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on September 17, 2002
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."
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'Crocodile Dundee' is a highly entertaining comedy romance released in '86 that implanted such delightful Aussie terms as; "G'day" and "out for a walkabout" into Amercian mainstream consciousness.

Paul Hogan is absolutely perfect as the man from down under, Michael J. 'Crocodile' Dundee who is pursued by an American reporter (Linda Kozlowski) in search of a good newspaper story about the elusive crocodile hunter roaming the Australian Outback. When their brief but intense encounter blossoms into romance she invites Mic to return to New York with her and see the sights. Can a naive Aussie fresh from the bush cope with the perils that accompany life in the Big Apple? You Bet!!

Great family fun with good performances by Hogan and Kozlowski as well as John Meillon as Mic's Outback partner, Walter and a brief but memorable cameo by David Gulpilil.
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on July 13, 2001
Paul Hogan (Lightening Jack, Flipper) stars as Michael J. "Crocodile" Dundee, a crocodile hunter. Wealthy reporter Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski, Favorite Son, Almost and Angel) meets him during an excursion into the Australian Outback.

Dundee accepts Sue's invitation to return to New York City with her. He soon finds that New York life is much different than the life he is used to. Not only must he learn to acclimatize himself with the new surroundings and deal with the jealous boyfriend of Sue Charlton. There are so many excellent 'fish out of water' scenes from this film; too many to list in one review.

