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Film: Crocodile Dundee

Before Crocodile Hunter, there was... Crocodile Dundee, a 1986 film, directed by Peter Faiman.

Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) travels to Australia to do some research on a story she'd heard about a man who survived a vicious crocodile attack in the bush. Who she finds is Mick "Crocodile" Dundee (Paul Hogan's first film role), a quick-witted bushman who, it turns out, did not lose his leg to the vicious croc—but who seems to have an uncanny symbiosis with the Australian Outback. When Sue must return to New York City, she invites Mick to accompany her, and Hilarity Ensues when she sees that he is not so accustomed to the city as to the bush. Ultimately, she falls in love with the charismatic Australian, but must decide whether to go with him back to Australia or remain with her current boyfriend.

A sequel followed in 1988. It has Mick, now living in New York, running afoul of a gang of vengeful Colombian drug dealers. After humiliating them on their home turf, he's told by the police to go into witness protection, but instead leads them back to Australia where his superior knowledge of the Outback will prove to be advantageous.

A third film appeared in 2001, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. Mick and Sue are married and have a son: Mikey Dundee (Devon Fitzgerald). They live in the Australian Outback, where Mick is wrestling crocodiles for a living. When Sue is offered a major position in a Los Angeles newspaper, she jumps at the opportunity. But all is not right. Her predecessor was murdered, and the case remains unsolved. The Dundees have to perform their own investigation.

These films provide examples of:

