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screech-owl
11-14-2000, 10:21 PM
spoke-'s thread Worst fake southern accent in cinematic history? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=46363) got me to thinking:

What are some movies or tv shows where the actors have GOOD/passable southern accents? Give me some good examples so I can attempt to blend in, or get a job doing voice-overs.

T140
11-14-2000, 10:32 PM
I'm not sure about the best, but I can tell you the worst. Nick Cage in Con-Air. That is the worst southern accent I have EVER heard. If I think of a good example I'll let you know. Later...

screech-owl
11-14-2000, 10:44 PM
Um, I already have a good list of the worst hint - that's why I posted the link.

Nicholas Cage had 5 'worst' votes and one 'not-seen-the-movie-yet'.

zigaretten
11-14-2000, 10:53 PM
Rod Stieger - In the Heat of the Night

T140
11-14-2000, 10:58 PM
hint - that's why I posted the link
[/B]

Sorry about that but as soon as I read you post the image of Cage in that movie overwhelmed me and made me warn you. Sorry that you already knew that. Later...

cykrider
11-14-2000, 11:30 PM
I didn't know their was such a thing. Can a good southern accent even exsist? Maybe you haven't heard a southern accent before. eww...

Rock-n-Rolga
11-15-2000, 12:22 AM
...the little kid in 'Sling Blade'! (Lucas Black, right?)
Man, if I could have a young'un just like him, I'd have me one!

Sir Rhosis
11-15-2000, 12:36 AM
Emily Lloyd (a Brit, I believe) did a passable accent in "In Country."

Kevin Bacon's was passable (as opposed to Costner's) in "JFK."

Sir

bwk
11-15-2000, 12:56 AM
I liked Vivien Leigh's accent in Gone with the wind. Clark Gable's wasn't too bad either. And I liked Mammy's as well. It is interesting to me that Leigh had an English accent, but managed a southern accent.

Most of the put-on southern accents don't sound convincing, especially if you are a southerner.

And I think longest, slowest, drawl beats a nasal northern accent any day. But I'd better not go there, I am in a sort of mood right now.

Except for a Boston accent. That sounds pretty cool.

evilbeth
11-15-2000, 12:56 AM
Matt Damon in The Rainmaker wasn't bad.

Of course, Brad Renfro (The Client, The Cure, Tom and Huck) has a good one--but his is real.

evilbeth
11-15-2000, 01:03 AM
Sissy Spacek (The River, etc.)

bwk
11-15-2000, 01:12 AM
Forgot to mention Andy Griffith, but not in the first episodes of the Andy Griffith show. He was being too 'countryfied'.

But otherwise, he sounds good.

lesa
11-15-2000, 05:45 AM
It's fun to see Gone With The Wind is on the good AND bad southern accent list. (When I was a kid, I thought Rhett Butler was playing a Yankee.)

The best southern accents are the real ones. Park Overall of Empty Nest used her own accent. I've heard Kim Basinger lapse into her real accent ("I love my dawgs"). From the other thread I gather she used a fakey accent in some movie - too bad.

Though I hate to say it, the accents on The Beverly Hillbillies always sounded fine to me. They didn't sound like anyone who lived 'round hyere. But they sounded like people who live over yonder.

whitetho
11-15-2000, 05:47 AM
For "Deep South" the best I've heard was Jasmine Guy, who played Whitley Gilbert on the Cosby spin-off "A Different World". I was surprised when she was interviewed on TV to find out that she doesn't actually have a southern accent in regular speech. If I remember correctly, she said she picked up the accent she used on the show from family in Atlanta.

Typo Negative
11-15-2000, 07:31 AM
I loved all the accents in 'Raising Arizona', especially John Goodman's.

muppetsoup
11-15-2000, 10:17 AM
Sam Elliot in 'The Big Lebowski'... but that's how he probably really talks, so maybe that doesn't count.

