'CROCODILE' DUNDEE PG-13, 1986, 98 minutes, Paramount Home Video, $29.95.
This "Crocodile" will make you smile. Paul Hogan, the Australian comedian previously best known for putting "another shrimp on the barbie," takes the title role in this clever comedic tale of a likable Outback woodsman. Dundee is bigger than life, but he doesn't sweat steroids. He's a homespun hero with a sense of humor and a handsome face that's as weathered as a pair of worn Wallabies. An exaggerated account of his adventures among the crocodiles interests a foxy American news hen, Susan -- luscious Linda Kozlowski -- who follows him about the bush, clad in traditional girl's jungle wear -- a skimpy leotard and gigantic floppy hat guaranteed to snag men as well as branches. Kozlowski isn't exactly Ethel Barrymore, but she certainly entices. One thing leads to another and Susan invites Crocodile to visit her in New York, where Dundee's country smarts come in handy with the local natives. The inevitable cultural clash between the friendly Australian and the grumpy New Yorkers is the spine of this clever work cowritten by Hogan and director Peter Faiman, who've concocted a cross between "Romancing the Stone" and "Tarzan's New York Adventure." -- Rita Kempley
BLACK WIDOW Rated R, 1987, 98 minutes, CBS/Fox Video, $29.95.
Theresa Russell and Debra Winger make a compelling pair of adversaries in this intriguing psychological mystery, a Hitchcockian homage directed by Bob Rafelson of "Five Easy Pieces." Russell, playing this femme fatale to a fare-thee-well, murders a couple of wealthy husbands before Winger, as a Justice Department agent, begins to suspect the merry widow of marital mayhem. Winger, warm and witty as the Girl Scout gumshoe, pursues the widow to Hawaii, where she cozies up to the carnal creature -- a relationship Rafelson leaves deliberately ambiguous. Its homoerotic undercurrents keep us guessing as to the outcome of this glossy game of cat-and-kitten that inevitably finds the two women in bed with the same French hotel magnate. Ron Bass wrote the solid screenplay that surprises, but doesn't live up to its devious antiheroine. Supporting players include Dennis Hopper in a cheery cameo as a Texas toy tycoon and James Hong, notable as a hard-boiled Hawaiian PI. All in all, this proves a well-spun web. -- Rita Kempley
DAVID AND LISA Unrated, 1963, B&W, 94 minutes, RCA/Columbia Pictures Video, $69.95.
Frank Perry made his debut as a director with this wintry drama about two mentally disturbed young people at a special school for "exceptional" students. David's exceptional because he has a clock fetish -- he has nightmares about them -- and won't let anyone touch him, and Lisa because she's schizophrenic and to keep her alter ego, Muriel, at bay, must speak in rhymes. The movie, which stars Keir Dullea and Janet Margolin and was written by Eleanor Perry, the director's wife, looks at madness in that Philco-Playhouse, problem-drama fashion. Methodical and minor-key, it has a sort of overearnest, Ben Shahn quality. (The attitudes are all correct and, at the same time, a little too neatly in place to ring true.) Yet, even though Perry's grasp of Freud is, at times, almost laughably literal-minded -- it's Freud made easy -- the movie is skillfully made and has a couple of solid performances (by Dullea and, as David's psychiatrist, Howard da Silva). Much as you might like to (especially when David and Lisa have mutual breakthroughs), you can't really laugh it off. -- Hal Hinson
ONCE, AT A BORDER ... ASPECTS OF STRAVINSKY Unrated, 1982, color and B&W, Part 1, 112 minutes, Part 2, 55 minutes, Kultur, $69.95 for the package.
In some of the archival footage shown in the course of this documentary profile, a twinklingly waspish and droll Igor Stravinsky escorts us around the tiny room in the Swiss Alps where he composed almost all of the revolutionary ballet "Le Sacre' du Printemps," pointing through the window at the whitecapped peaks that helped inspire him. The two-cassette package is at the pricey end of the video market, but the cast of characters alone makes it a genuine vault treasure. The composer is often on screen, sometimes accompanied by wife Vera, or artistic disciple Robert Craft, or choreographer George Balanchine. Others offering reminiscences, anecdotes and insights include Boris Kochno, Alexandra Danilova, Nadia Boulanger, Kyra Nijinsky, Dame Marie Rambert, Georges Auric, Tamara Geva, Jean Cocteau and Serge Lifar. Performance excerpts feature such musicians as violinist Kyung-Wha Chung and singer John Shirley-Quirk, and dancers Suzanne Farrell, Jacques d'Amboise, Monica Mason, Marguerite Porter and Vergie Derman, among others. -- Alan M. Kriegsman
ANDREA CHENIER Unrated, 1985, in Italian with subtitles and libretto, 123 minutes, Pioneer LaserDisc, $59.95.
Umberto Giordano's 1896 opera is about love blooming in the shadow of the guillotine, and for scattered moments this La Scala production brings the French Revolution visually to life. But the stage direction is often rather static, and video impact is not intensively cultivated. The chorus has some theatrical vitality and color, but the solo singers tend to hold stationary poses while belting out their big numbers; then the show is interrupted for applause, which is duly recorded for posterity. There are grounds for the applause and for the concentration on vocal rather than theatrical values. Giordano filled his score with fine arias and the singing is excellent (give or take a few strained notes) from Jose' Carreras and Eva Marton. But the loudest applause goes to baritone Piero Cappucilli, the villain who reforms too late, after his big Act 3 aria, "Nemico della patria." That applause recognizes not only fine singing but the least wooden acting in any of the principal roles. Riccardo Chailly conducts a musically taut, dramatically tense interpretation. -- Joseph McLellan