Inspired by the real life survivor of Australian’s Northern Territory, the mid 1980s were all about Aussie writer/actor Paul Hogan as Mick Dundee in Crocodile Dundee.
Written by Hogan and directed by Peter Fairman, this comedy focused on exploiting the stereotypes of the Australian Outback while loosely basing the storyline on Outback survivor Rodney Ansell.
Linda Kozlowski plays Sue Charlton, a magazine journalist who heads to the Outback to interview Mick Dundee (Hogan), a man who apparently has survived a crocodile attack but loses his leg.
Meeting Dundee, Charlton realizes the story has been grossly exaggerated and she isn’t as impressed with his rough and ready bravado. She is dared to go survive in the wild and decides to try while secretly being followed by Dundee.
After almost dying from a crocodile attack and saved by Dundee, Charlton realizes there’s more to Mick than meets the eye and sees him protect his Aboriginal brothers and prevent the hunting of kangaroos.
Charlton decides to challenge Mick to return with her to New York City and finish the story with him in the big city, to see if he really is a man that can handle any situation.
Hogan was inspired to write the screenplay after a visit to NYC, and the production shot for six weeks in the Northern Territory and six weeks in New York City for a budget of $8.8 million.
Debuting at number one when released in September 1986 in North America (it had been released in April of the same year in Australia), the film went on to gross over $500 million at the box office. The stereotypes and Hogan’s portrayal of Dundee were a box office bonanza, and was the second highest grossing film of 1986.
Nominated for best original screenplay at the Academy Awards and the BAFTAs, Paul Hogan won a Golden Globe for Best Actor – Comedy or Musical. Spawning two sequels, the film also resulted in Hogan marrying Kozlowski and forever being known for the phrase “Now that’s a knife.”