Spoke
11-15-2000, 11:09 AM
screech owl, I'm not sure if you're looking for good fake southern accents, or good examples of southern accents as demonstrated by actual southern actors, so I'll list both:

Reasonable fake southern accents: David Ogden Stiers and Woody Harrelson in Doc Hollywood. In fact, I thought the whole cast did a pretty good job with the accents.
As mentioned earlier, Kevin Bacon in JFK. If memory serves me, he also uses the accent in Tremors and The River Wild.
Jessica Tandy in Driving Miss Daisy. That is a spot-on southern-matron-of-means accent.
Yeah, believe it or not, the Beverly Hillbillies are pretty accurate southern Appalachian accents. Well, Jethro was off, but the rest were dead-on. (The stereotyping on that show, by the way, is criminal. But hey, it's all in fun, I reckon.)
Gregory Peck did a good southern patrician accent in To Kill a Mockingbird. He reprised the accent in the 90's version of Cape Fear
Speaking of which, Robert Mitchum did a good accent in the 90's version of Cape Fear as well. Can't remember is he attempted the accent in the original version of the film.
Travolta did a reasonable job in Primary Colors, though he had a few lapses.
Sean Penn did a masterful job with the accent in Dead Man Walking.
Ben Affleck did a pretty good job in Dazed and Confused.
Gene Hackman and Frances McDormand in Mississippi Burning


And now some good examples of Southern accents from real live Southern actors:
Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona. (Holly is from Conyers, GA.)
Andy Griffith in the old Andy Griffith Show. Only the black and white episodes, though. In the color episodes (and later in Matlock), it seems like Griffith is trying to cover his accent, pronouncing every 'g' at the end of his words and such.
Billy Bob Thornton in Primary Colors and in Armageddon.
All the accents in Sling Blade were authentic, and I believe all the actors were true Southerners, except for John Ritter. Even Ritter has southern roots, though, being the son of Tex Ritter, if I'm not mistaken.
Like lesa I love to hear Kim Basinger lapse into her southern accent in interviews. I haven't seen any movies where she uses the accent, though.
Fred Thompson in The Hunt for Red October.
Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones in Coal Miner's Daughter. All the accents in that film are accurate.
Kris Kristopherson in Lone Star.
Eric Roberts in Runaway Train.
All the accents on Designing Women.
Matthew McConaughey in most any film he makes.
R. Lee Ermy as the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket and again as the mayor in Mississippi Burning (Note: His bio says he was born in Kansas, but he must have been raised in the South. In interviews he has a Southern accent. If he's faking, it's the best fake accent I've ever heard.)

Spoke
11-15-2000, 11:41 AM
Oh yeah, a few more good fake accents:Robert Duvall in Tender Mercies and in The Apostle. (His bio lists him as being born in San Diego, but I suspect he may have some southern roots.)
Laura Dern in Rocket Boys. (Her mom is southern. I guess that helped.) Also, her dad Bruce Dern did a good southern accent in The Cowboys.
Geena Davis in Thelma and Louise.
Susan Sarandon in Thelma and Louise, Bull Durham and Dead Man Walking. Her bio lists her as being born in New York City (New York City?!), but if she doesn't have any southern roots, she has one of the best fake southern accents around.

More good authentic accents: Brad Pittin Thelma and Louise. (He's from Oklahoma. Close enough.)
Johnny Depp in The Astronaut's Wife. (He's from Kentucky)
Joe Don Baker in any movie.

Jessica Lange does good southern accents. Her bio shows her as being born in Minnesota, but again, I would be surprised if she didn't have some southern roots.

screech-owl
11-15-2000, 12:07 PM
Wow! Thanks everyone. (Those are two heckuva lists, spoke-!)
Off to Blockbuster.

puddleglum
11-15-2000, 12:13 PM
I thought Jody Foster did a real good job in "Silence of the Lambs" if a West Virginia accent can be considered Southern.

JosephFinn
11-15-2000, 12:25 PM
Dixie Carter (whose accent, I've been told, is real) always wins for me as having the best Southern accent. From the Atlanta area, isn't she?

Brynda
11-15-2000, 08:35 PM
spoke-, I bow before you. Those are some great lists. I haven't seen everything you mentioned, but for the ones I have, I agree with your assessments. I have to second Robert Duvall in Tender Mercies and The Apostle. His accent was fantastic in both.

