Inspiration behind Paul Hogan’s Character Mick Dundee. 5 Facts about Crocodile Dundee
Crocodile Dundee became a worldwide phenomenon in 1986, becoming the highest grossing movie in Australia. The iconic dialogue of Mick Dundee, “That’s not a knife. That’s a knife!”, is still a big thing in pop culture.
After the unanticipated success of the 1986 film, two more Dundee films followed. While the second installment, Crocodile Dundee II (1988) also became a box-office hit, the third one, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (2001) saw average success. However, fans have long been waiting for a new Dundee movie to hit the theaters.
In February, seemingly the teaser for a new film, Dundee: The Son Of A Legend Returns Home, captivated millions around the world. But, the trailer starring Chris Hemsworth, Danny McBride and other Hollywood heavyweights, including Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Margot Robbie and Jessica Mauboy turned out to be fake. In fact, it was Tourism Australia’s super bowl commercial, which became a call for Mick Dundee to stroll in the streets of New York.
You might just be fond of watching Paul Hogan cheerfully flash that Bowie knife endlessly, but there’s plenty you might not know about the original movie. Today, we have chosen to present five behind the scenes stories.
#5. Crocodile Dundee was Inspired by a Cattle Grazier?
Paul Hogan has stated time and again that there’s no real-life inspiration for Crocodile Dundee. In an interview with BBC in 2000, he said,
The germ was born on my first trip to New York. 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.
However, many people consider an Australian cattle grazier and buffalo hunter named Rod Ansell to be an inspiration behind the iconic character, Mick Dundee. Reportedly, while on a fishing trip in 1977, Ansell’s boat capsized due to a crocodile, which led him to spend a night drifting out to sea before landing on an island off the shore of Fitzmaurice River. He spent seven weeks on the island with limited supplies and hit the spotlight after being interviewed about his adventures on Michael Parkinson’s show. He later claimed that Hogan cited the Parkinson interview as the inspiration for the film, but the transcript of the interview was never found. He was eventually killed in a shootout by police officers in 1999.
#4. Crocodiles Were Fake
Some parts of the movie were shot in Kakadu National Park, where the real threats of the cast being attacked by crocodiles were high. So, the production team hired armed guards to keep an eye on reptiles. Paul wanted to use real crocs for as many shots as possible, but it was not feasible to consider a real one for the scene where Sue Charlton almost gets taken. Yeah! Sue was never in danger not just because Mick was with her, but because the particular scene featured a mechanical crocodile that cost $45,000.
#3. No Hotels to Stay
There were no hotels to stay at while filming in Kakadu National Park. So, the cast and crew slept in dilapidated huts. How were they safe? Aren’t reptiles there? Yes, but armed guards were always there to assure the security of the crew.
#2 Crocodile Hotel
As the movie became the second top-grossing movie after Top Gun in 1986, it also turned Kakadu National Park into a tourist destination as most of the scenes of the movie were filmed there. The national park, which is a world heritage site, is the unforgettable Australian experience due to the availability of significant natural attractions like Ubirr, Cahills Crossing, Nourlangie and Mamukala Wetlands. Another biggest attraction in the park is the Crocodile Hotel, which was inspired by the success of the movie. Now, the four-star hotel, which is uniquely shaped to represent Kakadu’s most popular inhabitant, the saltwater crocodile, is one of the distinctive hotels in the world.
#1 Release in the US
When the film was released in the US, quotation marks were added to the promotional poster around the word “Crocodile.” Paramount executives were worried that the American audience would think the movie was a “swamp” film and to assure them that “Crocodile” was a nickname it was stylized with the use of quotation marks. Not only that but also more than seven minutes of footage was cut out targeting American viewers, as producers thought that some of the Aussie expressions wouldn’t be understandable to the US moviegoers.
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