Made at a cost of just $7 million, ‘Crocodile Dundee’ hauled in more than $300 million in box office takings, projecting the now iconic image of its star Paul Hogan and the Aussie bush that he called home all around the world.
Such was its impact in bringing the people of Australia to life in cinemas that ‘Crocodile Dundee’ made Hogan the symbol of a nation when the film was released in 1986, just as it did for the red-sanded allure of the outback that featured in the iconic shots.
Those images were filmed in Kakadu National Park, the site of a former uranium mine in the Northern Territory, which had not previously been exposed to an international audience (or even many Australians themselves) and shot to fame off the back of the film.
The film’s assistant director, Craig Bolles, described the reasons behind the location choice for this iconic movie.
“I had an open brief to choose anywhere in Australia that I thought suitable. Kakadu was a very different place in the 1980s to what it is today. Only the main road was sealed and there were no hotel facilities at all as far as I can remember,” he said.
The film’s release coincided with a rise in accessible air travel to Australia and a surge of American intrigue in what goes on Down Under, and it became a true phenomenon – not only inspiring the American audience that the film set out to target but also sending film fans worldwide into raptures and bringing in huge numbers of tourists to the country.