10 Things You Might Not Know About CROCODILE DUNDEE - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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10 Things You Might Not Know About CROCODILE DUNDEE

THAT'S a knife!

1. The idea for a 'fish-out-of-water' movie came to Paul Hogan when he first visited New York City and, despite living in a big city himself (Sydney, Australia), found himself feeling like an outsider. He claimed that he actually went around saying "G'day" to people as he walked down the street, just as his character would eventually do in the movie. The people that didn't shun him thought he was Scottish, and this general sense of not belonging inspired him to write a story centered on what it would be like if a Northern Territory bushman arrived in the city. As Hogan said:
"He's a mythical outback Australian who does exist in part—the frontiersman who walks through the bush, picking up snakes and throwing them aside, living off the land who can ride horses and chop down trees and has that simple, friendly, laid-back philosophy.
It's like the image the Americans have of us, so why not give them one?"
2. As he says above, the character "does exist in part", as Hogan based his creation on the true-life exploits of Rod Ansell.

Rodney William Ansell was an Australian cattle grazier and a buffalo hunter from "the bush". In 1977 Ansell's boat capsized during a solo hunting expedition and he found himself stranded in extremely remote country in the Northern Territory. Ansell spent almost two months trapped in the wilderness, surviving by drinking cow blood, sleeping with snakes and occasionally fighting and decapitating the odd crocodile. The story of his survival for 56 days with limited supplies became news headlines around the world.

In 1981, Ansell was invited to Sydney where he was interviewed by English journalist Michael Parkinson for his television program Parkinson. While staying at the famous five-star Sebel Townhouse Hotel, he slept in his sleeping bag on the floor rather than on his bed, and was reportedly mystified by his room's bidet.

It was more the interview and Ansell's curious city antics that sparked Paul Hogan's interest, rather than the bush survival, although clearly much of that was taken into consideration when along with co-writers Ken Shadie and John Cornell, Hogan developed the character Michael J. "Crocodile" Dundee .

3. "Crocodile" Dundee was made on a budget of under $9 million Australian dollars, funded in part by government assistance in a deliberate attempt to make a commercial Australian film that would appeal to a mainstream American audience. Hogan said,
"I'm planning for it to be Australia's first proper movie. I don't think we've had one yet—not a real, general public, successful, entertaining movie."
He was certainly right when it came to "successful, as "Crocodile" Dundee proved to be a worldwide phenomenon.

4. However, which version of the film you saw depended on where in the world you lived as there are two versions of "Crocodile" Dundee in existence: the Australian version, and an international version. The latter had much of the Australian slang replaced with more commonly understood terms, after test audiences were confused by much of the vocabulary. Some lines were just re-recorded but others were cut entirely, meaning the international version is slightly shorter.

5. The first scenes were filmed in the small town of McKinlay in Queensland. There are no crocodiles in this area, as it's in the outback with no major water source, so they had to be flown in.

6. Linda Kozlowski, who played Sue Charlton the reporter sent to interview Mick Dundee, was the only American on-set throughout the Australian shoot. However, because the film had received government funding, Actors' Equity Australia objected to anyone who was not Australian being part of the production. Although producer John Cornell explained she was intregal to the story, this impass initially held up filming until someone from AEA actually read the script and signed off on it.

7. In what would've been her cinemtaic debut, future Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Melissa Joan Hart played a little girl in Central Park who cuts her knee and receives "bush" treatment from Dundee. Although the scene was shot it was ultimately deleted from the released version.

8. Released on 30th April 1986 in Australia, and on 26th September 1986 in the United States, "Crocodile" Dundee became the highest-grossing film of all-time in Australia, the highest-grossing Australian film worldwide, the second-highest-grossing film in the United States in 1986, the highest-grossing non-US film at the US box office ever and the second-highest-grossing film worldwide for the year, earning a quite staggering $328 million US dollars! 34 years later it remains the highest grossing Australian film at the Australian box office.

Not bad for that $9 million Australian dollars investment, eh?

9. Crocodile Dundee remains the single most-viewed Christmas Day film or programme in the United Kingdom when it debuted on 25th December 1989 on BBC One, with an audience of 21.8 million. It is also the most watched film to ever be shown on the BBC, as the four films with the most viewership - Live and Let Die, Jaws, The Spy Who Loved Me and Diamonds Are Forever - were shown on ITV.

10. Following the unexpected blockbuster success of "Crocodile" Dundee, Rod Ansell unsuccessfully took Paul Hogan to court. Ansell's inability to profit from the films remained a source of bitterness in his life. Because of the media attention surrounding the film and court case, his new-found fame alienated him from his peers and his life and marriage fell apart. Depressed and penniless, some say Ansell was driven mad when a cease and desist was issued banning him from starting his own "Crocodile Dundee tour".

After developing an amphetamine habit, Ansell had a psychotic episode which culminated in a shootout with the Northern Territory Police, claiming his life on August 3rd 1999.

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