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Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?

DigiTrad:
BOLD ROBIN HOOD AND THE PEDLAR
BOLD ROBIN HOOD AND THE THREE SQUIRES
ROBIN HOOD AND ALAN A DALE
ROBIN HOOD AND GUY OF GISBORNE
ROBIN HOOD AND LITTLE JOHN
ROBIN HOOD AND MAID MARION
ROBIN HOOD AND THE BUTCHER (A)
ROBIN HOOD AND THE PEDLARS
ROBIN HOOD AND THE SHEPHERD
ROBIN HOOD AND THE TINKER
ROBIN HOOD RESCUING WILL STUTLY
ROBIN HOOD'S BIRTH & BREEDING...
ROBIN HOOD'S DEATH
ROBIN HOOD'S DEATH (2)
ROBIN HOOD'S DELIGHT
ROBIN REDBRIEST'S TESTAMENT


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GUEST,Shimrod 21 May 10 - 06:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 May 10 - 06:33 PM
Little Hawk 21 May 10 - 08:51 PM
Ebbie 21 May 10 - 10:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 May 10 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,Allan 22 May 10 - 09:31 AM
Ebbie 22 May 10 - 11:19 AM
Anne Lister 22 May 10 - 01:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 May 10 - 02:10 PM
Edthefolkie 22 May 10 - 02:25 PM
Ebbie 22 May 10 - 02:39 PM
Maryrrf 22 May 10 - 03:57 PM
Amergin 23 May 10 - 02:40 AM
Dave Hanson 23 May 10 - 05:32 AM
Anne Lister 23 May 10 - 05:47 AM
Amergin 23 May 10 - 06:41 AM
Ebbie 23 May 10 - 10:15 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 24 May 10 - 08:10 AM
Rob Naylor 24 May 10 - 09:00 AM
Dave Hanson 24 May 10 - 09:10 AM
Edthefolkie 24 May 10 - 02:35 PM
Ebbie 24 May 10 - 06:00 PM
maple_leaf_boy 24 May 10 - 09:41 PM
Shanghaiceltic 24 May 10 - 11:48 PM
Ebbie 25 May 10 - 12:15 AM
GUEST,Neil D 25 May 10 - 09:53 AM
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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 21 May 10 - 06:12 PM

I think I'll wait for a year or two until I can pick up the DVD cheap in my local supermarket.


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 May 10 - 06:33 PM

Erroll Flynn is still the one to beat, and he hasn't been. Indicating that I don't place much significance on historical authenticity in this context.


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 May 10 - 08:51 PM

Errol Flynn had panache, flair, good looks, and swashbuckling class that is almost impossible to beat in an adventure film. He even made George Armstrong Custer thoroughly likeable for gosh sakes, although the script in "They Died With Their Boots On" was almost totally bogus, historically speaking. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Ebbie
Date: 21 May 10 - 10:59 PM

I am bemused, as often before, at all of y'all's (threw that in- bet you don't know which part f the US that comes from) dissertations on accents. In the US I think it matters a great deal less, although we have distinct accents and regionalisms that are dead giveaways.

For instance, a born and bred New Yorker, no matter from which borough, is going to talk like an Alabaman. Nor will a Kentuckian be mistaken for a Minnesotan or an Oregonian for a Texan.

But I should think it would be no problem. Unless it is a documentary or an official biography of a particular person. If the story, for instance, pursued a president born and reared in the Virginia piedmont, one would be a little taken aback if he spoke staccato New Yorkese.

Do you people across the water truly expect an actor to capture the cadences and nuances and accents of a language they studied after they were adult?


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 May 10 - 08:30 AM

Do you people across the water truly expect an actor to capture the cadences and nuances and accents of a language they studied after they were adult?

In most countries, actors, and other people, are quite likely to be reasonably fluent in several languages. That'snot so in the USA or the UK, but it shouldn't be assumed that monoglottism is the normal state of affairs.


