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Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?

19 May 10 - 05:34 PM (#2910153)
Subject: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Paul Burke

Russell Crowe has been criticised for his accent in his new Robin Hood film: he seems to be the slightly touchy sort, and got annoyed when an interviewer suggested he'd used cod Irish rather than cod Tyke in his performance.

Now, has anyone who would (a) know a Yoksher accent from a horse's fart seen the film?

or (b) got any interesting ideas about what accent Robin Hood (assuming he existed) would really have had? OK it was Middle English, but would it have been more like the present Yoksher or Nottamun accent, or like American (if so what sort), or even Jamaican or Mexican...?


19 May 10 - 05:46 PM (#2910159)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: GUEST,Bruce Michael Baillie

...Where's YOKSHER?


19 May 10 - 05:50 PM (#2910162)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Little Robyn

Wot do ya expect from a Kiwi?
Robyn


19 May 10 - 06:00 PM (#2910167)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Anne Lister

Depends who you think Robin Hood was - if he was nobility he'd have a Norman French accent. If not, the local accent, whatever that was at the time.


19 May 10 - 06:14 PM (#2910177)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Shanghaiceltic

Yes, seen the film. Pretty dissapointing too.

Crowe's accent is terrible, certianly not like nottingham accents I have heard.

It rates alongside Mel Gibson's Scottish accent in Braveheart and Dick Van Dyke as a Cockney in Mary Poppins.

It should have been a better film but it descended into to 'Merry England' type scenes with villagers dancing around to music from a mandolin and a hurdy gurdy....not too sure they were around in the 13th Century.

At one point you are also persuaded that Robin's father wrote the draft for the Magna Carta. So all in all a pile of faeces...


19 May 10 - 06:43 PM (#2910206)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Well, however Robin Hood spoke (imagining/assuming he existed) it is hardly likely to have been like modern Nottinghamshire accents, or Yorkshire either(since that county has at least as good a claim to him).

Accuracy doesn't come into this, unless you want to go the Mel Gibson route and have the cast speaking Anglo-Saxon and Norman French. Just avoid accents that sound too out of place, which is a matter of taste more than anything.

I imagine Russell Crowe erupted at the suggestion that he lacked taste. Or maybe that he couldn't do accents, when he'd gone to all the effort of not sounding Antipodean.


19 May 10 - 06:46 PM (#2910208)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: GUEST,Chris Murray

I heard a speech of Robin's on the radio. Irish!


19 May 10 - 06:57 PM (#2910215)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: john f weldon

Robin Hood ballads go back to 600 AD, when he would have spoke a language similar to modern Icelandic.


19 May 10 - 07:17 PM (#2910229)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: McGrath of Harlow

So in erupting during that interview he was staying in character...


19 May 10 - 07:18 PM (#2910230)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Rob Naylor

Definitely not Irish. But not Yorkshire or North Midlands/ Notts either.

Though, even if he was a real person (there is reference to a Robert or Robin Hood of Loxley in the York Pipe Rolls of the early 1200s) he certainly wouldn't have spoken with either accent.

As a Yorkshire lad born and bred an easy walk for a 5 year old from Robin Hood's grave near Clifton, I was brought up in the certainty that Robin was a Yorkshireman...after all, Loxley's in Yorkshire, he's supposed to have died at the hand of the Abbess of Kirklees (near Clifton, in Yorkshire), someone of the name is mentioned in the York Pipe Rolls, Little John is supposed to have "kept kine at Hartshead" (right next to Clifton) and is supposedly buried in Hathersage, on the Yorkshire/ Derbyshire border. Sherwood at the time would have extended over much of Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.

So we always felt that he was "ours" and that the midlanders had somehow managed to "steal" him :-)


19 May 10 - 07:27 PM (#2910245)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Rob Naylor

JFW: Robin Hood ballads go back to 600 AD, when he would have spoke a language similar to modern Icelandic.

Interested to see your sources for this as, AFAIK, there are no ballads about him recorded before the early 14th century. Since ALL the early stories and ballads are set in post-conquest times, it's hard to see where a pre-conquest date would fit the legends. Sure you're not confusing him with Arthur?


