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 Posted:   Oct 16, 2010 - 8:14 PM   
 By:   johnjohnson   (Member)

Keanu Reeves, Sean Connery and, of course, Dick Van Dyke - hang your heads in shame for committing these awful accents to film.

If you're British, it's probably impossible to watch Disney's Mary Poppins with a straight face. Gawd bless American actor Dick Van Dyke's horrendous interpretation of a Cockney accent!

Then again, I can't believe recognition of just how truly awful that accent is belongs to Brits alone.

At least Dick Van Dyke can take comfort from the fact that he is not alone.

Don Cheadle in the Oceans films, anyone?

Kevin Costner in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves?

http://movies.uk.msn.com/photos/photos.aspx?cp-documentid=154989593


 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2010 - 8:37 PM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

I don't give a shit about Van Dyke's accent in an American film. His performance remains sublime.

My vote for worst accent is Katharine Hepburn as the Main Line Eleanor Aquitaine, in the overacted Lion in Winter.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2010 - 9:37 PM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)


My vote for worst accent is Katharine Hepburn as the Main Line Eleanor Aquitaine, in the overacted Lion in Winter.


Was she was even going for British in that one, or just doing her New England accent?

In any case The Lion in Winter's a classic from where I'm standing -- unassailably written, directed, acted and scored.

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2010 - 9:39 PM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)

Any actor in the history of film who has EV-AH attempted a Boston accent.

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2010 - 9:42 PM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)


In any case The Lion in Winter's a classic from where I'm standing -- unassailably written, directed, acted and scored.



My exact sentiments of Mary Poppins!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 12:44 AM   
 By:   Tobias   (Member)

Keanu Reeves, Sean Connery and, of course, Dick Van Dyke - hang your heads in shame for committing these awful accents to film.

If you're British, it's probably impossible to watch Disney's Mary Poppins with a straight face. Gawd bless American actor Dick Van Dyke's horrendous interpretation of a Cockney accent!

Then again, I can't believe recognition of just how truly awful that accent is belongs to Brits alone.

At least Dick Van Dyke can take comfort from the fact that he is not alone.

Don Cheadle in the Oceans films, anyone?

Kevin Costner in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves?

http://movies.uk.msn.com/photos/photos.aspx?cp-documentid=154989593



Actually it`s my belief that people who have english as a first language who would pay attention to this thing with accents.

I am (as most of you know) from Sweden and even if I know that Kevin Costner is an american actor and not a british. That still doesn`t change a thing for me when I watched Robin Hood since it is nothing I noticed and/or got irritated about.

So for me it is not such a big deal.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 1:28 AM   
 By:   Odlicno   (Member)

Russell Crowe's accent in Robin Hood goes all over the shop - Yorkshire, Merseyside, Scotland, Lancashire, Ireland - but at least he gave it a go and i don't think people outside of England would notice.

His mate who plays Will Scarlett was meant to be Welsh and his accent was unbelievably bad.

Keanu Reeves in Dracula is one of the worst i've ever heard. I dont mind his acting in general even though he's less animated than most but chucking the accent on him left him almost paralysed

Ewan McGregor's American accents i find unconvincing.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 6:22 AM   
 By:   Cryogenix   (Member)

.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 6:42 AM   
 By:   daylights   (Member)

Let us not forget the grand daddy of them all Sir Laurence Olivier. Jeez, I cringe at the thought of Boys From Brazil and The Betsy.
On a different note, it cannot be easy to pull off an accent. Very few manage it well. I suppose the answer to that is - -hire actors from the relevant areas.

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 7:21 AM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

Let us not forget the grand daddy of them all Sir Laurence Olivier. Jeez, I cringe at the thought of Boys From Brazil and The Betsy.
On a different note, it cannot be easy to pull off an accent. Very few manage it well. I suppose the answer to that is - -hire actors from the relevant areas.


You're forgetting his lousy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Although, that has even less to do with an accent (which, frankly, I couldn't care less about), and more to do with just a poor performance in the role. I only cite Katharine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier, because everybody always mentions Dick Van Dyke, as if his accent even matters, yet no one bothers to mention, supposed great actors, who are as bad and worse. I find his performance in Mary Poppins, fairly extraordinary. Besides who actually wants to wade through an authentic cockney accent, anyway? How about Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady? She never even sounds British in it, ever. In that film, language is the point!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 7:30 AM   
 By:   Timmer   (Member)

Let us not forget the grand daddy of them all Sir Laurence Olivier. Jeez, I cringe at the thought of Boys From Brazil and The Betsy.
On a different note, it cannot be easy to pull off an accent. Very few manage it well. I suppose the answer to that is - -hire actors from the relevant areas.


