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15 Fun Facts About Crocodile Dundee

Comedian Paul Hogan was already familiar to audiences outside of Australia when his sketch series The Paul Hogan Show (1973-1984) was syndicated across the globe. He was also the face of popular Australian Tourism advertisements, imploring people to throw a shrimp on the barbie. It was still a shock to most when Crocodile Dundee became the highest grossing movie in Australian history, and with the exception of Top Gun, the highest grossing movie in America in 1986. The New York Times called it the "movie phenomenon of the year," describing it as a "sort of sweet-tempered, common-sensical Rambo."

1. IT WAS LIKELY INSPIRED BY ROD ANSELL.

While on a fishing trip in 1977, Rod Ansell's boat capsized, thanks to a crocodile. He spent a night drifting out to sea before finding himself on an island off the shore of the Fitzmaurice River in Australia's Northern Territory. He spent seven weeks surviving on his wits, including drinking cow blood, before he was rescued. He was interviewed about his adventures on the popular Michael Parkinson talk show, where he allegedly talked about preferring to sleep on the floor of the hotel the Parkinson crew kindly put him up in. Ansell claims Hogan cited the Parkinson interview as the inspiration for the movie in an early radio interview, but a transcript of the interview was never found. Ansell's life ended in 1999 after a shootout with police officers. In 2000, Hogan said the belief that there is one real Crocodile Dundee is a "myth."

2. INXS LEAD SINGER MICHAEL HUTCHENCE WAS ONE OF THE FILM'S INVESTORS.

Among the 1400 investors responsible were brokers, wealthy cricketers, and Michael Hutchence, the lead singer of INXS. The Queensland investment bank of Paul Morgan & Company underwrote the $7.1 million needed to make it. Hogan and Cornell added $600,000 of their own money. The film ultimately made over $300 million worldwide, and the profits were split amongst the investors.

3. YOU COULDN'T CALL THOSE REAL BOWIE KNIVES.

Steel, rubber, and aluminum versions of Crocodile Dundee's Bowie knife were on the set. Prop designer John Bowring was asked by Hogan himself to make a stainless steel version, even though it wasn't in the script. When Bowring asked Hogan where he needed a steel knife in the movie, Hogan explained he hadn't written that part yet.

4. ONE OF THE WRITERS DIDN'T THINK THE "KNIFE" LINE WAS VERY FUNNY.

"It wasn't funny on paper," Shadie admitted about the line "That's not a knife." The quote was a collaboration between the three writers, and it became one of the movie's most memorable scenes.

5. THEY SHOT ON LOCATION IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW YORK.

Among the Australian locations was Kakadu National Park, which is about the size of Germany. It gained so much notoriety that the park offered "Crocodile" Dundee tours after the movie came out.

Vazak's Bar in the East Village was also in The Godfather Part II (1974) and Rent (2005). The New York hotel room is a $900 suite at the New York Plaza Hotel. It was the hotel in North by Northwest (1959) and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).

6. HOGAN WORKED ON THE BRIDGE THAT SUE LOOKS AT IN THE BEGINNING.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is shown from the hotel window while Sue is on the phone to New York. Hogan was a rigger on it, not a painter like it was usually reported. ''Look, if I had been a painter—and you'd turn up every day and say, 'What color are we going to do today boys?' 'Ah, Battleship Grey'—I'd have jumped off," Hogan said.

7. THE CAST AND CREW SLEPT IN HUTS.

Since there were no suitable hotels near where the cast and crew shot in Kakadu National Park, they resorted to briefly living in dilapidated huts. An armed guard was always there to make sure a real crocodile didn't cause problems. John Cornell also made sure there was beer around so the crew enjoyed themselves.

8. THE CROCODILE WASN'T REAL.

When Sue (Linda Kozlowski) was attacked by a crocodile, she was never in danger, and not just because Mick was following her—it was actually a mechanical croc that cost $45,000. Hogan had wanted a real one for close-ups, but it wasn't feasible.

9. THE BUFFALO WAS REAL (AND VERY STUBBORN).

When Hogan was asked what the hardest animal to work with was by IGN in 2001, he didn't hesitate. "Buffalo. Cause if the buffalo doesn't want to do anything, it weighs 2000 pounds and you know, it doesn't. So you have to hang around [and wait for it to be cooperative]. The Asian Buffalo in Australia with the 8 feet of horns. [That scene in the first film took] all day. It's like he said, 'I'll just sit here. And you can't do anything about it.'"

10. THE MOVIE PLAYING IN THE HOTEL ROOM IS FITTING.

In a bit of name symmetry, the movie playing was the Sam Peckinpah feature Major Dundee (1965), starring Charlton Heston.