  • Awesome Aussie - Mick Dundee, the trope codifier.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Subverted in the second movie. One of Mick's friends is an alleged gangster named Leeroy Brown. It turns out that his persona is all an act, to live up to people's expectations that someone with a name like that must be a badass.
  • Bad Ass: Downplayed by way of Miles Gloriosus. Michael J. Dundee's famous claims turn out to have been substantially exaggerated, and he's a bit clueless when out of his element. However, what's left when the tall tales have been scraped away is still a tough-as-nails bush-ranger who traps live crocodiles for a living.
  • Badass Bystander: The two Japanese tourists in the subway.
  • Broken Heel: Inverted when Sue is running to catch Dundee in the subway, but slowed by her high heels. She kicks them off and starts sprinting.
  • Captured by Cannibals: The sequel played with it. When Mick is capturing the drug dealers, one of his Aborigine friends asks the other if they get to eat these men, they were just toying with the crooks.
  • Camera Obscurer:
    Neville Bell: Oh no, you can't take my photograph.
    Sue Charlton: Oh, I'm sorry, you believe it will take your spirit away.
    Neville Bell: No, you got lens cap on it.
  • Chekhov S Gun: The chimp complains about the cage of the lions being bigger. Which lions? The ones that attack the villains in the final confrontation.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In the third film, Mikey tells his schoolteacher that Dundee hunts and kills crocodiles for a living, which she naturally assumes to be a lie. When she informs Dundee of this, he's shocked... because he would never kill a crocodile, since they're a protected species, and instead catches them alive.
  • Cyclic National Fascination: In the 1980s, we were obsessed with crazy Australians. Thank goodness we came to our senses in the 1990s, when... wait, what?
  • Daytime Drama Queen: It becomes obvious in the second movie that Mick needs to get out more when he starts caring about what happens on Days of Our Lives.
  • Dead Hat Shot: Staged by Dundee (complete with a bite taken out of the brim) to stage a mook's apparent death by crocodile.
  • Deep-Fried Whatever: Well, cooked over a fire, but one of Mick's Aborigine friends has some sort of bird cooked and begins to eat it.
    Walter: Are you...really enjoying that?
    Aborigine: *chewing*...Nah. Needs garlic.
  • Disney Death: Featured in Crocodile Dundee II.
    Charlie: Tell Mick if he want his clothes back, he can climb down there and get them his bloody self.
  • Distressed Damsel: Sue in the Australian bush. She tried filling her canteen in a swamp with it still slung on her neck and a crocodile grabbed the canteen, forcing Dundee to stab the crocodile in the head to save her. In the second movie though she Took a Level in Badass and seems quite at home in the bush.
  • Evil Poacher: The kangaroo poachers in the first movie.
  • Fanservice: Linda Kozlowski's swimsuit scene in the first movie. Caused quite a stir at the time, as one-piece thong swimsuits were rather uncommon in 1986 America, particularly in a movie you might take the kids to see.
  • Fish out of Water: All scenes with Dundee in New York, and most scenes with Sue in the Outback. From the second movie on, Mick intentionally plays this up in order to fool people into thinking he's dumber than he actually is.
    • Neville Bell (an Aborigine), stumbling over tree roots/wildlife/rocks in the dark: "I hate the bush!"
  • Foreign Queasine:
    • Subverted:
    "Crocodile" Dundee: [a goanna is sizzling over a fire. Sue looks ill] How do you like your goanna? Medium? Well done?
    Sue Charlton: You don't really expect me to eat that?
    "Crocodile" Dundee: Yeah, its great. Yeah, try some of these yams, try the grubs and the sugar ants. Just bite the end off, they're really sweet. Black fellas love 'em.
    Sue Charlton: [tentatively tries a yam] What about you, aren't you having any?
    "Crocodile" Dundee: Me?
    [Mick starts working on a tin with his knife]
    "Crocodile" Dundee: ...Well, you can live on it, but it tastes like shit.
    • Sue gets her revenge in New York when she buys Mick a Hot Dog with everything from sauerkraut to ketchup.
  • Great White Hunter: Mick Dundee is an example of the 'earthy' version.
  • Groin Attack: Near the end of the first movie, Sue rushes to the subway in an attempt to stop Dundee from leaving New York and during her sprint, she runs into a street hobo who refuses to let her pass, forcing Sue to quickly knee him in the groin so that she can continue on her way.
  • Heart Is Where the Home Is: Inverted with American Sue Charlton choosing the Australian main character over her stateside boyfriend.
  • High-Altitude Interrogation: Mick performs one on a hitman in the second film.
  • Hot Scoop: Sue Charlton
  • Hypocritical Humor: In the first film, Mick attacks the man in the Walkabout Creek bar who accuses him of poaching crocodiles because he "won't have anyone using bad language in front of a lady"—yet he has absolutely no qualms with saying "bastard" and "shit" when it's just Sue and himself.
  • I'll Take Two Beers Too: In a high-class restaurant, Richard orders "two vodka martinis" for himself and Sue. Dundee cheerfully adds, "Yeah, I'll have two o' those, and a beer, thanks!"
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Played with in the second movie in this scene when some Aborigine are holding some of the drug lord's men prisoner.
    [Aborigine speaks in Aborigine]
    Charlie: No mate we just hold them.
    Sue: What did he say?
    Charlie: [winking] He wants to know if we're allowed to eat these men.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Sue Charlton.
  • Insult Backfire:
    Jeez, Mick, were you born in a cave?
    Yeah! How did you know that?
    ... Never mind.
