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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, 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. The second film has Mick, now living in New York, running afoul of a gang of vengeful 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:
[Dundee is threatened by a mugger with a switchblade]
- Badass: Michael J. Dundee
- Beam Me Up, Scotty: The knife quote, often misremembered as "You call that a knife? This is a knife!".
- 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.
- 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.
- Disney Death: Featured in Crocodile Dundee 2.
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.
- Fan Service: 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.
- Foreign Queasine:
"Crocodile" Dundee: [a goanna is sizzling over a fire. Sue looks ill] How do you like your goanna? Medium? Well done?
- 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.
- 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
- 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 * Im Atwo 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]
Jeez, Mick, were you born in a cave?
- 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.
- 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
- 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 he is, and he's pretty out of touch with actual big city culture.
- 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 them as to play them straight.
- Mugging the Monster:
- The "That's a knife" scene is perhaps the best-remembered scene of the series.
- 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?"
- 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.
- 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.
- Romance on the Set: Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski eventually got married.
- 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.
- There Will Be Toilet Paper: Subverted and Parodied.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: In-Universe example from the third movie:
Dundee: Who painted this?
- 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.
- 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.
- Viewers are Morons: There are quotations marks around the word "Crocodile" in the title because they were afraid audiences might think it'd be about an actual crocodile.