Crocodile Dundee (1986) from Tuna

There are a few excellent older titles finally coming to DVD. Paul Hogan's Crocodile Dundee is one of them. I was going to skip a plot outline and say that everyone knew the plot, until I did the math and realized this film is 15 years old. 
 Reporter Sue Charlton (played by newcomer Linda Kozlowski) goes to the remote town of Walkabout Creek to interview a local hero who survived a crocodile attack. She is so taken with Hogan that she brings him back to New York to see how he will fare in a big city. He does fine, and everybody loves him, eventually including her.


see the main commentary
The great appeal of the film is Paul Hogan's unique charm. Linda was easy to look at, not without acting ability, and this Julliard grad showed nearly all of a great butt in a scene in Australia where she is nearly eaten by a croc, but is saved by Dundee. Hogan and Koslowski actually fell in love during the film, and eventually married. IMDB readers say 6.4/10, which is probably about right, as the film doesn't have a strong plot, and no real message. The photography and some of the scenery is very nice, which produced good images. 

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • adequate transfer, but no features

Scoop's comments:  

There is nothing sophisticated about this movie, and yet most people who have seen the film have enjoyed it, and I am just like everyone else.

Although made in the 80's, Dundee is essentially a 30's Frank Capra film brought into modern times. The scene in the station, in which Linda and Hogan work out their future by shouting at each other over a mammoth crowd, with crowd members helping out, is a vintage old-time scene, and it's easy to imagine Cary Grant playing this scene out with Myrna Loy.

Like Saturday Night Fever, Crocodile Dundee was a cultural phenomenon with influence far beyond the actual quality of the film. It spurred a wave of interest in America about Australia and all things Australian.

Furthermore, it dragged Hogan from complete obscurity (he was a truck driver and bridge painter not long before) to instant status. Looking back on it, it seems that the infinitely charming Hogan put everything he had to say into this one character in this one film, and his star gradually dimmed. He eventually became the latest version of Clayton Moore, a man forever identified with his one defining role, dragging his hat out of the closet to play it out every so often, then disappearing into the sunset. 

I think that the image of Hogan in his trademark hat was one of the most recognizable images in the world in the late 80's despite the fact that he was virtually unknown in 1985, and was virtually unknown in 2001 until the release of the lukewarm recent sequel.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: three stars. Ebert 2/4, Berardinelli 3/4, Maltin 3/4 Apollo 77.

  • Rotten Tomatoes summary. Eleven articles on file

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.4 
  • With their dollars ... The film was a smash with a US box office of $174.635m, and has done over $70m in rentals.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a B. A film with broad mass-market appeal.

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