Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Bad Dialects & Great Movies

Posted September 20, 2007

I loved Tom Hanks in the 1994 cinematic marvel Forrest Gump but I thought his Southern accent was a bit over the top. I think he did a much better job five years later in the acclaimed drama The Green Mile. Most actors who aren't from the South have great difficulty mastering the nuances of the Southern dialect.

Texan Jessica Simpson sounded like a caricature of a Southerner in Dukes of Hazzard.

Some complained that Kim Basinger had the same speech coach as Simpson in 8 Mile.

Sean Penn put me to sleep with his Louisiana brogue in All the King's Men. The voice was too cartoonish.

Two questions today:

What are the best and worst Southern dialects in movies you have seen?

And, what are your favorite movies filmed in North Carolina?


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  • Bigscot Sep 21, 2007

    Stother Martin, the warden in Cool Hand Luke. "What we've got here is...failure to communicate."

  • anggiet Sep 21, 2007

    jgirl5830, at no point in my post did I blast the girl with the Boston accent. I just refered to her manner of speech which grates on my nerves, as I'm sure mine may be displeasing to hear to some. It's just my personal opinion on that particular accent. I think the girl is great and I admire what she is doing on the show. Truce?

  • UNCgirl0205 Sep 21, 2007

    What I always hate is that when the "bad guys" in movies are supposed to be from the south, they have the most twangy southern accents you can find. It's like they want to throw it in your face that these guys are evil, dumb, and from the south. It always annoys me. Or, if there is a movie and a character is from the south, again, they use an over the top accent. A lot of times, those characters are dumb or flawed in other bad ways. Sometimes I think that people in other parts of the country will get a bad impression of the South from movies.

  • Red Bird Sep 21, 2007

    Jessica Tandy did an excellent job in "Driving Miss Daisy",and "Fried Green Tomatoes".

  • blackdog Sep 21, 2007

    ...whut agscent...?

  • scoutmom Sep 21, 2007

    Favorite movie filmed in NC - "Dirty Dancing". Worst accent has to go to Kyra Sedwick! AAAGGGHHH!! I'M southern and I don't sound like that, not even to my yankee in-laws... Another bad group of southern drawls had to be George Clooney, Tim Nelson Blake and John T...(forgot last name) in "O Brother Where Art Thou?" However bad they were, they did sound eerily similar to my parents "mountain-folk" family. I remember going to family reunions and someone would pull out a banjo and it was on! It's a great movie and I highly recommend it solely on it's comedy alone.

  • blytle Sep 21, 2007

    Bill, Being There was a GREAT movie. My church's former youth minister played a chauffer driver in the movie. He's in a scene driving up to Biltmore House.

  • carolinamissy Sep 20, 2007

    Robert De Niro's accent as Billy Sunday in Men of honor was pretty funny. I kind of crack up everytime I watch the scene where he helps Cuba Gooding Jr pass the diving suit test to get back in to the Navy.

  • JerryO Sep 20, 2007

    I'm a big DeNiro fan, but his accent in "Cape Fear" was really bad. Also, Nicholas Cage in "Con Air" was awful too. But I have to agree with you Bill, Tom Hanks in "Forrest Gump" was one of the worst of all time. Great movie though.

  • Travised Sep 20, 2007

    DuVall and Michael Caine did a pretty good job, not over the top in Secondhand Lions. The actress (bit part of the mother) had a horrid accent.

    As for filmed in NC?? gotta but the thinking cap on. I'm comming up dry on Movies. There was the Fox TV show filmed in Wilmington (Dawsons Creek) you'd see the cast walking around town every now and then.




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