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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:48 AM

 

Bad Movie Accents: 10 Unconvincing Performances

Sometimes an accent is needed to play a character from a different nationality or time period.

Though some Hollywood stars smoothly transform, others have struggled to give convincing performances. From Leonardo DiCaprio in "Blood Diamond" to Angelina Jolie in "Alexander," some actors have gone painfully wrong. Even classic films like "Mary Poppins" aren't immune to the dialect failure -- Dick Van Dyke's weak cockney accent made viewers want to stick their heads in a chimney.

What other actors have been deemed accent destroyers? Take a look through the slideshow below for 10 of the worst movie accents.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/20/movie-accents_n_2720283.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009#slide=2116049

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Reply Bad Movie Accents: 10 Unconvincing Performances (Original post)
HarveyDarkey Feb 2013 OP
Xyzse Feb 2013 #1
Grantuspeace Feb 2013 #2
Baitball Blogger Feb 2013 #8
Grantuspeace Feb 2013 #41
Bucky Feb 2013 #13
Yavin4 Feb 2013 #27
merrily Feb 2013 #3
Byronic Feb 2013 #4
aint_no_life_nowhere Feb 2013 #22
backscatter712 Feb 2013 #45
HarveyDarkey Feb 2013 #24
loli phabay Feb 2013 #5
NightWatcher Feb 2013 #6
bamacrat Feb 2013 #12
dawg Feb 2013 #34
Rob H. Feb 2013 #54
Baitball Blogger Feb 2013 #7
HarveyDarkey Feb 2013 #32
Helen Reddy Feb 2013 #9
kentauros Feb 2013 #28
Helen Reddy Feb 2013 #30
Tom Ripley Feb 2013 #38
sharp_stick Feb 2013 #10
bamacrat Feb 2013 #11
NV Whino Feb 2013 #14
sadbear Feb 2013 #15
LNM Feb 2013 #29
SwissTony Feb 2013 #48
backscatter712 Feb 2013 #51
SoCalDem Feb 2013 #16
Ikonoklast Feb 2013 #20
Orsino Feb 2013 #17
HarveyDarkey Feb 2013 #18
Ron Obvious Feb 2013 #19
Wolf Frankula Feb 2013 #21
LeftinOH Feb 2013 #23
mokawanis Feb 2013 #25
srican69 Feb 2013 #26
DFW Feb 2013 #31
aint_no_life_nowhere Feb 2013 #39
DFW Feb 2013 #47
Broken_Hero Feb 2013 #33
Neoma Feb 2013 #35
aint_no_life_nowhere Feb 2013 #40
Enrique Feb 2013 #49
benld74 Feb 2013 #36
backscatter712 Feb 2013 #43
Tommy_Carcetti Feb 2013 #50
Graybeard Feb 2013 #37
backscatter712 Feb 2013 #42
backscatter712 Feb 2013 #44
u4ic Feb 2013 #46
mikeytherat Feb 2013 #52
WilliamPitt Feb 2013 #53
Trascoli Feb 2013 #55
graham4anything Feb 2013 #56
First Speaker Feb 2013 #57

Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:58 AM

1. As much as I love the guy... and some people would probably hang me for this...

Sean Connery - In just about every movie he has made that he doesn't play a Scotsman.
Not that he has to do any other accent. His usual Bond on everything is A-OK to me.
So what if he is trying to play:
A Russian - Hunt for Red October
A Spaniard - Highlander
A Middle Eastern - The Next Man

It is still all good.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:28 AM

2. Terri Garr, Young Frankenstein.

That will show you how my mind works. Lol
But I agree with the Connery post.

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Response to Grantuspeace (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:09 AM

8. Since the movie was parody-farce

I think it's okay that her accent was a parody-farce as well.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:03 AM

41. Good point! n/t

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Response to Grantuspeace (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:38 AM

13. Was that a speaking part?

Why sank you, dawktuh

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Response to Grantuspeace (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:51 PM

27. Terri Garr Was David Letterman's main crush object n/t

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:43 AM

3. The Cliff Clavin character in Cheers.

One of the worst Boston blue collar accents I have ever heard, especially when he saied "Norm" or "Normie," which he said a lot.

Horrific.

To be fair, it is not an easy accent to capture unless one grew up in or around Boston. Conan O'Brien, who was born there, said he can't even do his own original -accent anymore because he succeeded too well at getting rid of it after he got into show business..

Ben Affleck got it just right in The Town.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:21 AM

4. Definitely Keanu Reeves in Dracula

That was such an appalling attempt that it just made me giggle (and wince at the same time), which probably isn't exactly the emotion that a horror film director wants to evoke in the audience.