One you didn't mention is Jodie Foster in Sommersby. Yeah, her acting was a bit over-the-top and Richard Gere stunk, but I liked her accent. The movie was set in Middle TN, which is where I grew up, and she captured a peculiarity of our speech--we substitue "in" for "en." Therefore in MiddleTNspeak, my friend Jennie's name is pronounced like "Ginny" and we write with "pins," etc. Jodie got that right.

BTW, whereabouts in the south were you reared?

Spoke
11-16-2000, 10:54 AM
Brynda-

I grew up mostly in northwest Georgia, but spent a couple of years in middle Tennessee (Shelbyville to be precise), and a couple of years in Mississippi as well.

You're right; Jodie Foster does an excellent job with the accent. She also used it in Silence of the Lambs as pointed out by puddleglum.

I was amazed to learn that Robert Duvall and Susan Sarandon are not southern. Their accents are perfect. I suspect maybe they have parents who were from the South, or that they might have spent some time in the South growing up. Robert Duvall seems to use a southern accent in almost every role he plays, which makes me think it is his natural voice. If not, my hat's off to him.

I especially connected with the accent of Natalie Canerday, the actress who played the mother in Sling Blade. (She also showed up as the mother in October Sky.) She has the accent and mannerisms of just about every female I knew growing up.

dropzone
11-16-2000, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by puddleglum
I thought Jody Foster did a real good job in "Silence of the Lambs" if a West Virginia accent can be considered Southern.
Good God, she had Mush Mouth down perfect! And did Painfully Embarassed By It well, too. I'm not sure if it was West Virginian as much as Long-A-Apallachian. I was in my tenties before I learned that A was supposed to be short. As a co-worker from Kentucky said, "You Southerners say it that way."

Spoke
11-16-2000, 02:33 PM
Yeah, believe it or not, the Beverly Hillbillies are pretty accurate southern Appalachian accents. Well, Jethro was off, but the rest were dead-on. (The stereotyping on that show, by the way, is criminal. But hey, it's all in fun, I reckon.)

I need to amend my remarks on this one. While the accents of the Beverly Hillbillies were accurate, much of the dialogue was way off.

For example, no Southern girl I've ever seen calls her father "Paw." It should have been "Daddy."

Also, Granny was always saying "We's fixin' to do this" or We's fixin to do that." What atrocious grammar! ;) It should have been "We're fixin' to do this" or "We're fixin' to do that." (Some especially lazy Southerners might not bother to fully enunciate the latter part of "we're," so that it would come out sounding like "We fixin' to do this," or "We fixin' to do that.") But "We's"? Please!

There are other examples, but these suffice. The actors did a fine job with the accents though. I assume they had no control over the dialogue they were given.

caircair
11-16-2000, 06:38 PM
Spoke, you said you liked ALL the Designing Women accents. Did you know Jean Smart was born and raised in Renton, Washington? Meaning she should get at least one vote for best FAKED accent.

Brynda
11-16-2000, 06:51 PM
Originally posted by spoke-
[quote]SNIP
Also, Granny was always saying "We's fixin' to do this" or We's fixin to do that." What atrocious grammar! ;) It should have been "We're fixin' to do this" or "We're fixin' to do that." (Some especially lazy Southerners might not bother to fully enunciate the latter part of "we're," so that it would come out sounding like "We fixin' to do this," or "We fixin' to do that.") But "We's"? Please!



But you gotta admit, the "fixin'" part is absolutely right! "Fixin'" and "whereabouts" are my favorite southernisms.

I was raised in Smyrna, BTW.

Spoke
11-16-2000, 08:43 PM
Originally posted by caircair
Spoke, you said you liked ALL the Designing Women accents. Did you know Jean Smart was born and raised in Renton, Washington? Meaning she should get at least one vote for best FAKED accent.

