In case, dear reader, you are too young to remember the 1980s, you missed the craze over Australia. Men at Work inexplicably became a big band. An Aussie guy named ‘Jocko’ pitched Energizer batteries with the catchphrase ‘Oy!’ The Outback Steakhouse rose to national prominence.
And it was all started by a man named Paul Hogan, who invented a character named Crocodile Dundee, a rough-and-tumble adventurer discovered by a nubile reporter named Sue (Linda Kozlowski, a blonde whose career has essentially ended at Dundee and its two sequels (and here)) when she’s digging up a story down under.
Sue pays off the locals to get a private tour of the outback with Dundee, and, so impressed with the wild experience, she brings him back with her to New York. Of course, Dundee has ‘never been anywhere,’ and the culture shock (‘That’s not a knife…’) is what makes the movie so fun — and which put Australia front and center in the American mind for four entire months.
Dundee quickly turns into less an adventure story and more a romantic comedy, as Sue falls for the rugged outdoorsman over her current, smarmy fiancé. The hapless foreigner-in-New York movie has been made countless times before and since, but it’s Hogan’s natural charisma that makes the original Dundee so appealing.
Since the mid-1980s, the Australian invasion has slowed to a trickle, revived a bit with Muriel’s Wedding and the Toni Collette phenomenon. But whatever the situation, Jocko, sadly, is nowhere to be found.