What an abysmal casting decision that was. If you can't take Jonathan Harker seriously, then the Dracula story crumbles around him.

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Response to Byronic (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:50 PM

22. Oh yeah

I'm generally a fan of Keanu Reeves movies. I worked for the producers of his early movie Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure where I thought he was a fresh face in the movie business in a major role. But when he appears on the screen in Bram Stoker's Dracula I have to leave the room until the story moves on. It's unwatchable.

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Response to aint_no_life_nowhere (Reply #22)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:32 AM

45. Whoa! n/t

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Response to Byronic (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:38 PM

24. That's one that made the list

 

See post # 18

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:56 AM

5. shout out for the best, brad Pitt in the movie snatch

 

He nailed it.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:00 AM

6. anyone trying to fake a Southern accent

They all sound horrible to a native Southerner.

But Nick Cage had the worst in Con Air (I know, from such a cinematic masterpiece, right)

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:30 AM

12. Agreed, we don't all sound like Gone with the Wind. n/t

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:36 PM

34. "Put... the bunny... back... in the box."

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:03 PM

54. I dunno, Tim Olyphant and Jacob Pitts pull 'em off pretty well on 'Justified'

The other cast members are either from or went to school in the southern US, so they probably have more direct experience with the accent and what it's supposed to sound like.

Kyra Sedgwick's accent on The Closer, at least early on, was cringe-inducing, though. I couldn't watch it for exactly that reason.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:07 AM

7. Only ten?

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:08 PM

32. It says "10 of the worst"

 

The list is pretty endless if this thread indicates anything.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:15 AM

9. My vote is Jodie Foster

 

in "Silence of the Lambs."

HuffPo is misbehaving for me at the moment so I don't know if she is on the list.

I absolutely adore Ms. Foster but.....leave the southern accent to...somebody else.

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Response to Helen Reddy (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:10 PM

28. She's not on their list,

but that movie is at the top of my list for her bad accent. Plus, she just doesn't "fit" as a southern accent speaker. I love her as an actress, especially for her role in the movie "Contact". I don't know why the producers/director of "Lambs" didn't pick Holly Hunter in her place. Natural southern accent and has played a police officer before (albeit, in a comedic role.)

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Response to kentauros (Reply #28)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:18 PM

30. Good Point!

 

Holly Hunter is quite accomplished as well.

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Response to Helen Reddy (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:30 PM

38. I often entertain myself just by saying "Doctor Lector" in that voice she uses

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:20 AM

10. Anna Torv in Fringe

Early on it never really bothered me but during the last two seasons you could really tell that it was a coached generic American accent. I know she was supposed to play an FBI agent so the Aussie accent may not have been all that easy to explain but I'd much rather an actor, especially on TV, just use their normal accent rather than try to coach a different one.

Ewan Mcgregor anytime he tries to hide the Scottish accent is pretty bad. I remember him in a movie with Ashley Judd where the accent would wander around more than the character.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:27 AM

11. Lawless

I have seen a lot of movies that butcher accents but Lawless takes the cake. To me, maybe because I'm from the south, southern accents are the most butchered. People try but sound like no one ever. Everyone does the old south plantation owner accent. But of course it was Shia Lebeouf so...

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:57 AM

14. Couldn't see Huffpo because of idiotic flashing ad next to slide show

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:00 PM

15. Mel Gibson, Braveheart

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Response to sadbear (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:16 PM

29. And the woman who played his wife

had an Irish accent, not Scottish.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:24 AM

48. This one.

I tell people that Braveheart was released in Scotland as a comedy. Actually, it was excruciating.

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Response to SwissTony (Reply #48)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:41 AM

51. Worst gaffe in Braveheart:

(I know, I'm digressing...)

The Battle of Stirling didn't have a fucking bridge!

History fail!

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:07 PM

16. Tony Curtis in ANY of the Blblican/historical movies they put him in

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:11 PM

20. "Yondah lies da castle of my faddah, da King."

I know, I know, it's an urban legend, but it is kinda true in a way.



I love Edward G. Robinson in "The Ten Commandments"...




That's Billy Kristol doing the send-up.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:12 PM

17. Slide show won't load, but I hope they included...

...Sean Connery's in Hunt for Red October.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:22 PM

18. Here's there list, for those who can't get it to work

 

Anne Hathaway in "One Day"
Kevin Costner in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" (1991)
Harrison Ford in "K-19"
Dick Van Dyke in "Mary Poppins"
Keanu Reeves in "Dracula"
Leonardo DiCaprio in "Blood Diamond"
Wilford Brimley in "Hard Target"
James Van Der Beek in "Varsity Blues"
Demi Moore in "Flawless"
Nick Nolte in "Lorenzo's Oil"

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:40 PM

19. Its not just the accent, it's also the dialogue...

It's not just the accents that are off, the dialogue often makes me wince as well. Most English characters seem to speak a combination of Cockney and Eton for example.