11. 20TH CENTURY FOX (RUDELY) SAID "NO" TO ACQUIRING THE AMERICAN RIGHTS.

John Cornell showed the movie to a 20th Century Fox executive while he was in Hollywood trying to sell it. ''There was some idiot who sat with his feet on the desk and watched it for about 20 minutes, looked at this watch about eight times and told me that it wouldn't work,'' Cornell remembered. ''He was extremely rude. I sometimes get pleasure from thinking about what the look is like on his face at a time like this.'' Paramount ended up acquiring the rights.

12. THE AUSTRALIAN AND INTERNATIONAL VERSIONS ARE DIFFERENT.

After test screenings revealed that audiences got restless at some of the Australian slang, some of those terms were dubbed into American speak, or just taken out altogether. In all, seven minutes were deleted from the movie for the international version, almost all from the first half where the action is in Australia. "We accelerated the pace to the taste of the American consumer,'' Barry London, the president of distribution at Paramount, admitted.

13. THE QUOTATION MARKS AROUND "CROCODILE" IN THE TITLE WERE ALSO ADDED FOR THE AMERICAN AUDIENCE.

"There have been reptile movies—one was even named Alligator.'' London explained. ''We wanted everyone to know 'Crocodile' was a nickname.''

14. PEOPLE LOOKED FOR THE BIDETS AT THE PLAZA HOTEL.

Tourists specifically asked for Mick Dundee's room and made phone calls to the Plaza Hotel asking for rooms with bidets. The Hotel, however, didn't have rooms with bidets, and the one in the film was on a set built by the movie crew.

15. HOGAN AND KOZLOWSKI GOT MARRIED IN REAL LIFE.

They wed in 1990 and had a son, Chance. Kozlowski filed for divorce in 2013.

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Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
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20 John Carpenter Quotes About Horror Movies
Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Though he’s made a variety of movies—from fantasy to science fiction films—John Carpenter will forever be known as a master of horror, thanks in large part to the role he played in reinventing the genre with 1978’s Halloween. To celebrate the award-winning filmmaker’s 70th birthday, we’ve gathered up 20 of his most memorable quotes about Hollywood.

1. ON THE DEFINITION OF HORROR

“Horror is a reaction; it's not a genre.”

—From a 2015 interview with Interview Magazine

2. ON THE RULES OF MOVIEMAKING

“I think the rules of filmmaking are essentially the same as they were since, I guess, The Birth Of A Nation. The way you make movies: long shot, close-up, camera movement, structure—it’s all the same. Not much has changed. But the technology of movies has vastly changed. From 35mm black-and-white to color, from nitrate film to safety film and now into digital—and yet we’re still breaking scenes into master shots and close-ups. The cinema narrative has not changed that much since the silent film.”

—From a 2015 interview with The A.V. Club

3. ON THE TWO TYPES OF HORROR STORIES

“There are two different stories in horror: internal and external. In external horror films, the evil comes from the outside, the other tribe, this thing in the darkness that we don’t understand. Internal is the human heart.”

—From a 2011 interview with Vulture

4. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD

“One movie that showed me it was possible to make a low-budget horror movie was Night of the Living Dead (1968). When I saw that, I was like, 'Wow, that's really effective, but it's obviously low budget.' They didn't have any money but they actually made something cool. That was inspirational to me when I was in film school.”

—From a 2015 interview with Interview Magazine

5. ON THE TRUTH ABOUT HOLLYWOOD

“Film buffs who don't live in Hollywood have a fantasy about what it's like to be a director. Movies and the people who make movies have such glamor associated with them. But the truth is, it's not like that. It's very different. It's hard work. If you were suddenly catapulted into that situation—without any training—you would say after it was over: 'Oh, God! You're kidding! You mean, this is what it's like? This is what they put you through?' Yes, as a matter of fact, it is like this—and it's often worse. People have tried to describe the film business, but it's impossible to describe because it's so crazy. You must know your craft inside out and then pick up the rules as you go along.”

—From an essay for Santa Fe Studios

6. ON THE HORROR OF WATCHING HIS OWN MOVIES

“I don't watch my films. I've seen 'em enough after cutting them and putting the music on. I don't ever want to see them again.”

—From a 2012 interview with Entertainment Weekly

7. ON THE EMOTIONAL TOLL MAKING MOVIES CAN TAKE ON A DIRECTOR

“I’ve been feeling old for years and years, and I think the movie business did it to me. At one point I just did movie after movie, and it starts tearing you down physically—emotionally too, if you do one after another. The stress, the emotional exertion of dealing with others. I’ve worked with really great actors and really difficult actors. The difficult ones are no fun. And the style of the movies today have changed a great deal. To me, I’m not a big fan of handheld. That’s just my tastes. That’s a quick fix for low budget. Let the operator direct it! Walk around. That’s how you burn through the pages. And found footage—how many times do we need to do that?”

