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SOUTHERN ACCENTS FROM TWO CRUSTY NEW ENGLAND ACTRESSES


AndyM108
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I'd love to see a repeat of Bette Davis's Parachute Jumper alongside Katharine Hepburn's Spitfire, just to compare their accents. Here we have one upper crust New England girl (Hepburn) playing the part of a hillbilly, and another one (Davis) in the role of "Alabama", complete with a deep Dixie drawl.

 

Personally I thought that Bette pulled it off quite well, whereas Kate was just unintentionally hilarious in what was probably the worst performance of her career, but I wonder what the take on their accents would be from people who come from either of those parts of the country. I note that Davis said she hated Parachute Jumper, but then what does she know? I loved it.

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So Andy, did watching Bette open with the Southern accent on that old Dick Cavett interview segment shown last night prompt you to post this?

 

(...btw, while I enjoyed the Carson interviews TCM showed, you can't beat those much longer Cavett show interviews for many more insights into those stars of yore, can ya!)

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*So Andy, did watching Bette open with the Southern accent on that old Dick Cavett interview segment shown last night prompt you to post this?*

 

No, since at the time I saw the Carson interview I hadn't watched Parachute Jumper. The main things I remember about the Carson interview were that Davis came across as so NICE; that she had lost weight since the last movie appearances I remembered her in during the mid-60's; that she reminded me of my favorite late aunt from Patchin Place in everything but her accent; and that she said she hated Parachute Jumper. I'm glad I didn't take that comment to heart, since I found it one of the best of her pre-code movies along with So Big, and infinitely better than Ex-Lady. Though in defense of that last one, Gene Raymond can pretty much put the kibosh on any movie with his robotic persona.

 

*(...btw, while I enjoyed the Carson interviews TCM showed, you can't beat those much longer Cavett show interviews for many more insights into those stars of yore, can ya!)*

 

Totally agree with you on this. Cavett brought out the best in all the stars he interviewed, particularly Bette and Kate.

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*I liked Bette Davis's Bronx accent in THE CATERED AFFAIR. That is much more difficult than a Southern accent.*

 

Maybe so, but a Dixie dialect coming out of the mouth of a young Bette Davis is a lot more melodious (and appealing) than a Bronx accent spoken by a slightly crazy and shrewish middle aged version of Miss B. And I say that as a native New Yorker who loves every New Yawk accent except the ones spoken on Wall Street and Madison Avenue.

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Andy,agree with you about Gene Raymond. I thought Bette looked beautiful in the film (she was when she that age) the film is not a great film, but might have been substantially better had someone else played the role of the husband.

 

As far as Cavett goes, agree again. He was great at this. His interview with Hepburn was also terrific.

 

As far as those Wall Street and Madison Avenue accents, most of those people probably aren't originally from NY.

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