An ADS evaluation of dialects in movies?

Nancy Carol Elliott elliottn at INDIANA.EDU
Thu Nov 18 21:51:20 UTC 1999

Anthony Hopkins only gets half a star for his accent as Nixon.

Of the American films I've studied (1930's to 70's) that have overtly
specified regional origins for a character, I found only three (US) actors
that made any kind of attempt to sound like that was where they were from.

Of the Brits in American roles, Angela Lansbury is extremely successful --
of course she came to NY to study acting at the age of 15. Stephen Boyd
(Fantastic Voyage) gets 4 stars; I only heard a couple of Belfast vowels
from him. Ray Milland (The Lost Weekend ) didn't sound Welsh in the
1940's; the only remarkable thing I found about his speech was that he was
98% r-less, compared to an average of 42% for male American actors of that

And then there's Cary Grant...

Nancy Elliott

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