19 May 10 - 07:36 PM (#2910248)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

For those old enough to remember, Errol Flynn once played Robin Hood -he also played General Custer and other American western folks. He was Tasmanian by birth and never lost his accent. Most people didn't care at the time and few commented on it. Different times.... Had Russell Crowe spoken the language of the times in which the story is set, it would have been unintelligible to modern humans, most likely -with the possible exception of habitue's of Reykjavik discos late at night.


19 May 10 - 07:43 PM (#2910250)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Lox

"I heard a speech of Robin's on the radio. Irish!"

Nah ... he was just putting it on ...


19 May 10 - 07:56 PM (#2910256)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: *#1 PEASANT*

The accent was not of the region imho but I am no expert however
that was the least of the problems in the movie

1. They might have been poor but the villagers would not have been so stupid as to not know how to make propper wattle hurdles (fencing)- the movie showed them torn up and full of holes.

2.The landing craft look just like WWII d-day ones but covered with wood....I have never seen a landing craft of the period but can't have looked just like a WWII model in wood.

3.Rushes on the hall floor. Person designing the set had no Idea how to spread rushes. It was one here one there with yards apart rather than a good thick covering.

4.Reference to Lion Heart accurate or not, as guilty of mass murder did not further the plot and were there just to dig at the nobility.

5.Frequent references to the Celtic Past (standing stones crop up frequently- not crosses but standing stones etc...) seem to depict the English of the period living like squatters in the ruins of the past. Anyway what were those ruins....? Destroyed church comes up several times? Certainly that was not till later...

6. Did I not hear the song "Women of Ireland" I believe that was written by Paddy Maloney of the Chieftains within the last 30 years or so.....no attempt to get the music right what so ever.

7. Somehow someone was working hard to tie it in to the audience's familarity with Monte Python. Both sherif and king John were both far too comic for a serious movie. Serious actors playing those roles in past movies would have been much better.

8. Good Point: Almost worth watching the whole movie just to watch the very artistic credits at the end (no but close they were very good) So go out to the lobby for popcorn and come back for the credits.

Now how do I get around having to be informed of sequal after sequal which due to the point in time of the legend collections that the movie was placed seem to be out there in a long succession.

If you want to see a good movie get the Immaganarium of Dr. Parnassus
Gilliam- just out in DVD- my world exactly.

Conrad


19 May 10 - 08:06 PM (#2910259)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: DonMeixner

I think it important to point out that Yul Bryner spoke just like a Siamese king in The Magnificent Seven.

Don


19 May 10 - 09:06 PM (#2910287)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Sandra in Sydney

I vaguely remember something in recent times about a movie set in Nazi Germany where the actors spoke English with German accents!

Even in the best dressed & designed films there is something that screams modern. Clothing styles usually have something of the designer's day in them, hair is usually not accurate, & makeup is another giveaway.

One pics I've seen of Robin & Marion shows her wearing what looks like a long-sleeved tee-shirt with something corset-like, but not tight laced (corsets weren't worn in those times) over it.

One of my historic costume books was written in 1904. Society ladies modelled their ancestors' dresses & are illustrated by perfect drawings of these 18th century dresses worn by Edwardian ladies with Gibson Girl faces.

dandra


19 May 10 - 11:25 PM (#2910335)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: LadyJean

Most of the Native Americans in westerns are Navahos. When the script calls for them to say something in a Native American language, the director would tell them, "Just say something in Navaho, after all, who speaks Navaho?"
I think we all know the answer to that one.
According to the anthropology professor who told me this story, an actor playing Cochise (who wasn't a Navaho.) brought the house down at a reservation cinema, when he charged the cavalry shouting, "Hello friend! Good to see you!"

The majority of the people who see "Robin Hood" won't know a Yorkshire accent, anymore than they can speak Navaho.


20 May 10 - 12:54 AM (#2910352)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Lonesome EJ

Are you trying to say Ivanhoe may have been Navaho? I guess that explains why he won the archery contest.