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: GUEST,Allan
Date: 22 May 10 - 09:31 AM

"Do you people across the water truly expect an actor to capture the cadences and nuances and accents of a language they studied after they were adult?"

Mind speaking in accents is one fo the skills in being an actor. And it is not as if the suggestion was that the accent sounded more Northumbrian than Yorkshire or something like that. The suggestion was that it didn't even really sound altogether English. So in reality when Crowe was being questioned over his accent sounding Irish - then it was that aspect of his skill as an actor that was being questioned. Hence the hissy fit. If an actor can't get an accent at least nearly accurate then (and I know this is only relevant in the land of the supposed accent) in a way they would be better casting an Englishman or just not bother trying what you haven't got the skill to do and just speak in a your own accent.


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 May 10 - 11:19 AM

I am not questioning actors' ability to learn other languages. What I wonder about is the insistence that the person get the accent(s) right. Pronunciation no doubt is affected by accent but surely there is a level of competence that most people don't reach. I have often read remarks about Meryl Streep's facility with accents in foreign languages.   I'm sure that is true of many others but I do think it is uncommon..

The German word "ich" is on point. Growing up with the language I pronounce it correctly (and marvel at some educated people's inability to hear and perform the action - how many Mudcatters think it of importance?)

I took a couple of courses in linguistics some years back. The professor said that, like most people, he had the ability to detect what region of the world a person learned the language s/he spoke but that some persons are able to narrow it down to sections of cities. He also said that after age 12 most people will always bear a hint of their original language in any language they subsequently learn.

As I said I pronounce German correctly- but my accent is atrocious. Were I making a film or even a recording I imagine knowledgeable people would have a "hissy fit". .


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Anne Lister
Date: 22 May 10 - 01:09 PM

Ebbie, my (repeated) point is that Crowe THOUGHT he was doing one accent, when in fact he was doing something else entirely. And the something else doesn't quite fit the context of the film. The fault is split, it seems to me, between him and the director, as they both (as professionals) should have known better. I wonder why they didn't pick an actor who wouldn't have had this problem - there are plenty of actors who would have coped better.
Here in the UK we are very alert to accents as there are all manner of subtle and not-so-subtle variations - think Professor Higgins and his supposed ability to pinpoint a street in a town fairly precisely. Most of us can't do that, but we can definitely tell the difference between Irish and Yorkshire, for example.
As to the rest of your point - am I missing something? Was Crowe brought up not speaking English? Because otherwise we're only talking accent, not language, and, as has been said by others, the ability to "do accents" should be part of the stock-in-trade of an actor who wants to do films that aren't based in his homeland. The ability to detect a false note in the accent should also be part of the stock-in-trade for a director. Crowe could have stuck with his own accent quite legitimately (as we don't know what accent Robin Hood would have had, had he been a real historic character) but instead aimed for Michael Parkinson and missed by a mile. Hence the criticism.


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 May 10 - 02:10 PM

I still think my theory about his needing to go to the loo is a more likely reason for his walk out.


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 22 May 10 - 02:25 PM

Nah then yoth, let's leave these irrelevant attempts to get Russell to talk Yorkshire. As everybody knows, Robin Hood is from North Notts duck. See attached primer from Left Lion magazine, the mag for up and coming young Arthur Seatons (another Dottigub hero).

http://www.leftlion.co.uk/articles.cfm/id/2965

Unfortunately this only touches on the basics - if there's a "Robin Hood II - The Revenge of the Sheriff", Mr Crowe will have to do some advanced study to master Notts As She Is Spoke, e.g.

Ar d'yer do! (hello)
Oo were ee wee? (Who was he with?)
Ee were wee issen! (He was on his own)
Ja goo dahn then? (Did you go to the Nottingham Forest/Notts County match?)
Owd yer tight! (The bus is about to leave)
Eh up.... (All purpose, can be spoken in a multitude of ways ranging from fear to lechery)
Mek it g'bakkuds (Put it in reverse)
Aya masht miduck? (Any chance of a cup of tea?)
Gerroff that bobbo afore yer falls off (Be careful, that horse is somwewhat large for you)
Yer mardy bogger! (You surly, complaining, malcontent, disgruntled type of person you)

Tarra duck (bye for now).


