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

Dialectical Discussions


CaveGirl
 Share

Recommended Posts

First let me say that yes, I know that the word "dialectical" is not really apt for my meaning here, so just regard it as some innocent wordplay.

 

Of course what this post is all about is "dialects" effected by actors in films and if they are good, bad or just ugly.

 

For me, Meryl Streep does seem to have the talent to do dialects well, but then what do I know. She seemed believable in "Sophie's Choice" and got great reviews but I'll leave it up to others to decide.

 

Now some American actors are so lame in trying to do dialects in films, that they just give up halfway through the film. On the other hand, the Brits seem to be able to do any dialect and especially excel at doing American ones with aplomb. Perhaps that is because they are better trained than our domestic variety but who knows.

 

Nevertheless, what films do you think had proper dialects for the film settings and which ones were just abysmally horrid?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dick Van Dyke's cockney accent in Mary Poppins was so fake - didn't hurt the movie for me because the movie is fun.  But if it had been a drama - WOW. Would that have bothered me.

 

Sybil Jason did better cockney in "The Little Princess".  Before I saw her other movies, thought she actually talked like that.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

...Now some American actors are so lame in trying to do dialects in films, that they just give up halfway through the film. On the other hand, the Brits seem to be able to do any dialect and especially excel at doing American ones with aplomb. Perhaps that is because they are better trained than our domestic variety but who knows.

 

 

 

I take it you've never watched NO ORCHIDS FOR MISS BLANDISH (1948), eh CG?!

 

'Cause in THAT British gangster movie supposedly set in NYC, try as the rest of the cast might, the ONLY dude who even comes CLOSE to soundin' like a true Yank is Jack La Rue!

 

(...and THAT'S only because HE'S the only dude in it who actually WAS American)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sometimes bothers me when there are films that are set in a different country, and the accent used is British. For example, Les Miserables is set in France, and everyone was either using a British accent or was attempting to, and some of it sounded strange. Maybe the directors choose to have a British accent be used so that the audiences will know that the movie takes place in a place other than America, and they will still be able to understand it?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, Meryl Streep does seem to have the talent to do dialects well, but then what do I know. She seemed believable in "Sophie's Choice" and got great reviews but I'll leave it up to others to decide.

Meryl Streep has an affinity for accents, in my opinion. Sophie's Choice, Out of Africa, Julia Child, Dancing at Lughnasa (Irish), Doubt, A Cry in the Dark, French Lieutenant's Woman, etcetera! etcetera! etcetera!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sometimes bothers me when there are films that are set in a different country, and the accent used is British. For example, Les Miserables is set in France, and everyone was either using a British accent or was attempting to, and some of it sounded strange. Maybe the directors choose to have a British accent be used so that the audiences will know that the movie takes place in a place other than America, and they will still be able to understand it?

 

This explanation seems feasible: https://www.quora.com/Why-do-the-characters-in-Les-Miserables-have-British-accents

 

I'm not going to comment on whether I liked the choice of accent....  ;)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Btw CG, and one more thing about your premise that Brit actors are better than American actors at perfecting their respective opposite dialects/accents...

 

I think this has only become the case until fairly recently, as yes, today there ARE many British actors who seem to have great ability at doing "standard Mid-American" accents to perfection, and such as Hugh Laurie and (that Steve McQueen lookalike) Damian Lewis.

 

I say this because back in the day and in many cases even the great Olivier and Peter Ustinov(who was usually very adept at accents) would resort to doing an American Southern accent whenever attempting their American accents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Btw CG, and one more thing about your premise that Brit actors are better than American actors at perfecting their respective opposite dialects/accents...

 

I think this has only become the case until fairly recently, as yes, today there ARE many British actors who seems to have great ability at doing "standard Mid-American" accents to perfection, and such as Hugh Laurie and (that Steve McQueen lookalike) Damian Lewis.

 

I say this because back in the day and in many cases even the great Olivier and Peter Ustinov(who was usually very adept at accents) would resort to doing an American Southern accent whenever attempting their American accents.

I knew that by introducing a conversation about dialectics, that you, Dargo with your interest in Plato and Socrates would have a vested interest in getting involved.

 

As for Larry and Pete being predisposed to doing a standard Southern accent for an American one, I will bow to your expertise in deciphering such idiomatic inclinations on-screen.

 

By the way, what particular dialect is Groucho using in "A Night at the Opera" pray tell?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As much as I love Humphrey Bogart, he did not have a talent for accents. His natural New York accent was perfect for him.

 

In "Dark Victory," his Irish accent is pretty bad. He also tries to affect a Mexican accent in "Virginia City" which is somehow worse than his Irish accent.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I take it you've never watched NO ORCHIDS FOR MISS BLANDISH (1948), eh CG?!

 

'Cause in THAT British gangster movie supposedly set in NYC, try as the rest of the cast might, the ONLY dude who even comes CLOSE to soundin' like a true Yank is Jack La Rue!

 

(...and THAT'S only because HE'S the only dude in it who actually WAS American)

You will rue the day that you brought up NOFMB, Dargo!