I did not know that. And yes, it is a good fake accent. I'd have to listen more closely before I'd give her credit for best fake accent. :)

Spoke
11-16-2000, 08:51 PM
Brynda, how poor our dialect would be without "fixin' to..."! What a fun phrase. Plus, it always gets a giggle out of non-southerners when they hear it.

Spoke
11-16-2000, 09:00 PM
One further amendment, for students of dialect, and for southern sticklers. You might hear the phrase "We's fixin to eat supper," for example, but it would be intended as a contraction of "We was fixin' to eat supper" ("We were about to eat supper"), and not "We is fixin' to eat supper," ("We are about to eat supper). That is the mistake made on the Beverly Hillbillies.

Granted, neither construction is a grammatician's dream, but it's an important distinction to us. Southern grammar does have rules. Just not the same ones everone else follows. :D

sweat209
06-10-2013, 06:04 PM
spoke-'s thread Worst fake southern accent in cinematic history? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=46363) got me to thinking:

What are some movies or tv shows where the actors have GOOD/passable southern accents? Give me some good examples so I can attempt to blend in, or get a job doing voice-overs.


This past week I was looking into some movies with southern accents and truth is most are so terrible.


And Nicolas Cage , JFK ,Mississippi burning , Forrest gump are so terrible.

The Gone With Wind and Beverly Hillbillie seems very old school southern accents. People in the south today don't talk like that.


The only movies I think are closer to southern accent are Fried Green Tomatoes and The Man in the Moon.

At least Reese Witherspoon was born in New Orleans.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_in_the_Moon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fried_Green_Tomatoes

Really I find best way is to watch reality TV is better option . The TV shows America's most wanted , cops fox , lizard lick on spike , Texas storage wars , American hogger , American gypsies ,best wedding dress , police women of Dallas , Here Comes Honey Boo Boo , most wild police chases , swamp people so on are probably best at hearing it.

Any news or disaster in south you find on youtube. If tornado hits tomorrow than check out youtube videos on it.

For some reason Hollywood movies try make it out the accent is stronger than it is . Take American hogger the old man has big accent :o:o but the girls and guys have weak accent . Now take Here Comes Honey Boo Boo the mom ,dad and young girl has strong accents but teenage daughters have weak accent.

If it was Hollywood movie all of them world have very strong accent.

Ají de Gallina
06-10-2013, 07:44 PM
How good are (Australian actress) Clare Bowen's, Hayden Pennatiere's and connie Britton's accents on "Nashville"?

elfkin477
06-10-2013, 08:05 PM
How good are (Australian actress) Clare Bowen's, Hayden Pennatiere's and connie Britton's accents on "Nashville"?
Well, they don't make me want to drive pencils into my ears like Kyra Sedgwick's on The Closer does. Clare Bowen's sounds the best to me. But I'm a northerner, so what do I know?

Hey, what do you actual southerners think of the accents on Hart Of Dixie? Not the main character, of course, given she's a NY transplant. There's only one actual southerner in the cast that I know of - most of the cast is from the midwest. I think Wilson Bethel does a good job considering he's from NH too.

Oh, and I know this is a very old zombie thread, but the kid from Slingblade's accent is really good because Lucas Black actually is southern.

the_diego
06-11-2013, 03:33 AM
I thought Jane Seymour as Wallis Simpson in "The Woman he Loved" was pretty good.

Ellen Cherry
06-11-2013, 06:52 AM
Moving to Cafe Society from IMHO. Y'all.

scabpicker
06-11-2013, 08:04 AM
Not strictly a southern accent, but Kelly Macdonald as Carla Jean Moss in "No Country for Old Men" spoke enough like my neighbors that I was floored to find out she was Scottish.

lieu
06-11-2013, 02:16 PM
scabpicker, that's exactly the one, most astonishing accent I also came in to mention. She was Midland/Odessa through and through... via Scotland.

Elendil's Heir
06-11-2013, 02:53 PM
Not strictly a southern accent, but Kelly Macdonald as Carla Jean Moss in "No Country for Old Men" spoke enough like my neighbors that I was floored to find out she was Scottish.