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 May 10 - 02:39 PM

Edthefolkie, that is alarming. :)

Anne Lister, thanks. But not to beat this dead horse (what a bad image!), is the ability to do regional accents properly the most important thing in an actor's life? You mention that any number of English actors could have coped with the accent. But, not a one of them is Russell Crowe.


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 22 May 10 - 03:57 PM

I rarely go to the movies, but since I loved the Robin Hood tales as a child, and the previews of this version looked pretty good, I decided to go and see the latest "Robin Hood". Russell Crow's accent was the least of the problems. It just wasn't well done, the battle scenes were interminable, the plot didn't hang together - it was a boring and disappointing couple of hours.


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Amergin
Date: 23 May 10 - 02:40 AM

Russell Crowe is God's gift to the world....if you don't believe me, just ask him....


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 May 10 - 05:32 AM

Russel Crowe as Robin Hood is about as authentic as Robin being from Nottingham, so in retrospect, perhaps he's not all that bad.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Anne Lister
Date: 23 May 10 - 05:47 AM

Ebbie, no, the ability to do accents isn't the most important thing for an actor (ask Sean Connery or Michael Caine). But if you think you're doing one accent and you're actually doing another then it raises important questions about your professionalism, especially when it seems to go alongside being unable to cope with a straightforward question about it.
Personally I can live without Russell Crowe, and a film about Robin Hood would have been just as good (or bad) without him.


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Amergin
Date: 23 May 10 - 06:41 AM

I think the best Robin Hood was Cary Elwes....he after all could speak in an English accent....


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 May 10 - 10:15 AM

I have never so much as seen a film in which Russell Crowe acted, but I am quite sure that the bulk of movie goers would not agree with you. That is what stardom is about.

As for Crowe being mistaken, isn't that what directors are for?


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 24 May 10 - 08:10 AM

I recall his surprisingly un-Cornish attempt at Lucky Jack Aubrey in Master And Commander and was therefore unsurprised at his Robin O'Hood :)

An actor has the job of making the character believable and either getting the accent right or dispensing with it altogether is the stock in trade.

By the way if he persists in drawing his bow back out of his eyeline in that fashion I can say as a seasoned archer he will never hit anything. :)


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 24 May 10 - 09:00 AM

Edthefolkie: Nah then yoth, let's leave these irrelevant attempts to get Russell to talk Yorkshire. As everybody knows, Robin Hood is from North Notts duck

Nah, w'eve disposed of that myth way back, and in other threads. He was supposedly from Loxley (in Yorkshire), the first known "Robin Hood" named place is a well in Yorkshire, He's buried at clifton in Yorkshire. Little John "kept kine at Hartshead" (in Yorkshire) and is supposedly buried at Hathersage on the Yorkshire/ Derbyshire border. The early ballads put him as operating in Barnsdale Forest in Yorkshire.

Where is Notts in all this? Just because a bunch of Midland upstarts "nicked" him sometime in the 1700s we're supposed to accept him as a Midlander? Ha!!!


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 24 May 10 - 09:10 AM

Well they would want to claim Robin Hood wouldn't they, when all they actually have is DH Lawrence and Torvill and Dean.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 24 May 10 - 02:35 PM

And Alan Sillitoe. Well he died the other week actually. Ken Clarke, Ed Balls and Geoff Hoon are also all old Nottinghamians (oh God).

Anyway Robin's from the EAST Midlands youth - nobody has claimed Robin for Brum yet, have they? (sit down you at the back).


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Ebbie
Date: 24 May 10 - 06:00 PM

i can't swear to it but I believe that in the Robin Hood tales, Maid Marian was not Robin's sweetheart- she and Alan O'Day were an item. Irks me every time that contemporary thinking has revised the old story- Robin Hood was my first hero.