—From a 2014 interview with Deadline

8. ON WHAT MAKES A GOOD HORROR FILM

“There’s a very specific secret: It should be scary.”

—From a 2015 interview with The A.V. Club

9. ON THE PERCEPTION OF A MOVIEMAKER

“In England, I'm a horror movie director. In Germany, I'm a filmmaker. In the U.S., I'm a bum.”

—From The Films of John Carpenter

10. ON STANDING OUT

“I don't want to be in the mainstream. I don't want to be a part of the demographics. I want to be an individual. I wear each of my films as a badge of pride. That's why I cherish all my bad reviews. If the critics start liking my movies, then I'm in deep trouble.”

—From an essay for Santa Fe Studios

11. ON MAINTAINING CONTROL

“My years in the business have taught me not to worry about what you can’t control.”

—From a 2007 interview with MovieMaker Magazine

12. ON HIS FAVORITE MOVIES

“I have two different categories of favorite films. One is the emotional favorites, which means these are generally films that I saw when I was a kid; anything you see in your formative years is more powerful, because it really stays with you forever. The second category is films that I saw while I was learning the craft of motion pictures.”

—From a 2011 interview with Rotten Tomatoes

13. ON BEING STUCK IN THE 1980S

“Well, They Live was a primal scream against Reaganism of the '80s. And the '80s never went away. They're still with us. That's what makes They Live look so fresh—it's a document of greed and insanity. It's about life in the United States then and now. If anything, things have gotten worse.”

—From a 2012 interview with Entertainment Weekly

14. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF INSTINCT

“I think every director depends primarily on his instincts. That’s what’s got him where he is, what’s going to carry him through the good times and the bad. I generally go with what I instinctually think I can do well.”

—From a 2011 interview with Vulture

15. ON BEING TYPECAST AS A DIRECTOR

“I haven't just made horror. I've made all sorts of movies. There have been fantasy movies, thrillers, horrors, science fiction. In terms of the ultimate reward, listen, man, when I was a kid, when I was 8 years old, I wanted to be a movie director, and I got to be a movie director. I lived my f*cking dream, you can't get better than that. That's the ultimate.”

—From a 2015 interview with Interview Magazine

16. ON THE REALITY OF MONSTERS

“Monsters in movies are us, always us, one way or the other. They’re us with hats on. The zombies in George Romero’s movies are us. They’re hungry. Monsters are us, the dangerous parts of us. The part that wants to destroy; the part of us with the reptile brain. The part of us that’s vicious and cruel. We express these in our stories as these monsters out there.”

—From a 2011 interview with the Buenos Aires Herald

17. ON MOVIES AS A SENSORY EXPERIENCE

“A movie’s not just the pictures. It’s the story and it’s the perspective and it’s the tempo and it’s the silence and it’s the music—it’s all the stuff that’s going on. All the sensory stuff. Sometimes you can get a lot of suspense going in a non-horror film. It all depends. But, look, if there was one secret way of doing a horror movie then everybody would be doing it.”

—From a 2015 interview with The A.V. Club

18. ON THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE OF HORROR

"Horror is a universal language; we're all afraid. We're born afraid, we're all afraid of things: death, disfigurement, loss of a loved one. Everything that I'm afraid of, you're afraid of and vice versa. So everybody feels fear and suspense. We were little kids once and so it's taking that basic human condition and emotion and just f*cking with it and playing with it. You can invent new horrors."

—From a 2015 interview with Interview Magazine

19. ON THE REMAKE TREND

“It’s a brand new world out there in terms of trying to get advertising. There’s so much going on that if you come up with a movie that people have never heard of they don’t pay attention to it—no matter how good it is. So it becomes, 'Let’s remake something that maybe rings a bell and that you’ve heard of before.' That way, you’re already ahead. I’m flattered, but I understand what’s going on. They’re picking everything to remake. I think they’ve just run down the list of other titles and have finally got to mine.”

—From a 2007 interview with MovieMaker Magazine

20. ON THE LASTING INFLUENCE OF HALLOWEEN

“I didn’t think there was any more story [to Halloween], and I didn’t want to do it again. All of my ideas were for the first Halloween—there shouldn’t have been any more! I’m flattered by the fact that people want to remake them, but they remake everything these days, so it doesn’t make me that special. But Michael Myers was an absence of character. And yet all the sequels are trying to explain that. That’s silliness—it just misses the whole point of the first movie, to me. He’s part person, part supernatural force. The sequels rooted around in motivation. I thought that was a mistake. However, I couldn’t stop them from making sequels. So my agents said, ‘Why don’t you become an executive producer and you can share the revenue?’ But I had to write the second movie, and every night I sat there and wrote with a six-pack of beer trying to get through this thing. And I didn’t do a very good job, but that was it. I couldn’t do any more."