You're forgetting his lousy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Although, that has even less to do with an accent (which, frankly, I couldn't care less about), and more to do with just a poor performance in the role. I only cite Katharine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier, because everybody always mentions Dick Van Dyke, as if his accent even matters, yet no one bothers to mention, supposed great actors, who are as bad and worse. I find his performance in Mary Poppins, fairly extraordinary. Besides who actually wants to wade through an authentic cockney accent, anyway? How about Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady? She never even sounds British in it, ever. In that film, language is the point!


Good points.

As an Englishman I've always found Van Dyke's cockernee accent hilarious but it's never stopped me enjoying the film.

On the other side of the coin I've always found Bob Hoskins American accents unconvincing.

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 7:55 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Accents are important or not depending on the project. If you make a war-film for instance, you might want an assortment of Bavarian or German accents to establish the 'otherness' or ethnicity of the Nazis for instance. But if you make a whole movie about Germany in the Third Reich, then there's no need, since there's no 'other' or contrast within the film.

Again, as regards INDIVIDUAL impersonation accents, it depends on the movie. For some films/plays it's necessary to pull off an impersonation, as when the likes of Churchill makes a cameo appearance or something. At other times, that would be a cliche, or detract from the real significance of the performance. But many actors will say, 'Oh, I didn't want to pull off just an impersonation here: I was looking for something deeper' .... and it isn't always true of course. Depth has nothing to do with that. It can sometimes mean, 'I can't do it, so it can't be very important, because I'm the bee's knees and very narcissistic'.

But it's a BIT odd for our old mate Philadelphia to suggest they NEVER matter. Each project is a separate entity, with separate artistic criteria, and accents may or may not be a part of that. Olivier, for the most part was NOT great at accents, a fact he knew well himself. It's a tool in the bag of tricks, and can be the clincher, especially in radio work, for example, where the voice is all you really have. Connery has been mentioned above as bad at accents, but, to be fair, he never tried, always using that same Scottish Lothian accent that was his own.

When UK people play American, of whatever accent, they occasionally tend to forget the RHYTHMS of US speech, so you get a shorter sounding syllable, more akin to the Canadian W. Coast. Often they over-emphasise the 'r's too. But often they get it perfect. Depp is very good on the other side.

With Philly, I tend to observe a, 'The Brits .... what's so special?' attitude a lot of the time. I'm not going to analyse the reasons, he can do that for us. He ought to back it up though.

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 8:08 AM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

With Philly, I tend to observe a, 'The Brits .... what's so special?' attitude a lot of the time. I'm not going to analyse the reasons, he can do that for us. He ought to back it up though.

Perhaps it's your accent, but huh? Seriously, what are you saying?

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 8:11 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Perhaps it's your accent, but huh? Seriously, what are you saying?

Which accent is that? Well, you tend to choose the great 'icons', don't you? There's a great pulling down of heroes from the pedestals. That tends to be something the punters and critics do.

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 8:17 AM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

Perhaps it's your accent, but huh? Seriously, what are you saying?

Which accent is that? Well, you tend to choose the great 'icons', don't you? There's a great pulling down of heroes from the pedestals. That tends to be something the punters and critics do.


I thought we were talking accents? I only mentioned Katharine Hepburn (American) and others, to highlight the fact that many revered actors stink at accents, yet I never hear anyone say anything about them. Always Dick Van Dyke, like his accent even matters. It doesn't. At least not to me. I never speak for anyone else. Actors are just actors to me, not icons, so I'm not pulling them down from anything.

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 8:26 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

I didn't think Hepburn's accent in LiW was odd. I didn't even notice it. At the end of the day, it's a modern play, even if the Hollywood versions highlight the 'period' element. God knows what Mediaeval French accents were like anyhow. There's no 'English' element in those characters. The important thing was only that she didn't clash with the other compatriot characters, so she had to arrive at a 'neutral' compromise.

Remember it's an American play. The Goldmans were American.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 8:48 AM   
 By:   Timmer   (Member)

Talking of Johnny Depp ( mentioned somewhere avbove ) his cockernee accent or whatever it was meant to be in FROM HELL was lousy.

It'll unlikely bother anyone outside of the UK though wink

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 8:53 AM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

Black Shield Of Falsworth - Tony Curtis in that thick New York accent.

"This is the palace of my father, and yonder lies the Valley of the Sun"

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 9:03 AM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

The only time an accent bothers me, is when it results in a vocal quality that I can't stand. I find that far more off-putting than whether or not an accent is accurate. There was the girl on EastEnders that was supposed to be American, and her attempt at the accent just made her voice, awful to hear. Katharine Hepburn's voice is a prime example of a voice I don't like. Of course, that's just her vocal quality, not because she's doing accents. I don't like her (except for "Stage Door"), in anything. Her voice drives me crazy. And, in the aforementioned 'Lion', the entire cast never lets you forget they are acting. You see it, every second. They're never those characters to me, they're just a bunch of actors, chewing the scenery. Jane Fonda is another whose voice takes me out of a film, constantly.

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 10:07 AM   
 By:   random guy   (Member)

Keanu Reeves in "Dracula" was pretty laughable

 
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