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Astonishing accent work in films


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Marlene was robbed of an Oscar nomination,  most certainly. 

It was the best performance in the film, the best performance by an actress that year, and arguably one of the best acting performances of 1957, period.

Debatable, sure.  But I remain resolute.

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10 hours ago, Toto said:

I just watched the wonderful film "Witness for the Prosecution", a murder mystery with surprise after surprise.  Stop reading this post if you haven't seen the film.  I don't want to give away one of the best surprises!

Marlene Dietrich changes her identity and takes on a cockney accent to fool the barrister (played by Charles Laughton).  Marlene had me completely fooled when I viewed the film.  She did a fantastic job changing her German accent to cockney.



With one viewing I thought perhaps that another actress had dubbed her Cockney dialogue but apparently this was not the case.

[–] joedonato234 7 years ago

The voice wasn't dubbed (by that I think the implication is it wasn't her voice), but I do think certain lines were looped, which is a term for dropped-in dubbing, usually because there is a problem with sound levels, but here I think it was done to try and perfect the accent in certain lines without retaking the whole scene. Because Dietrich did have trouble with her "r"s.

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[–] weekes-sw 7 years ago

In the final reveal in the courtroom you can see that to do the cockney accent Marlene has to move her mouth in a very particular way. I think that's also why they had to dub the lines in the other scenes, so she could use more natural mouth movements.

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11 hours ago, Toto said:

Marlene had me completely fooled when I viewed the film.

Dietrich reportedly threw herself into this role with great focus and determination, and was sorely disappointed when she failed to achieve an Oscar nomination (although she did receive a Golden Globe nomination).  According to imdb, Charles Laughton taught her the Cockney accent, Orson Welles helped her with the fake nose and scar, and Noël Coward is credited as her "special dialogue director." I think she is still somewhat underrated as an actress; this is certainly one of her most impressive performances.

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