It sounds really off. Imagine a foreign movie which introduces an American character that speaks in a combination of Brooklyn wise-guy, Kentucky backwoodsman and LA Valley Girl to get an idea.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:30 PM

21. Tom Cruise in "Far and Away"

Far and Away the Worst Movie of that Year.

John Travolta in "Urban Cowboy."

And Leonardo DiCaprio actually did a fairly good Rhodesian accent in "Blood Diamond". He was a Rhodie, not a Pom.

And Sean Connery played a Lithuanian, not a Russian. But Sean couldn't do a Litvak accent to save his life.

Wolf

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:00 PM

23. Lawrence Harvey as an American war hero in 'Manchurian Candidate';

he remained 'veddy' British in that role.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:10 PM

25. Brad Pitt in The Devil's Own

Pitt didn't do the Irish accent very well. Inconsistent perfomance.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:28 PM

26. Absolute worst has to be Tom Cruise in "Far & Away". I am not Irish .. but many of my friends are

and judging by their reactions - I guess it has to be pretty bad

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:05 PM

31. I can't believe no one mentioned this:

ANY film in which Schwarzenegger played anything other than an Austrian!! LOL

Or any film in which Jean-Claude Van Damme played anything other than an Francophone.

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Response to DFW (Reply #31)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:36 PM

39. You mean you don't think a high tech future society run by robots and computers

who decide to send one back into time and look like humans to blend in with humans in order to hunt down a particular human wouldn't design a guy with a thick German accent in a non-German speaking society?

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Response to aint_no_life_nowhere (Reply #39)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:33 AM

47. Vell, it depends on whesser or not ve need to haff vays to make you talk. n/t

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:30 PM

33. Nicholas Cage in Con Air, nt

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:38 PM

35. Patrick Stewart playing a Frenchman.

Remember, Star Trek had movies too.

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Response to Neoma (Reply #35)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:40 AM

40. How about John Wayne playing a Mongol?

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Response to aint_no_life_nowhere (Reply #40)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:27 AM

49. the Duke did intensive research in Mongolia for that role

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:56 PM

36. ANY role by Kevin Costner, ANY

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Response to benld74 (Reply #36)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:17 AM

43. His Robin Hood got lampooned in Men In Tights.

"Unlike other Robin Hoods, I can speak with a British accent."

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Response to benld74 (Reply #36)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:30 AM

50. I actually like Kevin Costner as an actor otherwise, but his accents do suck.

In JFK, it's almost like he gives up with the accent halfway through the movie.

Yet I love a lot of his movies. Including Waterworld.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:45 PM

37. Another DiCaprio stinker: J. Edgar

Can anyone tell me what kind of accent he was using in that film and why? Hoover was born, raised and educated in Washington, DC.

That accent only served to make DiCaprio unintelligible in a crappy movie.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:16 AM

42. Natalie Portman's attempt at an English accent in V for Vendetta didn't quite work.

It was a bit distracting.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:19 AM

44. Also, in the Indiana Jones movies, the Nazis all spoke with British accents.

It's almost plausible, because in Germany, when you're taught English, you get taught British English.

I suppose it sounds better onscreen than a badly done German accent.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:43 AM

46. Almost everyone in The Shipping News

I'll grant a Newfie accent is challenging, but don't default to Irish, please.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:15 PM

52. Mickey Rooney as I.Y. Yunioshi in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" - end of discussion

Did you know Mickey Rooney is Japanese? Well, he is in Breakfast at Tiffany's!

No, it's not as bad as it sounds.

It's 1,000 times worse.

mikey_the_rat

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:17 PM

53. Costner in "13 Days" and Nicholson in "The Departed"

utterly butchering the Boston accent.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:57 PM

55. Rosie O'donnell "Riding the Bus with My Sister"

 

I don't know why, but it was kind of offensive to me.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:01 PM

56. Brad Pitt in anything, especially IB

 

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:13 PM

57. Bogart as an Irishman in "Dark Victory"

...just teeth-grindingly amateurish. And while this is sacrilege--questioning *anything* spoken by Cary Grant--his hybrid Brit/American accent--"Cary Grant"'s voice--never quite seemed natural to me, at least as either a real American or a real Brit. But Grant occupied his own corner of the cosmos--perhaps he was really from the seacoast area of Bohemia--and transcended such petty considerations...

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