Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

The Trouble with Accents


JamesStewartFan95
 Share

Recommended Posts

I was just watching Million Dollar Mermaid starring Esther Williams as Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman and I was wondering how she adopted an American accent so fast. Was it just harder to get celebrities to do accents in movies back then? I'd think an Australian accent would be one of the easier ones to do. Walter Pidgeon plays Kellerman's father and he doesn't do one either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But then again of course, Canadian actor Walter Pidgeon doesn't attempt much a local accent while playing any of his various roles as a refined British gentleman.

 

And then AGAIN of course, no one in the cast attempts to affect a Hungarian accent in THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER, either.

 

Happens all the time.

 

Perhaps sometimes this is a good thing. As you may know, many Brits decry Dick Van Dyke's attempt at a Brit(Cockney) accent in MARY POPPINS, and I think even worse than his might be American Robert Morse's attempt at one in THE LOVED ONE.

 

(...and don't even get me started on the subject of Kevin Costner in his turn as Robin Hood)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I never understood the obsession with Dick Van Dyke's accent in MARY POPPINS.  He is so spectacular in the role (both roles), and I actually believe he gives the finest performance by an actor in any film, that year.  Certainly nobody ever mentions Katharine Hepburn's ridiculous Main Line accent in THE LION IN WINTER.  However, I do think it's best to just avoid them.  Even when they're done well, you're preoccupied with them.  Of the many roles Julie Andrews declined back in her 1960s heyday, her only regret was not doing THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE.  She turned it down, because she didn't want to do the accent.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He is marvellous in the film, but his accent is absolutely absurd. It's not even "slightly off", it's bizarre and very funny. The fact that he's actively trying to do a Cockney accent - ie not do a deliberately bad one - makes it even more hilarious, at least to a British audience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If an actor can't do a decent accent, then please don't  - for all our sakes.  It takes you out of the movie.  I'll use my imagination and pretend they are part of the locale where the story takes place.

 

 

But it's worse when their accent is completely mismatched to the rest of the cast. Hayley Mills, as wonderful as she is, does jar in Summer Magic with her English accent.

 

Regarding Mary Poppins, nothing about its setting is very authentic, so Dick Van Dyke's alarmingly funny accent doesn't detract. And now it has become something of an international treasure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems to me, that a lot of American-made movies about a country other than the U.S. appear to force the actors to speak in British accents (regardless of what the country is). For example, "The Phantom of the Opera" (2004) takes place in France, and the only character who decided to speak in a French accent was Madame Giry. Every single other actor (i.e. Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum) spoke with an English accent. It seems to me that any American movie that's set in another country, needs to have all its actors speak with an English accent to convey to the general public that the setting is foreign. 

 

Robin Williams, however, was sort of a master of accents. I definitely appreciate when certain actors are able to do the accent they need to do for a specific movie. Otherwise, it's painful to my ears. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...