A Conversation for Why Villains in Movies Have English Accents
jtsmeep, a.k.a. Researcher 217779 Started conversation Feb 3, 2003
I have two funny (to me) stories that relate to this subject.
Story One: I am an American who was attending Oxford University in the summer of 2000...right about the time "The Patriot" came out. I foolishly went to a premiere of it in Oxford, being lonely for something I perceived as American. I hit the KFC a few times, too.
As the movie began, I became more and more uncomfortable with the American portrayal of the British bad guys. I didn't speak to anyone for ANY REASON, for fear of some pissed movie patron deciding to get revenge on the film producers by pounding on ME.
Then a funny thing happened...the patrons in England apparently respond to movies verbally, whereas in America we're fairly quiet. People began to shout things like, "Get 'im, Mel! Kill the bastard!" as Mel Gibson had his final scene with the evil British commander. I was extremely relieved that they took it so well. I later found out why.
In a British review of "The Patriot," a critic commented that it had typical American flag-waving, but it had a decent storyline and everyone really knew that out of the hundreds of actors used in the movie, only one (the female lead?) was actually American!! The rest were British, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, and Australian!
Story Two: On this same trip, I stayed for a weekend with a Scot and his British wife. They were friends of a friend of mine from church. As we were eating supper the first night, Sue (the wife) told me that she loved my American accent. (Flat, Midwestern, boring...) Brice (the Scot) said something to me that didn't make a lot of sense. He sounded strange, and I couldn't pinpoint why until Sue playfully swatted him and said, "Stop it, Brice! That's such a terrible American accent!" Apparently he was trying to mimic our accent...ALL of them at once. He came out like an extremely Scottish Texan who was visiting New York.
I laughed the whole time I was there at the ludicrous attempts at American accents that I heard on T.V. and movies...but when I got home, I realized that our attempts at British accents are much, much worse! I saw some horrible version of Othello where the main leads were probably British, Aussie, and Welsh...all in the same family!! To all those British folks out there who like to watch American movies, I'm very sorry!!
Also, can anyone tell me why Americans would need the "authenticity" or "intelligence" of a British accent in a commercial for soft toilet paper that clogs your toilet? I can certainly attest that the British don't seem to have a lot of knowledge of soft t.p.!
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