These Amazing Crocodile Dundee Facts Will Leave You Saying ‘Crikey’
The hit movie “Crocodile Dundee” burst into theaters back in 1986 and will forever remain an icon of all that is Australian (whether they like it or not). Audiences couldn’t help but love the rough and gruff Aussie that couldn’t quite comprehend life in the big city. There has been a recent surge of demand for a fourth installment of the franchise. Will it happen? We have all the juicy details here. If you’re lookin’ for a G’day, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on for everything you wanted to know about the “Crocodile Dundee” series!
1. The Inspiration
“Crocodile Dundee” star Paul Hogan has stated many times that there is no real-life Crocodile Dundee. He states that he came up with the idea after his own trip to New York City. As a native Australian, Hogan says he felt like an alien in the big city.
“I felt like an alien from another planet, some of the ‘Bushie’ guys I know would feel even more out of place. There’s a myth that there is a real Crocodile Dundee but there isn’t,” actor Paul Hogan told the BBC.
2. The Real Crocodile Dundee?
Many people believe that the “real” Crocodile Dundee is a man named Rod Ansell, an Australian who made headlines back in 1977 after he survived for two months in the Australian Outback alone after his boat capsized in a river.
Ansell’s boat capsized on the Fitzmaurice River in the Northern Territory, leaving him stranded and forced to survive in the harsh terrain alone. The area where he was stranded was around 120 miles from the nearest town, and during the two months, he hunted wild cattle to survive. After the incident, Ansel was invited to Sydney for an interview where he reportedly didn’t wear shoes, slept on the floor of his hotel room instead of the bed and was bewildered by the room’s bidet.
3. Taken To Court
After “Crocodile Dundee” saw unexpected blockbuster success, Rod Ansell took Paul Hogan to court, believing that he was entitled to royalties from the movie. Ansell was, however, unsuccessful and never received any money from the movie.
Rod Ansell reportedly remained bitter about the ordeal until his death in 1999. According to his Wikipedia page, Paul Hogan was indeed inspired by Ansell to create the character Mick “Crocodile” Dundee after seeing an interview with Ansell.
4. A Rude Rejection
Prior to signing the American rights to Paramount Pictures, producer John Cornell approached 20th Century Fox, to see if they would be interested in the rights to the movie. They weren’t at all happy with the movie and weren’t subtle in their rejection.
”There was some idiot who sat with his feet on the desk and watched it for about 20 minutes, looked at this watch about eight times and told me that it wouldn’t work,” 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.”
5. A Small Budget
Considering how big of a hit the movie “Crocodile Dundee” was, it actually had a very small budget of only $8.8 million. Paul Hogan and his business partner John Cornell both chipped in $600,000 of their own money on top of the money received from their 1,400 investors.
Their investments certainly paid off in the end. “Crocodile Dundee” brought in a massive $328 million worldwide. The movie ended up being the second highest grossing movie of the year (behind Top Gun). No one was expecting the incredible success of the movie.
6. Human or Croc?
It might surprise you to know that the “Crocodile Dundee” had a different title depending on the location in which it was released. The film appeared as “Crocodile Dundee” in Australia, while in North America the film appeared as “’Crocodile’ Dundee”.
Why, you ask? Because the producers were worried that people would think that Dundee was an actual crocodile. So, the quotation marks were added for clarity that crocodile was just a nickname and that audiences wouldn’t be watching a movie about a crocodile in a swamp.
7. The Plaza Hotel
Do you want to book the actual hotel room that Mick “Crocodile” Dundee stayed in at the Plaza? Well, you can’t. The hotel room that character stayed at when he arrived to New York City was just a set built for the movie.
Back when the movie was released, the Plaza Hotel received many inquiries asking to stay in the same room, or jokingly asking if Crocodile Dundee was still at the hotel. “We also get calls asking for rooms with bidets, something we don’t have,” the Plaza Hotel’s PR department said in 1987.
Paul Hogan had no idea that his film, “Crocodile Dundee”, would become such a huge success internationally. Still, to date, it is the highest grossing film in Australia, but it also broke records in America and other countries.
“I thought I was making a nice little comedy movie for Australia,” Paul Hogan later said in an interview. The film became the second-highest grossing film of the year 1986. Read on to find out more interesting facts about the hit movie “Crocodile Dundee”.
9. The Opening Scenes
The opening scene shows a view of the Sydney Harbor Bridge while Sue is on the phone to New York City. Did you know that actor Paul Hogan has a very special connection to that bridge?
Prior to becoming an actor, Paul Hogan worked as a day laborer in Sydney, Australia. One of those jobs was working as a rigger on the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Apparently, the cast a crew found the fact quite funny and it kept them entertained for a long time.