 

My response to your bluff that Jack was the only one sounding American, is just what do you think Toy and Wyng sounded like???

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since we are discussing dialects here, Dargo-

 

How did you enjoy your time visiting with your Ma in British Columbia?

 

How do you find the accents up here in my province compared to Arizona?

 

Hi CF!

 

Yep, I once again had a great time up there in beautiful Kelowna, BC. Thanks for asking.

 

My "Ma" actually has kind of a mixed Canadian/British accent, as she lived in the U.K. for while during her teenage years.

 

Now, my half-sister Chayne who lives in Armstrong sounds much more Western Canadian, as she pronounces words such as "about" more as "aboat" and such.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sometimes bothers me when there are films that are set in a different country, and the accent used is British. For example, Les Miserables is set in France, and everyone was either using a British accent or was attempting to, and some of it sounded strange. Maybe the directors choose to have a British accent be used so that the audiences will know that the movie takes place in a place other than America, and they will still be able to understand it?

You are so right, N&N!

 

Have you ever noticed that in all the historical dramas set in Rome, all the Romans also have British accents...haha.

 

Well, I guess it does sound better than a New Joysey one.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As much as I love Humphrey Bogart, he did not have a talent for accents. His natural New York accent was perfect for him.

 

In "Dark Victory," his Irish accent is pretty bad. He also tries to affect a Mexican accent in "Virginia City" which is somehow worse than his Irish accent.

Thanks, Speedracer and yeah, Bogie did sound wacky in VC.

 

But never as bad as Tony Curtis in that film where he said something like "Yondah lies the castle of my faddah."

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I knew that by introducing a conversation about dialectics, that you, Dargo with your interest in Plato and Socrates would have a vested interest in getting involved.

 

As for Larry and Pete being predisposed to doing a standard Southern accent for an American one, I will bow to your expertise in deciphering such idiomatic inclinations on-screen.

 

By the way, what particular dialect is Groucho using in "A Night at the Opera" pray tell?

 

Hmmmm...I guess I've always placed Groucho's dialect in "NYC/Yiddish" category.

 

(...just by the way I've "hoid" it over the years, I guess) ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One Boston critic said that in MYSTIC RIVER Laura Linney was the one who really nailed the South Boston accent.

 

Having grown up in the South, I'm quickly knocked out of a film by a bad Southern accent. Angela Lansbury in BLUE HAWAII is one I recall as being pretty bad.

 

After seeing Matthew Rhys in BROTHERS AND SISTERS on TV, I was surprised to learn that he's Welsh by birth. British actors learn vocal technique in a way that most American actors don't.

 

Watching Ava Gardner in any of her movies, who would guess that she is from rural North Carolina? MGM's training school did a most effective job of eliminating her accent.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was thinking the same thing, that bad southern accents really kill a movie or TV show for me.

 

For a while in the 80's and 90's, it seemed every English actor who was asked to do an American accent used a terrible southern one or a terrible New Yawk one.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First let me say that yes, I know that the word "dialectical" is not really apt for my meaning here, so just regard it as some innocent wordplay.

 

Of course what this post is all about is "dialects" effected by actors in films and if they are good, bad or just ugly.

 

For me, Meryl Streep does seem to have the talent to do dialects well, but then what do I know. She seemed believable in "Sophie's Choice" and got great reviews but I'll leave it up to others to decide.

 

Now some American actors are so lame in trying to do dialects in films, that they just give up halfway through the film. On the other hand, the Brits seem to be able to do any dialect and especially excel at doing American ones with aplomb. Perhaps that is because they are better trained than our domestic variety but who knows.

 

Nevertheless, what films do you think had proper dialects for the film settings and which ones were just abysmally horrid?

 

Streep learned Polish for her role in this movie, and growing up surrounded by many who also had AUTHENTIC Polish accents, I'd say hers was spot on, plus, although my grandmother, who also SPOKE Polish, saw SOPHIE'S CHOICE, she thought the movie "too morbid", but that Streep's Polish was excellent.

 

As for what you're really asking, I'd point to many of the 1940's movies, as it seemed that no matter WHAT country many of the characters were supposed to be from, they AL had the SAME ACCENTS.  Or rather, to put it better....foreigners from ANY country had the SAME ACCENTS as foreigners in EVERY OTHER movie.

 

Sepiatone

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like Tom Wilkinson and Anthony Hopkins as actors, but I doubt that many people think that either of them pull off LBJ or Nixon respectively.

 

Yep, I agree, skimpole.

 

Yep, funny, but the way Sir Anthony voices Ol' Ski-Nose here, doesn't it sound like Tricky Dick might have spent some of his formative years in or around Cardiff Wales???... ;)

 

 

(...and yep again...I guess Tom's vocal teacher for the movie SELMA didn't impress upon the Yorkshire actor enough that Texans like LBJ pronounce the letter "R" in a very very hard manner, and to say nothing of LBJ's somewhat slurring of his words, as in: "My fellow Americanshh. I come here today with a heavy heart")

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...