Canadian Golden Screen Award for highest-grossing movie.
The second film didn’t get any nominations, whatsoever, despite the box office success. The third film, well, let’s just say it was nominated for a Razzi Award for Worst Remake or Sequel.
Hogan And Linda Kozlowski Had Very Good Chemistry
Hogan and his first wife, Noelene Edwards, married in 1958 and divorced in 1981. But, the chemistry with his co-star Linda Kozlowski was so good, the two ended up marrying in 1990, and together they have five kids together.
In 2013, after being together for 20 years, the pair ended up separating. Hogan told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: “Twenty years or so and they get sick of me. The novelty wears off.”
Actor and comedian Colin Quinn had a minimal role in Crocodile Dundee II. However, he had some big thoughts about just how the movie should turn out. Quinn is best known for his tenure on Saturday Night Live. The actor approached the directors and producers with a script rewrite, asking them to look it over.
The new script, coincidentally, gave Quinn a much more significant role. Unsurprisingly, he was turned down.
The Third Installment
It appeared as if the series was over after the first two installments. The two movies certainly made Paul Hogan enough money, but then they decided to do something very unexpected.
A third movie showed up 13 years after Crocodile Dundee II. Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles featured Hogan and then-wife Kozlowski reprising their roles. The plot follows Crocodile Dundee and Sue Charlton, along with their son, as they foil an international smuggling ring.
Will There Be Another Movie?
Currently, there is a movement on social media calling for another movie. If so, it would be the fourth installment of the franchise. The Aussie even stated in the past that if another movie is made, he would only play the role of producer and not appear in the film itself.
But, we all know the two sequels weren’t nearly as successful as the first, and the last one especially didn’t fair so well.
Will There Be A Reboot Of Crocodile Dundee?
The answer, according to Paul Hogan himself is: “It’s not gonna happen.” Sorry, fans. Hogan stated that he isn’t thinking about another installment.
In an interview with BBC, the Aussie said, “The second one did huge business, but the third one sort of died. I thought the third one was flogging a dead horse so I don’t think I will be pushing for a fourth one.” Only time will tell, folks.