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: maple_leaf_boy
Date: 24 May 10 - 09:41 PM

The History Channel had a documentary on the search of the real Robin
Hood. They didn't talk about the accents, though.


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 24 May 10 - 11:48 PM

What has Russell got to Crowe about?
It's time the Robin Hood star learnt a little humility, says Mark Monahan.


By Mark Monahan
Published: 6:00PM BST 18 May 2010

Picture this: you're a world-famous British actor, and you're promoting your new film, in which you star as a legendary Australian outlaw. You find yourself being interviewed about it all, on Australian radio by a smart, courteous Australian journalist, who politely suggests that he may have heard a hint of New Zealand in the accent you adopted for the role.

a) "Really? Oh well – I tried! I suppose it's a tricky one to get right if you aren't from this part of the world, but I hope it doesn't detract from people's enjoyment of the film."

or

b) "You've got dead ears mate. You've got seriously dead ears if you think that's a New Zealand accent…b-------… f---." And then flounce out of the interview like a stroppy 10-year-old girl who's just dropped Ben & Jerry's down her favourite party dress, muttering: "I don't get the New Zealand thing. I don't get it at all."

It's an inevitably inexact parallel, but it's exact enough. For such, you may well have heard, was The Mighty Russell Crowe's response to Mark Lawson last week when the latter mildly told Crowe that he thought his accent as Robin Hood, in Ridley Scott's new blockbuster, had a faint Irish burr to it.

The incident was hardly the end of the world, of course, and Lawson took it with great good grace. But only a few years ago, there was that ugly incident at an awards ceremony when Crowe went ballistic after a producer who had the temerity to edit his acceptance speech – and now this. Yes, Crowe apologised for this earlier incident, but even so – isn't his self-important charmlessness getting a little tiresome?

Now, it's true that many of the greatest artists (in all media) have had fiery tempers. These days, we don't look down on Hemingway for getting into a brawl every five seconds, or even at Caravaggio for killing someone. Moreover, film actors – Gable, Brando, Connery, DeNiro – have often derived much of their power from having the air of an the unexploded bomb about them, the sense of volcanic anger simmering only just below the surface and looking for a way out.

So, we forgive artists their volatility because of their brilliance. But just how great an "artist" is Crowe? His hard-man persona served him well in LA Confidential and Gladiator. And Peter Weir's Master and Commander was an immensely gripping film, with Crowe's authoritative captain at its centre.

But, quite apart from the fact that there were hints of Antipodean in both his Roman and sailor (and no, Russell, my ears are very much alive thank you), Weir is a man incapable of making anything other than gripping cinema – he could coax a world-beating performance from a bunch of daffodils. Moreover, several of Crowe's other recent roles – Proof of Life, American Gangster, Body of Lies – all felt like an actor treading water. A Good Year, meanwhile, is a film best forgotten.

Crowe's whistle-blower in The Insider was convincing but the film immensely unmemorable. And I am more sceptical about one of Crowe's other great "triumphs", the much-vaunted A Beautiful Mind. Look again – is his brilliant mathematician-cum-economist really much more than a mass of externalised tics?

Many saw profundity there, but I didn't, and still don't. Added to which, I've yet to read a single review of Crowe's performance in Robin Hood that suggests it re-writes the rules of acting.

In short, Crowe can be a brutally commanding presence when cast well, and he has undeniably had his moments. But he is little more a Roman general, or a maths genius, or a heroic archer, than he is a one-man saviour of cinema.

A little more humility and humour might serve him well off-screen – and, who knows, perhaps on-screen, too.


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Ebbie
Date: 25 May 10 - 12:15 AM

We (I use the term advisedly) sound like a bunch of girls at a fan club. Since when is Russell Crowe that important to everyone?

I should note, however, that if you haven't heard him speak about his children and his current take on things, you've missed something. By the way, I think he is well aware that he has flaws, big ones.


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Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 25 May 10 - 09:53 AM

Fightin' Round the World w/Russell Crowe


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