LGTTM – ‘Crocodile Dundee’ – ‘Blue Hawaii’


Stream Crocodile Dundee Online | Download and Watch HD Movies | Stan

CROCODILE DUNDEE (1986)                             

To the surprise of most of the movie world, this film proved to be the second highest grossing picture of 1986 throughout the world, behind the Tom Cruise blockbuster Top Gun. In third place was the Vietnam War film Platoon. Crocodile Dundee grossed a staggering $177 million in the USA alone and a whopping $353 million worldwide! Curiously, the quotation marks around the word ‘Crocodile’ for American audiences were inserted to ensure people did not think that Dundee was, in fact, a crocodile.

Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski from Crocodile Dundee | National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Paul Hogan & Linda Kozlowski

This was Australian actor Paul Hogan’s first feature film. It was also American actress Linda Kozlowski’s feature film debut. When Hogan gave an interview regarding the movie for ‘Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles’ (2001), he put to rest the myth that there really was a Crocodile Dundee back in Australia. He assured the interviewer that there was not, and that the idea for the character came from his own head. Hogan admitted that on a trip to New York City he felt like a complete fish out of water, and the idea began to form in his head. Nevertheless, back home in Australia, there were ‘Crocodile Dundee’ tours of Kakadu National Park, after the movie proved to be such a gigantic success.

Rod Ansell - Wikipedia

Rod Ansell

That said, it was later revealed there was a real life claimant to the character, albeit a rather tenuous one. Bushman Rod Ansell had become popular in Australia in 1977, almost a decade before the movie came out, when his boat capsized during a solo feral buffalo hunting expedition and he was compelled to spend fifty-six days trapped in the wilderness. He survived by drinking cow’s blood, sleeping in supposedly snake-infested bush and occasionally fighting and decapitating a crocodile or two. If we can take his word for what happened. Perhaps, in an endeavor to maintain his ‘wild man’ image, he attended a BBC interview about his adventure – barefoot! He also mentioned that the hotel room he was given by the BBC was very nice and all, but he had chosen to sleep on the floor. Uh-huh. It was that detail, not any of the animal fighting stuff that helped place the germ of the Crocodile Dundee idea in Hogan’s brain.

Tragically, Ansell did not see a red cent from the use of his story and his life and marriage fell apart. He eventually developed a drug habit which culminated in a shootout with police officers, resulting in one officer being killed. Ansell himself died in the fray. He was forty-four years old. It has since been suggested that he was driven mad by his exclusion from the success of the ‘Crocodile Dundee’ movies. When he attempted to start his own ‘Crocodile Dundee Tour’, the production company banned him from doing so.

Hogan's Heroes: The full story of the Crocodile Dundee legend | NT News

The buffalo scene

The crocodile in the movie is still alive in captivity. He goes by the name of Burt, is over eighty years old, over five meters long and weighs 700 kg. Burt has been in captivity for over thirty years and is currently residing in the wildlife park at Crocosaurus Park in Darwin. The buffalo encountered by Dundee, incidentally, was drugged.

BLUE HAWAII (DVD, 1961) PAL Region 4 (Elvis Presley, Angela Lansbury) NEW SEALED $17.98 - PicClick AU

BLUE HAWAII (1961)                                          

The premise for Blue Hawaii is a typically ‘Elvis’ one. Chad Gates (Elvis) defies his parents’ wishes for him to work at the family business on his arrival back in Hawaii from his Army service. Instead, he goes to work as a tour guide at his girlfriend’s agency. All of this is earth-shattering stuff of significant importance, just like the premises for most Presley films. Quite surprisingly, this proved to be the most financially successful of all of his movies, despite its lame premise. When Blue Hawaii and its soundtrack album proved to be enormous hits, Elvis’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, chose to use it as a blueprint for all future movies featuring ‘the King’. That blueprint was very basic indeed – place Presley in an exotic setting, give him one or more pretty co-stars, and make sure he sang enough songs to fill both sides of an LP. And the formula worked. Elvis ranked among the Top Ten Box-Office Stars no fewer than seven times in the 1960s. Indeed, the soundtrack album for Blue Hawaii became the # one album overall for 1961, residing at the very top of the Billboard Top LP Charts for twenty consecutive weeks through 1961-2. Although some of Elvis’s early films contained as few as two to four songs, Blue Hawaii has no fewer than fifteen in it.

Blue Hawaii - an in-depth Spotlight

Joan Blackman & Elvis

Juliet Prowse, Elvis’s co-star in G I Blues (1960), was signed to play Maile Duval, but she wanted to use another studio’s make-up artist and have the studio pay to fly her secretary to Hawaii. When those conditions were refused, she pulled out of the picture. Joan Blackman took her place. She would provide Presley’s love interest a second time when she co-starred opposite him in Kid Galahad the following year. Joan once stated in an interview that, ‘Elvis Presley really wanted me to be his wife. But I told him that I was in love with the actor Hampton Fancher III. But Elvis and I did have that special something between us, so warm and wonderful, working on the film. Now aged in her early eighties, Joan has married twice, neither time to Fancher.

Jenny Maxwell - IMDb

Jenny Maxwell

During the movie Elvis’s character Chad rebuffs the advances of seventeen year-old Ellie Corbett (played by Jenny Maxwell), telling her he doesn’t rob the cradle. It is worthwhile noting that, at the time, the twenty-six year old singer was involved with sixteen year-old Priscilla Beaulieu, later to become Priscilla Presley. Miss Maxwell (1941 – 81), did not enjoy a particularly lucrative career and was reported to be in financial difficulties by the end of the sixties. In 1970, she wed her second husband, the affluent lawyer Ervin ‘Tip’ Roeder. He was twenty-one years her senior, but could provide for her. At that point Jenny retired from acting.

In the early seventies, the couple settled in a large home in Beverly Hills. The marriage, however, was turbulent, with husband and wife repeatedly trying to live separately and then reuniting. By 1980, Jenny had started a divorce process which promised her a ‘hefty’ settlement. On June 9, 1981, she underwent minor surgery in hospital. Roeder offered to drive her home. She accepted his offer, though her friends distrusted Roeder. On June 10, they dined together, then drove to his residence in Beverly Hills. Shortly afterwards, someone shot them both! When Roeder called for help, Jenny was already dead with ‘half her head blown away.’ Her husband died a little later, without identifying their assailant. Although nothing was stolen from Roeder’s residence, police attributed their deaths to a botched robbery. The case remains officially unsolved.


  1. Good stuff Alan, and Mike Powers! in L.A. Thanks for the reminder of the
    Maxwell/Roeder saga. Poor Jenny!
    Reading about her brought Hampton Fancher III back to the consciousness of this reader.
    Partly because of his distinctive name, he was in Hollywood headlines a good deal in the 60s. I am astounded that I didn’t know he wrote the screenplay for Blade Runner, or at least got it started.
    Always interesting byways and side stories, Alan!

  2. One theory is that Ervin Roeder had put a hit contract on Jenny over their contentious divorce. The assassination went wrong and Roeder himself was accidentally shot and killed. Roeder was actor Nick Adams attorney. It was Roeder who found the body of Nick who died from either suicide or accidental overdose.

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