dialects in movies

Gregory McNamee gm at GREGORYMCNAMEE.COM
Tue Apr 1 22:53:18 UTC 2008


You'll find plenty of regional stereotyping via dialect and accent in
films today, as well as in the past. I think of <O Brother, Where Art
Thou> as a prime example of accent meant to convey various levels of
stupidity/gullibility. Farther back, <Chinatown> is another film in
which the heavy has a decided brogue as opposed to the near-flat
affect of the other English-speaking characters. <Devil in a Blue
Dress> contrasts regional and urban African American dialects, and <Up
in Smoke> plays with Chicano English. Puerto Rican English meets New
Yorkese in <West Side Story>, and accents are fitted to characters
closely in <From Here to Eternity>.

When I think of dialect/accent films, I think immediately of
<Casablanca>, a wonderful orchestra of European and American accents.

I'm not sure how any of these will fit your thesis, but they're all
very well worth watching. Good luck!


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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