Michael "Crocodile" Dundee

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Michael "Crocodile" Dundee
"Crocodile" Dundee character
First appearance "Crocodile" Dundee
Created by Paul Hogan
Portrayed by Paul Hogan[1]
Information
Gender Male
Occupation Crocodile hunter
Spouse(s) Sue Charlton (wife)
Relatives Michael 'Mikey' Dundee (son)

Michael J. "Crocodile" Dundee (also called Mick), played by Paul Hogan, is a fictional character, the protagonist in the Crocodile Dundee film series consisting of Crocodile Dundee, Crocodile Dundee II, and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. The character is a crocodile hunter, hence the nickname[2] and is modeled on Rodney Ansell.[3]

Paul Hogan on the Dundee character[edit]

In TV Week magazine, Paul Hogan spoke of the character:

"Mick's a good role model. There's no malice in the fellow and he's human. He's not a wimp or a sissy just because he doesn't kill people."[4]

He said the character was seen by people in the USA as a cross between Chuck Norris and Rambo. This didn't sit well with Hogan who said people would rather see his character "who doesn't kill 75 people" than the likes of "those commandos, terminators, ex-terminators and squashers".[4]

Character biography[edit]

Dundee was supposedly born in a cave, in the Northern Territory, and raised by Aborigines. He is unaware of his age; he asked an Aboriginal elder when he was born once, the reply was "in the summertime". Until the events of the first film, Dundee said he had never lived in a city, or even been to one. ("Cities are crowded right? If I went and lived in some city, I'd only make it worse.") Mick owns a piece of land called "Billongamick" ("belong to Mick"), meaning "Mick's place." It takes "about 3 to 4 days" to walk across. It was left to him by an uncle of his. Dundee considers the land itself to be useless, but its one redeeming feature is that it has a goldmine in it that Mick calls his "retirement fund".

"Crocodile" Dundee[edit]

During the first film, Crocodile Dundee, Mick is visited by a New York reporter, Sue Charlton, who travels to Australia to investigate a report she heard of a crocodile hunter who had his leg bitten off by a crocodile in the outback, but made it the supposedly hundred or so miles back to civilization and lived. However, by the time she meets him, the story turns out to be a somewhat exaggerated legend where the "bitten off leg" turns out to be just being some bad scarring on his leg; a "love bite" as Mick calls it. Still intrigued by the idea of "Crocodile" Dundee, Sue continues with the story. They travel together out to where the incident occurred, and follow his route through the bush to the nearest hospital. Despite his macho approach and seemingly sexist opinions, the pair eventually become close, especially after Mick saves Sue from a crocodile attack. Feeling there is still more to the story, Sue invites Mick back to New York with her, as his first trip to a city (or "first trip anywhere," as Dundee says). The rest of the film depicts Dundee as a "fish out of water," showing how despite his expert approach to the bush, he knows little of city life. Mick meets Sue's fiance', Richard, who work together and have a lot in common, but they do not get along. By the end of the film, Mick is on his way home, lovesick, when Sue realizes she loves Mick, too, and not Richard. She runs to the subway station to stop Mick from leaving and, by passing on messages through the packed to the gills crowd, she tells him she won't marry Richard, and she loves him instead. With the help of the other people in the subway, Mick and Sue have a loving reunion as the film ends.

Crocodile Dundee II[edit]

By the second film, Crocodile Dundee II, Mick and Sue are living together in a New York apartment. Sue's ex-husband is in Colombia following a gang of drug dealers, he posts some evidence to Sue, as she is the only person he can trust. He is discovered and killed by the dealers, they realize he has sent the evidence on, and kidnap Sue to get it back. Mick got the letter that morning and hadn't realized until Sue phones from the kidnappers house. Mick (with help from a local gang) breaks in and sneaks Sue out. Mick and Sue head to Australia for protection. The Colombians follow and try to track Mick and Sue, but Mick is always one step ahead.[5]

Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles[edit]

The third movie, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, set around 13 years later, Mick is living with Sue and their 9-year-old son, Mikey. Now that it is illegal to kill Saltwater Crocodiles in Australia, Mick is forced to relocate and wrestle crocodiles. Sue replaces a worker at her father's newspaper who died mysteriously, so Mick and Mikey travel with Sue to Los Angeles while she fills the position until a full replacement is found. Together they travel around Los Angeles and the usual fish-out-of-water jokes occur. Mick uses his detective skills to discover the film crew from a film the reporter was reporting on killed him, as he was getting close to the truth that they had been smuggling paintings that had supposedly been destroyed years earlier, during the Yugoslav Wars. The guilty members of the crew are arrested, and Mick and Sue then finally get married back in Australia.

Status as an Australian icon[edit]

Due to the popularity of the character outside of Australia, Crocodile Dundee has become something of an icon of Australia.[6] He appeared in commercials for the Subaru Outback which, although a Japanese car, was given an Australian image to suggest its toughness and ability to compete with other sport-utility vehicles.[7] He also appeared in the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Summer Olympics.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harmetz, Aljean (1987-01-12). "THE CROSSOVER APPEAL OF 'CROCODILE'". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  2. ^ Darnton, Nina (1986-09-26). "FILM: 'CROCODILE DUNDEE'". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  3. ^ Milliken, Robert (1999-08-12). "Obituary: Rod Ansell". Independent (London). Retrieved 2012-03-15. 
  4. ^ a b TV Week magazine, 4 June 1988, page 11. "Box office war" by Ivor Davis.
  5. ^ Maslin, Janet (25 May 1988). "Crocodile Dundee 2 (1988) / Paul Hogan Is Back to His Tricks". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  6. ^ Harmetz, Aljean (1986-10-14). "THE IMPORTING OF 'CROCODILE DUNDEE'". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  7. ^ "SUBARU OUTBACK TAPS `CROCODILE DUNDEE'". Retrieved 9 January 2014.