This movie is very charming in its simplicity. It isn't full of confusing and complicated twists and turns at every angle, doesn't have several different subplots to keep up with and isn't full of murky characters that really have no purpose other than to take up a frame. It is a simple romantic comedy that is very much worth the time spent viewing it.
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VINE VOICEon February 5, 2003
One of the most frequently used, and most telling, elements of comedy is incongruity, and this is a film with plenty of it. The title character and his adventures should be a sheer delight for everyone, and even the romantic element is so low-keyed that there should be no complaints from boy viewers about "mush."
Paul Hogan, who wrote the original story and co-wrote the screenplay, plays Michael J. "Mick" Dundee, sometimes known as "Crocodile," who (with his more civilized partner, Walt Reilly) runs Never-Never Safaris out of Walkabout Creek, Northern Territories, Australia. He claims to have been raised by the local aboriginies (and does indeed join them, face painted, at a corroboree), doesn't know how old he is ("What year's this?" he asks, when the question comes up), and doesn't know or care what the day of the week is. He "was sorta married once...Went out for a walkabout, I come back and she'd gone." He's a highly skilled outdoorsman (sometimes accused of being a "poacher" of crocodiles) and even seems to have some unusual abilities--he puts a water buffalo to sleep when it blocks the road his Jeep is following ("Mind over matter," Walt says). New York reporter Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski), daughter of the publisher of Newsday, is in Australia doing a series of pieces, hears of one of his recent exploits (slightly inflated in the telling), and decides he'd make a good subject for a story. Eventually she persuades him to come to New York with her, and it's there that more than half the movie occurs, along with all the humorous incongruity. Mick Dundee is every country bumpkin who ever came to the big city, and his frankness, his ingenuous offerings of friendship to jaded New Yorkers, and his reactions to things like planes, escalators, elevators, a bidet, a black chauffeur, hookers and transvestites (when the former offer him "one for free," he says, "One what?"), New York traffic (he shinnies up a light pole at his first encounter with it, and has to be rescued by a mounted cop), and cocaine use are delightfully innocent. Withal, he finds his bush skills not unuseful to him: he brings down a purse-snatcher with an accurately-thrown can of food, drives off a trio of muggers by pulling out his huge Bowie knife and slashing the jacket of the leader, and "charms" and makes friends with a pair of ferocious Rottweilers.
Some of Hogan's Australian speech may be hard to understand, and the sudden attack of a crocodile on Sue (it grabs the canteen hanging around her neck) may scare some kids. But on the whole, the movie should be a hit with all ages. Part of Mick is "for tourists only": out in the bush, he switches from safety razor to his Bowie knife when Sue joins him, and after spreading out for her a feast of goanna (a native lizard), grubs, sugar ants, and yams, he cheerfully admits, "You can live on it, but it tastes like s**t," and pulls out a can. Yet he can't sleep in a bed--he makes up a doss on the floor of his hotel room--and he's careful never to hurt a fellow human being, even when driving off a group of poachers who are killing kangaroos for fun. The first crack in his lighthearted facade shows when Sue's editor proposes publicly to her at a dinner party, and only then do we realize that he's grown to love her. At the close he walks on heads and shoulders across a mobbed subway platform to rejoin her, and everybody cheers. You may well feel like cheering too.
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on May 28, 2011
Some remember Paul Hogan's introduction to the American public through his cheeky commercials for the Australian Tourist Bureau. A few remember he parlayed the success from this movie into a co-hosting gig at the Oscars as well as snagging a nomination for co-scripting "Crocodile Dundee". It's been twenty-odd years since I last saw this flick but it's just as good as ever. Hogan projects an affable ruggedness that belies a certain toughness and a little bit of innocence. Linda Kozlowski is just as appealing as the urbane reporter who brings Michael J. Dundee from the bush to the Big Apple. The film is split into two parts, an Outback adventure and a fish-out-of-water comedy. Both parts work equally fine and perfectly compliment each other. Two scenes stick out for me here. Firstly, the scene where Dundee answers a switchblade wielding thug with a massive Bowie knife. Secondly, the scene where he shyly asks two ladies of the evening if they want to go to a movie. I think the reason this film worked so well in 1986, where I saw it on a double-bill with "Armed and Dangerous", is that it was the antithesis of the cynicism of "Rambo". The reason the film works today is that good movies are timeless.
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on March 24, 2014
Well written, acted, and produced! The base humor (lightly done) is only part of the appeal of this film - Paul Hogan really brings out the humorous nature of the film as well as a great love story to boot! Didn't care too much for the sequels, but the original film gets a "5 star" rating from me! A great film!
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on January 15, 2004
It's old (1986) and it's schmaltzy and old-fashioned, but Crocodile Dundee is still worth watching if you missed it first time around. Paul Hogan, fresh from Down Under, is so perfectly cast that it quickly becomes apparent that he's not really acting at all: this is just who he is. He plays a relaxed Aussie tracker who shows an American reporter around his native bush country, then accompanies her to her own turf in New York City. It's the old fish-out-of-water theme, and Hogan and co-star Linda Koslowski (whom he later married, in real life), play it off perfectly.
Pure confection, but also pure fun.
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on July 7, 2014
I like to see this movie occasionally from time to time. It has some great funny moments. For example when Dundee quickly looks at Wally's watch once and then when he is close to his eventual girlfriend he looks up at the sun and says the time is 2:20. She is amazed at how accurately he knows the time as she looks at her watch. Not an Academy Award winner but good entertainment.
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on February 12, 2000
The most successful Australian movie of all time, it became the most successful foreign movie of all time in the USA and the second highest grossing movie in the USA in 1986 (beaten only by Top Gun). Paul Hogan's movie debut and his first serious acting role - his only previous acting experience was in comedy sketches in his Australian TV show. This was the movie which sparked the Aussie craze of the late 1980s in the US. It is a fairly innocuous fish out of water tale featuring a knockabout bushman and a savvy American newspaper reporter. The first half of the movie shows reporter Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) in the Australian outback while in the second half the tables are turned and Mick Dundee (Hogan) finds himself coming to grips with life in New York. The film suffers in the transformation to video - the spectacular scenes shot in Australia's Kakadu National Park and the breathtaking vista of New York City are but a pale whimper on the small screen and some of the continuity problems are magnified, specifically the scene in the back seat of the taxi. But they are small beer when you consider the feel good impact of this film and its achievement in raising the profile of Australia in the US. Hogan became Australian of the Year in 1987 as a result of this film and his "shrimp on the barbie" tourism commercials. It is a film you can watch over and over and the crowning achievement of the Australian film industry.
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on June 24, 2013
Loved this movie as a kid, it is one of the first reasons why I wanted to go to Australia. I thought everybody in Australia lived like Dundee. I know better now. But the movie was a lot of great fun and makes me want to get out in the bush and see the wild life.
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