A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Crocodile Dundee is an '80s comedy that features violence and substance use, including one instance of cocaine use. There's near-constant drinking and cigarette smoking and several fight scenes. The language ("s--t" and one "f--k") and sexuality (Sue wears revealing outfits sans bra, including a thong bathing suit; there are prostitutes) are on par with most PG-13 films. Still, the humor of the "fish out of water" genre conveys some positive themes about Australian and Aboriginal culture, being in tune with nature, and being kind.
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What's the story?
This iconic 1980s adventure-comedy centers on Mick "Crocodile" Dundee (Paul Hogan), a rugged, hard-nosed Aussie outbacker who can fend off a killer croc and a few hours later throw down a keg's worth of beer at the local pub. Dundee's life-saving machismo impresses traveling New York reporter Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski). After Dundee saves her from a crocodile's jaws, she invites him to return to Manhattan with her to see if the big, bad city is any less dangerous than the bush. Once in New York, the fish-out-of-water gags begin, such as Mick saying, "G'day, mate," to total strangers, thinking a guy snorting cocaine is trying to cure a stuffy nose, washing clothes in his room at the Plaza, hitting on a transvestite, defending two streetwalkers' honor, and nonchalantly telling a mugger, "That's not a knife," pulling out his own knife, and proclaiming, "Now THAT's a knife."
Is it any good?
For some culture-clash amusement, this outback offering hits the spot. It's easy to forget now, with all the Steve Irwin/Crocodile Hunter love what a phenomenon the fictional Crocodile Dundee was back in the mid-'80s. The movie made more than $328 million and bankrolled two sequels. Hogan and his no-nonsense "Man from Down Under" routine was quite charming back then, and though the comedy's definitely dated, it still manages to elicit chuckles at all the right spots.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Paul Hogan's character changed the way Americans thought about Australia, paving the way for Outback Steakhouse, the Subaru Outback (which he endorsed), and even the late Aussie naturalist Steve Irwin. Nowadays there are many, many Australians in Hollywood: Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Cate Blanchett, and Nicole Kidman, to name a few. Can you name five more?
Do you think Crocodile Dundee is representative of Australian bush culture? Is New York City still perceived as dangerous and crime-ridden?
What is a stereotype? Does the movie confirm or challenge stereotypes?
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