Crocodile Dundee (1986)

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7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good for Australia, light and fun

Dated, some uncomfortable jokes

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Crocodile Dundee

Studio:  Rimfire Film

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  September 26, 1986

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

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“That’s not a knife…that’s a knife!”

Reporter Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) writes features for Newsday and has heard of a man who fought off a crocodile to make it back to civilization.  Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee (Paul Hogan) is larger than life and Sue’s trek through the Outback with him is going to lead her to revelation…what happens when a man from the Outback goes to the Big Apple?

Directed by Peter Faiman, Crocodile Dundee (written in America as “Crocodile” Dundee to distinguish that the Crocodile was a nickname) was a comedy that helped increase the popularity of Australia.  Written by the star Paul Hogan, Ken Shade, and John Cornell, the movie was a box office smash and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

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Wait…what’s going on in this scene? I didn’t think it was that kind of movie…

Crocodile Dundee was everywhere in 1986 and so was Australia.  It was quoted, joked about, and a cultural event.  I enjoyed Crocodile Dundee when it came out, but rewatching it, it does have some moments that haven’t aged well and are even cringe-worthy.

The script is basically A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court…played out twice.  First you get Sue in Australia out of her element (and not adjusting well) and then you get to see Crocodile in New York as a fish out of water, but managing to get along due to sheer likability…which is counterintuitive to the ’80s New York City.

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A bath? What’s that? I’m a crazy Australian!

With the clever script comes great likes like the classic “That’s not a knife…that is a knife” moment when muggers confront Crocodile with a switchblade, but it also holds some uncomfortable homophobic jokes that probably wouldn’t fly in today’s society.  In 1986, it was kind of funny, but it also really doesn’t make much sense (no matter where Dundee was from) that he had never heard of transvestites (or wouldn’t know prostitutes for that matter).

The movie hinges on Paul Hogan who does come off as a charming hick.  The character was good enough to start a franchise (though both sequels were rather poorly received by critics).  Linda Kozlowski is rather bland as the romantic lead but the relationship was real because she ended up marrying Hogan.

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What I learned: Australia=Awesome; New York=muggers, prostitutes, transvestites, yuppies

Visually, the movie is the best of both world.  Australia was really being showcased as an up-and-coming travel destination in the ’80s and Crocodile Dundee helped a lot.  The movie increased tourism and became a big boon to the country…and created a mini-boom in Australia movies about the “down under” and “outback”.

Crocodile Dundee was an important film for Australia and a big movie in the United States.  The film hasn’t necessarily aged well, but it is a great example of ’80s comedy (and relatively clean at that).  The movie was successful enough to create a franchise.  Crocodile Dundee II followed in 1988 and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles followed it in 2001.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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