10. How Dundee Got Into TV
Actor Paul Hogan’s rise to fame was something of a fluke. Just how did a day laborer working on the Sydney Harbor Bridge become a movie star? Well, it all started out as a joke. He decided to appear on an Australian talent TV show, but not to show off his talents.
Hogan felt that the show was designed for the judges to mock and ridicule the people who appeared on the show, so he showed up as a pretend tap-dancing knife thrower to mock and ridicule the judges himself. It turns out they loved it.
11. Unruly Co-Stars
Not all of the cast and crew got along with each other. There was one cast member, in fact, that refused to work altogether. It was the water buffalo. Working with animals is always tricky, but when you’re working with a 2,000-pound water buffalo, you can’t really order it around.
“It’s like he said, ‘I’ll just sit here.’ And you can’t do anything about it,” actor Paul Hogan said. The scene with the buffalo reportedly took an entire day to film, as they had to simply wait for the buffalo to cooperate.
12. Those Crocs
Not all of those crocodiles in the movie were fake. In fact, the only fake crocodile used was the one that attacked Sue, played by actress Linda Kozlowski. Unsurprisingly the directors thought that using a real crocodile for the scene was just too dangerous.
The mechanical crocodile that was built and used for the scene cost $45,000 to make. But there was something about that mechanical crocodile that just didn’t fit with the Australian Outback. Read on to find out!
13. The Mechanical Croc
If you’re somewhat of a crocodile expert and took a good look at the mechanical crocodile you probably noticed something was off. Based on the roundness of the snout and the placement of the teeth, it’s actually a large American alligator. Oops.
Nonetheless, the mechanical crocodile was so lifelike that during the course of filming someone reported the crew for poaching crocodiles. Once the authorities realized that the crocodile was indeed mechanical, all was forgiven. At least it did the job looking lifelike!
14. That’s A Knife
One of the most quoted lines from the movie is 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 one of those knives was kept by actor Paul Hogan, who promised to never sell it. Read on for some more exciting “Crocodile Dundee” facts you just won’t believe.
15. The Writers Didn’t Like This Line
The scene where Crocodile Dundee pulls out his Bowie knife and says “That’s not a knife” almost didn’t happen. One screenwriter, Ken Shadie, just didn’t think the line was funny. He also didn’t think that the movie would be much of a success.
According to Shadie, “it just wasn’t funny on paper.” Prior to the movie’s premiere, Shadie stated that he was just hoping to get back the money he invested in the movie, but he ended up getting a LOT more than just that after the movie’s success.
16. A Continuity Goof
Watchful fans might have noticed a few continuity errors in the movie. For example, in one scene, Gus hits the pimp and his thugs with his limo, shattering the windshield. Then, the very next morning the windshield of the limo is not shattered. It’s highly unlikely that he had time to get the windshield replaced overnight.
Also, Gus can be seen replacing the radio antenna, implying that the limo is the exact same one from the night before that was used to ram the hooligans. But maybe he had some super speedy repairman replace the windshield, or maybe it was all movie magic?
17. A Crossover Movie
A former chairman of Paramount Pictures revealed to the LA Times that they had once shopped around an idea for a crossover movie with “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Crocodile Dundee”. The movie would have been the third movie for both franchises.
Eddie Murphy was reportedly not excited about the idea of a crossover movie with “Crocodile Dundee”, so the idea was scrapped. Not sure how we feel about this one. Maybe Beverly Hills Cop could have saved the Dundee franchise?
18. Australian-American Differences
There were lots of differences in the Australian version of “Crocodile Dundee” that were changed for the American version, apart from the quotations around “Crocodile.” Lots of the dialogue in Australian slang was dubbed in the American version.
The producers felt like the heavy Australian slang would be off-putting to an American audience. Additionally, around 10 minutes of footage was cut. “We accelerated the pace to the taste of the American consumer,” Barry London, president of distribution at Paramount, stated.
19. Crocodile Dundee II
“Crocodile Dundee II”, released in 1988, was also a huge box-office success. From a production budget of a mere $14 million, the film grossed a huge $239.6 million. It was not as successful as the first movie, but audiences loved it nevertheless.
“Crocodile Dundee II” became Paramount Pictures’ second highest-grossing film of 1988, coming in second only to the movie Coming to America. During the film’s first six days, “Crocodile Dundee II” was beating the super-popular “Rambo III”, as far as box office receipts went.
20. Poaching Controversy
There was some controversy surrounding the first movie about whether Crocodile Dundee should be considered a crocodile poacher, which is illegal in Australia. The use of his rifle to “catch fish” wasn’t so believable, so the writers decided to clarify that point in the second movie.
