How many of you remember the time during the 1980s where it seemed that everything from Australia was hot?
During the 1960s, we had the “British Invasion” with The Beatles, The Who, and The Rolling Stones. In the 1970s, I suppose that there was a bit of a European Invasion of sorts, as acts such as ABBA and Boney M were climbing the charts during that time.
And, in the 1980s, we had a lot of Australian based bands and artists peppering the charts between 1980 and 1989.
At some point during the 1980s, the following bands had at least one song to hit the Billboard Top 100. AC/DC, INXS, Men At Work, Midnight Oil, Air Supply, John Farnham, Olivia Newton-John (though to be fair, she was actually born in Britain), Kylie Minogue, Icehouse, and Split Enz and Crowded House (which were more or less the same band, since it had two of the same people in both).
But the Australian invasion didn't just stop at music. It bled over into other forms of media. For a brief period in the late 1980s, it seemed as though every sitcom or drama had to have at least one Australian in it. General Hospital had Robert Scorpio (played by Australian Tristan Rogers) throughout the 1980s. Even the television sitcom, “The Facts of Life” embraced Australian culture. Not only did the show film a television movie in Australia in 1987, but in the show's final season, an Australian exchange student named Pippa joined the cast of the long running sitcom, played by Sherrie Krenn (now Sherrie Austin).
Granted, the show went off the air the same season she joined...but still, it jumped on the “everything Australian is good” bandwagon.
To be honest with you though, I loved that. I've always found Australia to be a place that I would love to visit. Granted, it does have some rather nasty sea creatures and spiders that are the size of a saucer...but once you can overlook that fact, it really is a beautiful country filled with wonderful beaches and a lively metropolitan atmosphere. I've wanted to go to Australia since I was seven years old, and I hope that one day, I find a way to make it down there so I can say that I visited it at least once.
And would you like to know what kick started my “crush” on Australia? Well, it happened to begin after I watched a particular movie. This movie is of course the subject of today's blog, seeing as how it is the Monday Matinee. I remember that this was a movie that I had watched shortly after my parents received their first VCR as a wedding anniversary gift. They rented a movie that both had wanted to see, and they felt that I was old enough to watch it with them. The movie had been out for a couple of years, so it wasn't exactly a recent film...but I didn't care. It was a lot of fun, and I remember trying to mimic the funny accent that the main character of the film had.
And, of course, with moments in the film like the one below, it's no wonder the film ended up one of the symbols of the Australian invasion of the 1980s.
Today we're taking a look at the classic film, “Crocodile Dundee”, which starred Paul Hogan as the title character.
The movie was released in 1986, but depending on what country you were from, some of you likely saw the film before others did. In Australia (where half of the movie was filmed), the movie was released on April 30. Five months later, on September 26, 1986, Americans ended up getting their first view of “Crocodile Dundee”.
And this blog entry is such that I will be talking about some of the behind the scenes moments and trivia facts that you may not know about how “Crocodile Dundee” came to be made. By checking various sources such as The Internet Movie Database and Wikipedia (although with the last one, I had to do some fact checking, as Wikipedia isn't all that reliable sometimes), I have compiled a list of facts about this movie.
As a result, I'll be touching upon the plot of the movie very lightly. It doesn't really matter all that much anyway. The whole plot is basically an exercise in trying to fit into other cultures...first with the character of Sue (Linda Kozlowski) trying to survive life in the Australian Outback, and then with Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee (Hogan) trying to adjust to New York City after Sue invites him to visit. Oh, and there's some love story intertwined in there too...I admit that I was too busy watching the action scenes to really get invested in that storyline.
But, hey...at least I haven't spoiled any of the plot of the movie, so you're free to watch the film without having any spoilers. But then again, the movie is 26 years old, so in all likelihood, you have already seen it.
Okay, so let's talk trivia.
1 – There is a main difference between the Australian version of the film from the version that made it to America. The Australian version ended up using a lot more Australian slang, which would have made some of the dialogue impossible to understand for those who weren't familiar with Aussie lingo. As a result, a lot of the scenes were re-edited with more familiar language.
2 – As a result of the re-editing, the American version of the film ended up being almost ten minutes shorter than the Australian version.
3 – The movie was such a success that a couple of sequels were made...1988's “Crocodile Dundee II”, and 2001's “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles”.
4 – The film ended up making over $328 million at the box office. It was the second-highest grossing film of 1986, following “Top Gun”.
5 – Before he ended up taking the role of Carl Winslow on “Family Matters”, Reginald VelJohnson had a role in the film, playing Gus.
6 – Paul Hogan ended up winning a Golden Globe in 1986 for his role in “Crocodile Dundee”.
7 – An interesting piece of trivia is related to a scene that features Sue on the phone standing in front of the window of her hotel room. If you look at that scene, you can get a clear view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. When Paul Hogan was in his youth, he worked on the crew that painted the bridge!
8 – Contrary to what a few people believed, there was no Crocodile Dundee in real life, although the character of Crocodile Dundee was based off of the characteristics of Rodney Ansell, a man who made headlines for being stranded in the Australian Outback, surviving the harsh conditions with limited supplies for eight weeks.
9 – In the scene in which Crocodile Dundee ends up subduing a wild buffalo, the buffalo was already drugged.
10 – Apparently the love connection between Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski wasn't just limited to the film sets. The couple tied the knot on May 5, 1990, and have been married ever since. At the time of filming, Paul had just begun divorce proceedings with his first wife, Noelene, which according to many media sources was one of the ugliest celebrity divorces in Australia.
So, that's just a sampling of some of the behind the scenes trivia behind “Crocodile Dundee”.
Coming up next week, we kick off the month of October by looking at a film that was made a long time ago...in a galaxy far away. A film that took me twenty years to actually watch for the first time.