—From a 2014 interview with Deadline

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15 Surprising Facts About Half Baked
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

You may have known these facts about Half Baked—Tamra Davis's stoner comedy starring Dave Chappelle, Guillermo Díaz, and Jim Breuer—at one point. But it’s easy to see how the film, which was released 20 years ago, could make viewers a little forgetful.

1. THE SCRIPT WAS A TEAM EFFORT.

Half Baked was written by star Dave Chappelle and his writing partner Neal Brennan. Five years later, the duo would go on to co-create Chappelle’s Show for Comedy Central. (Brennan even has a cameo in Half Baked as the cashier at the burger joint where Scarface works.)

2. NEW YORK CITY WAS A KEY INSPIRATION.

Chappelle was inspired to write Half Baked after a friend told him about New York City drug dealers who conveniently deliver illicit substances to customers’ apartments.

3. THE OPENING SCENE WAS A RISK FOR THE STUDIO.

The studio originally wanted to cut the opening scene showing kids smoking marijuana and getting the munchies, but decided to keep it after audiences at test screenings found it hilarious.

4. DIRECTING IT WAS A NO-BRAINER FOR TAMRA DAVIS.

Tamra Davis
Francois Durand/Getty Images

It's a good thing that opening scene stayed in, as it's what sold Tamra Davis on the project. In fact, she only read 10 pages of Chappelle and Brennan’s script before accepting the directing job.

"The reason why I wanted to do this movie was because the opening scene is so funny," she told Mass Appeal in 2017. "And they were like, 'No, it sends a bad message, kids smoking pot.' I was like, 'Can I screen the movie? Nobody’s ever seen this movie, can we look at it first and see how the movie plays before you guys start giving me cuts?'"

5. THE FILM HAS A MUSIC VIDEO PEDIGREE.

Davis is also humorously listed as the director of Sir Smoka Lot’s “Samson Gets Me Lifted” music video in the film. Prior to directing feature films like Half Baked and Billy Madison, Davis directed more than 30 actual music videos, including Tone Lōc’s “Wild Thing” and Hanson’s “MMMBop.”

6. MOST OF "NEW YORK" IS REALLY TORONTO.

The film was shot over 40 days, primarily in Toronto. Three days of exterior shooting were done in New York to feature landmarks like Washington Square Park.

7. PRODUCERS PULLED OUT ALL THE STOPS ON CAMEOS.

Tracy Morgan makes a cameo as the VJ who introduces Sir Smoka Lot’s music video. Other cameos in the film include Jon Stewart, Tommy Chong, Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Janeane Garofalo, and Bob Saget.

8. THERE WAS A REAL GUY ON THE COUCH.

The Guy on the Couch was inspired by a friend of Chappelle’s who constantly crashed on Chappelle’s couch while he and Brennan toiled away at writing the screenplay. In the film, the role of the Guy went to comedian Steven Wright.

9. THE BEASTIE BOYS INSPIRED THE FILM'S DESIGN.

Davis drew inspiration of the prop and color design of the guys’ apartment from the Beastie Boys’ Grand Royal Recording Studios. The connection makes sense, as Davis was married to Mike D of the Beastie Boys.

10. THE PRISON HAD VERY CLEAN WATER.

The exterior of the prison where Kenny is locked up is actually the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant in Toronto. (The same facility played the role of Elsinore Brewery in 1983's Strange Brew.)  Some prison interiors, including the cafeteria scenes, where shot in an actual prison.

11. THE DIRECTOR HAS A TINY CAMEO.

All the acting with Killer’s fake dog paws was done on-set by Davis.

12. THE CAST GOT GREAT SOUVENIRS.

Many members of the cast and crew kept blocks of the fake medicinal marijuana as a joke after production wrapped.

13. NO, THAT'S NOT JERRY GARCIA.

Despite rumors to the contrary, Jerry Garcia did not appear in Half Baked. Garcia is played by impersonator David Bluestein.

14. ALL THAT "POT" WAS TOBACCO.

The actors smoked a tobacco-based substitute to stand in for marijuana in the film (though there are some rumors that the scene featuring Snoop Dogg featured real marijuana).

15. IT ALMOST HAD A DARKER ENDING.

The original ending of the movie was supposed to be much darker. In it, Thurgood abandoned his girlfriend Mary Jane and jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge after the joint he threw away.

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