In the second movie, “Crocodile Dundee II”, 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. Now that’s extreme! Any question of whether Dundee was poaching crocodiles in the first movie was finally put to rest.
21. The Critics
While “Crocodile Dundee II” did very well at the box office and was raking in the money, the critics weren’t as pleased. They deemed the film a “crowd-pleaser” but not in a good way. Reviews of the film were overwhelmingly negative.
The sequel was deemed inferior to the first “Crocodile Dundee” movie by The New York Times, saying that “the novelty has begun to wear thin, even if Mr. Hogan remains generally irresistible.” Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a score of 11% and slapped a “rotten” label on the film.
22. Real-Life Experience
Paul Hogan used his real-life experience in the film when he helped convince a businessman in New York City not to jump off the ledge of a high-rise building. But what you didn’t know is that it wasn’t Hogan’s first time dealing with such a situation.
During Paul Hogan’s time as a day laborer on the Sydney Harbor Bridge, he was faced with many people attempting to jump off the bridge, attempting to commit suicide. Hogan was able to rescue some, but others leaped from the bridge.
23. His Own Show
Prior to his success in the “Crocodile Dundee” movies, Paul Hogan had his own show called simply “The Paul Hogan Show”. The show ran for an impressive 12 seasons, from 1973 to 1984, and was very popular in Australia, South Africa, and the UK.
The Paul Hogan Show was a stand-up and sketch comedy show. It was so popular that it was compared 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”.
24. A Huge Award
The first “Crocodile Dundee” movie won actor Paul Hogan a Golden Globe Award for best actor in a motion picture musical or comedy, a BMI Film & TV Award for best music, and a Canadian Golden Screen award for highest-grossing movie.
The second “Crocodile Dundee” movie wasn’t even nominated for an award, despite its box-office success. And the third “Crocodile Dundee” movie was nominated for a Razzi Award for worst remake or sequel… but sadly didn’t win.
25. Very Good Chemistry
Paul Hogan and his co-star Linda Kozlowski had very good chemistry on set, so much so that the chemistry couldn’t be stopped off-screen. The two ended up marrying in 1990 and together they have a son named Chance.
After being married for over 20 years, Kozlowski and Hogan went their separate ways in 2013. “Twenty years or so and they get sick of me,” Hogan told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “The novelty wears off.” Read on for more exciting “Crocodile Dundee” facts and trivia.
26. The Unsolicited Rewrite
Actor and comedian Colin Quinn had a very small role in “Crocodile Dundee II” early in his career (he played the role of “onlooker at mansion”) but he had some big thoughts about just how the movie should turn out.
Quinn, who is best known for his years on Saturday Night Live, approached the directors and producers of “Crocodile Dundee II” with a script rewrite, asking them to look it over. The new script, coincidentally, gave Quinn a much larger role. Unsurprisingly, he was turned down. Who knows, maybe they should have listened to him…
27. Roughing It Outback
The cast and crew briefly stayed in huts during the filming of the first “Crocodile Dundee” movie while in Kakadu National Park. The enormous park is the same size as the country of Slovenia and is located in Australia’s Northern Territory.
The location they were filming was so remote that there were no hotels nearby, so they had to resort to living in huts for a while. Read on for more amazing facts about “Crocodile Dundee” you probably didn’t know.
28. The Third Installment
After the success of the first two installments of “Crocodile Dundee”, it appeared as if the series was over. The two movies certainly made Paul Hogan enough money, then a bit unexpectedly, a third movie showed up 13 years after “Crocodile Dundee II”.
The 2001 movie “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles” featured Dundee and his then-wife Linda Kozlowski reprising their roles. In it, Crocodile Dundee and Sue Charlton, along with their son, foil an international smuggling ring. According to movie critic Roger Ebert, he’s “seen audits that were more thrilling.”
29. Another Movie?
Currently, there is a movement on social media calling for another “Crocodile Dundee” movie to be made. If so, it would be the fourth installment of the franchise. Paul Hogan has 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.
While the first “Crocodile Dundee” movie saw box-office and critical success, the second movie, while crowd-pleasing, received largely negative reviews. And the third movie? It has been called one of the worst movies ever made and only brought in $39.4 million at the box office. Ouch.
30. Will There Be A Reboot?
So, after three movies and a Super Bowl ad, the question on everyone’s mind is “will there be a ‘Crocodile Dundee’ reboot?” The answer, according to Paul Hogan himself is… “It’s not gonna happen.” Sorry, guys.
In an interview, Hogan stated that he isn’t thinking about another installment. “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,” the actor added.
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