Dash asked in Entertainment & MusicMovies · 1 decade ago

Why the unnecessary british accent in films that take place in non english speaking places?

in films that are written in english but take place in a time and location that in actuality people wouldn't be speaking english the actors always speak with a british accent. Why is this? Is it just because the actors naturally speak this way? If so why do they always cast these people? Do you like it this way?

examples.... moulin rouge, 300, troy, rome (tv show), 10, 000 bc


some of you are responding kinda angsty. no need. i'm not complaining. I'm wondering cause i wanted to make a short film of a classical myth and i kind of don't know if i should make the actors talk with british dialect. I think it sounds better but i also think its weird to do that.

Update 2:

thank you Black Guinea Pig for clearing that up. no i just mean it objectively. but Dominus that is just uncalled for.

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Looks like you're actually referring to movies that had a lot of Brit actors in them (although Nicole Kidman is Australian, to American ears an Aussie accent may sound British, too). Also, sometimes you may hear American actors putting on a clipped accent because it seems to suit the role -- for example, a 'stoic, noble Roman' -- better, and it may sound pseudo-British. And too, a non-British actor working with a bunch of Brits may need to speak more like them, just so they don't sound weirdly out of place on the screen.

  • 1 decade ago

    I try not to pay attention to accents because most wouldn't be appropriate for many of the places and time periods movies are set in. It's sort of silly to worry about accents because casting would become impossible.

    People have always preferred a "cultured" style of speech and "proper" British accents in historical films, as a poster noted. That doesn't mean they HAVE to be. I read a discussion of "Far and Away" on IMDb in which some viewers from Ireland were irate about the accents! Now, for the average moviegoer, they sounded about right.

    Someone somewhere is always going to be upset about how one or more actors speak in movies. That's to be expected, and we'll never get past it~not since the age of Talkies dawned.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I always find this sort of thing annoying, and sometimes vaguely insulting. I'm perfectly fine with characters who speak English even though they're not supposed to -- it's easier that way, and I can suspend disbelief. But if you're going to go that route, why add constant, pointless reminders of the very fact you're trying to dodge? Part of the reason I admire The Hunt for Red October is that John McTiernan said "screw it" and let Sean Connery keep his Scottish brogue as a Soviet submarine captain.*

    My favorite example of this is K-19: The Widowmaker, where Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson play Russian submarine officers who spend the entire movie speaking to each other in English with Russian accents. Did director Kathryn Bigelow really think we'd forget that they're Russian? Come on now: their names are Dmitri and Mikhail, and the damn submarine is adorned with an enormous hammer and sickle. Another example is Before Night Falls, where a bunch of Cubans, including one played by Sean Penn, speak Spanish-accented English.

    I can deal with the convention that people in fantasy movies (The Lord of the Rings, Eragon, etc.) tend to be British; Americans are accustomed, for whatever reason, to British dialects accompanying sword-and-sorcery settings. (For the most part producers of these movies have learned to save everyone the trouble and just cast British actors.) But the inexplicable accents in alot of movies strike me as just stupid and distracting -- as well as awfully patronizing to the audience.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, many of the actors in those movies are british/australian. Plus the directors and producer think the audience would get tired of listening to french or ancient greek (though it woud be pretty cool actually). Moulin Rouge was also based off an old American film anyways, and all of those movies/shows are aimed at lazy American audiences.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Just a guess but it may be related to Shakespere. AMD/OR Where yjr film was made. like your example Rome was made in GB. Moulin Rouge was made in Oz Using English and Aussie Actors

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I much prefer something like Letters From Iwo Jima. It would have been completely ruined with English or American actors.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Cause americans are dumb...

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