Oh, yes. She's also very good as a Russian aristocrat in the recent Anna Karenina remake.

Barking Dog
06-11-2013, 02:54 PM
If I didn't know better, from watchign Secondhand Lions I wouldn't have guessed Michael Caine was english.

Sherrerd
06-11-2013, 03:03 PM
Spoke has mentioned the excellent accents of Robert Duvall and of Laura Dern; those accents are on good display, along with the authentic Mississippi accent of Dern's mother Diane Ladd, in the 1991 movie Rambling Rose.

There are a lot of actors doing New Orleans accents in 1987's The Big Easy, but I can't testify as to the authenticity of their work. It sounds nice, though!

Count Blucher
06-11-2013, 08:29 PM
Ancient History, but I have to ask: Scout & Jem in "To Kill A Mockingbird".
Please tell me they were actual (or very close to it).


Lie to me if you must (I Love that movie!)

TriPolar
06-11-2013, 11:32 PM
Ancient History, but I have to ask: Scout & Jem in "To Kill A Mockingbird".
Please tell me they were actual (or very close to it).


Lie to me if you must (I Love that movie!)

They're real Southerners. Mary Badham (Scout) was born in Birmingham Alabama. Phillip Alford (Jem) was born in Gadsden Alabama.

Chefguy
06-12-2013, 03:40 PM
Tommy Lee Jones in almost all his movies. But then he's from Texas. He also speaks fluent Spanish.

Elendil's Heir
06-13-2013, 12:29 AM
Unfortunately, TLJ sounded like a Texan even when he played Thaddeus Stevens, a Vermont-born Congressman from Pennsylvania, in Lincoln.

April R
06-13-2013, 12:50 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calleigh_Duquesne
Calleigh Duquesne from CSI Miami, I love her accent.

April R
06-13-2013, 12:55 AM
I've also been watching Wings and Helen has a great accent, but that is because the actress is actually from Texas
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wings_%28NBC_TV_series%29#Helen_Chappel_Hackett

lieu
06-14-2013, 09:03 AM
I've also been watching Wings and Helen has a great accent, but that is because the actress is actually from TexasCrystal and her sister Robyn were friends of mine in college and yes, that's just the way they really talk.

bump
06-14-2013, 10:16 AM
It is interesting to me that Leigh had an English accent, but managed a southern accent.


Actually it's less surprising than you might think. There used to be a show on movie making years ago on Nickelodeon when I was a kid, and they had a segment once on voice/accent coaching, and in the segment, they took an Englishman and by telling him how to pronounce a few vowels (I think) differently, they made him sound like he was straight off some plantation in rural Alabama. They said that those two accents are pretty close, but that others are harder to get down.

bump
06-14-2013, 10:17 AM
If I didn't know better, from watchign Secondhand Lions I wouldn't have guessed Michael Caine was english.

Yeah, but Robert Duvall's accent was better; he really did sound a whole lot like old Central Texas men actually sound. Caine's accent was kind of... funky.

KarlGauss
06-14-2013, 10:46 AM
Not strictly a southern accent, but Kelly Macdonald as Carla Jean Moss in "No Country for Old Men" spoke enough like my neighbors that I was floored to find out she was Scottish.The one I came to post. She was amazing.

sweat209
06-17-2013, 09:39 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calleigh_Duquesne
Calleigh Duquesne from CSI Miami, I love her accent.


She may have bit of a southern accent but CSI Miami you got alot of Spanish accent too.

It is hardly southern TV show , it very mixed.

Spoke
06-17-2013, 09:56 PM
Not strictly a southern accent, but Kelly Macdonald as Carla Jean Moss in "No Country for Old Men" spoke enough like my neighbors that I was floored to find out she was Scottish.

Oh, that's a Southern accent, and a very good one. A Texas accent is very much a Southern accent. You can hear that Carla Jean Moss accent in north Georgia and Tennessee, and Alabama, too, not only in Texas. I knew Kelly Macdonald was Scottish, and I was amazed by her spot-on Southern accent.

I give you evidence (http://aschmann.net/AmEng/#LargeMap3Right).