  • Japanese Tourist: Two camera-toting salarymen on holiday help Mick take down a thug in the sequel. Afterwards, they mistake Mick for Clint Eastwood.
  • Knife Nut: Mick is rarely without his gigantic bowie knife. He's also really good with it, as shown in the mugging scene where he cuts a long slash in the mugger's jacket sleeve without cutting the skin.
  • Land Down Under: The likeliest originator. Note that this movie was made by Australians (and gave their tourism industry one hell of a boost). They played up the bush culture on purpose.
  • Magical Camera: Subverted
    Neville Bell: "Oh no, you can't take my photograph."
    Sue Charlton: "Oh, I'm sorry, you believe it will take your spirit away."
    Neville Bell: "No, you got lens-cap on it."
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Dundee is practically a hyper-masculine spear counterpart to the trope.
  • Mighty Whitey: Dundee tries to play himself up as a Mighty Whitey, with all of the surival skills of the bushmen and all the cosmopolitan skills of the white world. In reality, the bushmen are just as modern as Sue is, and Mick's pretty out of touch with actual big city culture.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Linda Kozlowski, particularly between the one-piece thong and the different fancy dresses she wears throughout the first movie.
  • Mobstacle Course: Ultimately, Mick takes the high road.
  • Modern Minstrelsy: The series plays up a lot of stereotypes of Australian culture, but just as often to subvert or parody them as to play them straight.
  • Mugging the Monster:
    • The "That's a knife" scene is perhaps the best-remembered scene of the series.
    • And also in the second movie, where Mick combines it with a Deadpan Snark:
    Punk: [about Mick breaking into Rico's mansion/fortress] What's your chances?
    Mick: Fair.
    Punk: What's your chances of getting out of here with that jacket on?
    Mick: [throws his knife across the room into the punk's mohawk] Better than average.
    • Brought to new levels in the third movie, where Dundee and a friend get accosted by a gang of thugs who drive up to them and threaten them at gunpoint.
    Dundee: "Son, you have any idea how quick you have to be to catch a tigersnake?"
    [Dundee grabs their guns, then he and his friend jump on top of their car and break the roof down on top of them. Finally, they toss a huge garbage can on top of the car.]
    Dundee: "Who's getting mugged?"
  • National Stereotypes: They were kidding. Mostly.
  • News Monopoly: The skunk sequence in the third movie.
  • No, Except Yes: The knife scene.
  • Not a Game
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: For all his country-boy naivete Mick does a lot of this. It's even more apparent in the second and third movies which kind of helps to ruin the Fish out of Water vibe that helped make the first so popular.
  • Once A Movie: Mick's brushes with street crime.
    "I keep getting mugged. I must look rich."
  • Race for Your Love: The end of the first movie.
  • Raised by Natives: Dundee was raised by Aborigines.
    Arthur: My people have ways of talking that no white man can understand.
    [Arthur pulls out a mobile phone and starts talking to his mate]
    Dundee: Ah, I think we just found out which one of us is the white man.
  • Secretly Wealthy: The second movie reveals that Mick has claim on large tracts of land and a literal gold mine.
  • Shout-Out: "Good one, Skippy."
  • Shoot the Hostage: Mic shoots Walter in the ear in the second movie to save his life by making the drug lords think Mick feels he is too valuable to be allowed to live.
  • Show Some Leg: In the first film, Sue brings towels to Mick in a sexy manner.
  • Storming the Castle: Well, storming the mansion of the drug lord that has my girlfriend hostage, anyway.
    Dundee: Leroy here tells me you lot are the coolest gang in New York.
    [the gang makes noises of appreciation]
    Rat: That's the word.
    Dundee: ...what did you do last night?
    Gang member: We didn't do nothin'. We was here all night.
    Dundee: And that's what you call cool, is it?
    [Rat says nothing, but has a thoughtful look on his face]
    Dundee: Tomorrow, if someone asks the same question, you can say, "We didn't do nothin.'" Or you can say, "We went out to Long Island and helped this lunatic storm a fortress."
  • There Will Be Toilet Paper: Subverted and Parodied.
  • Thinker Pose: Mike sees a bidet in his hotel room and asks what the thing is for. Sue is embarrassed to tell and says he will figure it out. He sits on it and ponders, rubbing his chin.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: In-Universe example from the third movie:
    Dundee: Who painted this?
    Curator: Pablo Picasso.
    Dundee: I'm a drinkin' man myself, but I've never been that wasted.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The World Trade Center can be seen in almost every exerior shot in the American scenes, and the last Checker A11 was retired from service in 1999.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Crocodile Dundee learns about Drag Queens... although the "drag queen" Gwendolyn that Mick almost spends the night with is actually played by actress Anne Carlisle.
  • Vague Age: Mick doesn't even know how old he is.
    "I asked one of the village elders once when I was born. He said 'in the summertime'."
  • Vapor Wear: Sue's red party dress — and to a lesser extent her backless light blue dress in the nice restaurant — in the first movie.

ChopperAustralian MoviesDead End Drive In
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Corky RomanoFilms of 2000 - 2004 Curse of the Jade Scorpion
Fish PeopleImageSource/Live-Action FilmsMugging the Monster
The CoreCreator/ParamountDanger: Diabolik

alternative title(s): Crocodile Dundee
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