20 May 10 - 02:41 AM (#2910376)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Dave Hanson

According to one report Crowe said he based his accent on his ' friend ' Sir Michael Parkinson, who came from Barnsley, even Parky doesn't speak with a South Yorkshire accent anymore.

These antipodeans have got no sense of humour, remember the Bee Gees walking out on Clive Anderson ?

Dave H


20 May 10 - 03:07 AM (#2910386)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Rob Naylor

DH: These antipodeans have got no sense of humour

True. Having worked with many antipodeans over several decades, they tend to be wonderful at dishing it out but not quite so good at taking it.

On one occasion, in Papua New Guinea, I'd been the butt of "whingeing Pom" jokes for days. I finally retaliated with a barbed comment about Aussie farmers nad *their* whingeing about the weather putting Poms into the shade. The Queenslander I was working with immediately bristled: "So you don't like Aussies, then?".

I replied "I've got no problems with Aussies, but I get pissed off with the attitude of a lot of the white bastards that have moved there in the past couple of hundred years".

His mates had to haul him off me!!! He wouldn't speak to me for the rest of the project.


20 May 10 - 03:22 AM (#2910392)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: fat B****rd

To go with Lady Jean's last paragraph; the majority of people who go to see the film won't give a **** what Russell Crowe's accent is.


20 May 10 - 03:26 AM (#2910396)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Abdul The Bul Bul

"South of Yorkshire accent", Dave. There isn't really a South Yorkshire, thats just a political device.
Al (from York).


20 May 10 - 03:37 AM (#2910398)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)

"To go with Lady Jean's last paragraph; the majority of people who go to see the film won't give a **** what Russell Crowe's accent is."

It'll probably be glaringly obvious only to people from the UK and Ireland.

Otherwise, Russel Crowe is a total brat, or you can swap 'br' for 'tw' there if you prefer.


20 May 10 - 04:52 AM (#2910423)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Geoff the Duck

These Antipodeans have no sense of humour...
Bee Gees - Born on Isle of Man, raised in Chorlton, Lancs, according to Wikipedia. Didn't move to Australia until later. Who was Antipodean?

Actually the thing that I find ridiculous in the Robin Hood films is usually the age of the actors.

Just for curiosity I checked some dates. King John - born 1157, became King 1189 (age 32) (also start of 3rd Crusade), Imprisoned Late 1192 (on way home from Crusade) until early 1194 (age about 37) Died 1199 age 42.
When he was the same age as the actor playing him in this particular film, he had been dead 6 years.
King John - age 22 at start of Crusade, and almost 27 when Richard released after ransom, so an actor age 30 a bit closer.

In the 1976 film Robin and Marian, Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn play an aging Robin and Marian after the death of King Richard. (I know the plot is all hokum, but bear with me). The whole point of the film was that Robin (in terms of 12th Century lifespan) was getting old and worse for wear. How old was Connery? 46!
Back to the current new film - How old is Crowe? 46!

I think an Irish accent is the least of his worries...

Quack!
GtD.


20 May 10 - 04:57 AM (#2910424)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: John MacKenzie

Amen to that Crow Sister. he is one total tosspot.

P.S.
WTF is this doing in the music section?


20 May 10 - 05:19 AM (#2910428)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Dave the Gnome

Robin Hood 'Men in tights' says it all. Cary Elwes as Robin, Isaac Hayes as Asneeze and a wonderfuly hammy Patrick Stewart as King Richard.

From the film:

Prince John: And why should the people listen to you?

Robin Hood: Because, unlike some other Robin Hoods, I can speak with an English accent.



Wonderful.

:D (eG)


20 May 10 - 10:37 AM (#2910569)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Mr Happy

".........yonder lies da castle of my fadder!!"


20 May 10 - 10:52 AM (#2910580)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Anne Lister

For those who were curious and didn't hear the Front Row interview in which Russell Crowe stormed out ... The interviewer asked, in a friendly enough way, why he had chosen to adopt an Irish accent. Crowe seemed amazed that anyone could have heard his accent as Irish, and continued the interview for a while muttering occasionally about Irish accents, and then chose another question as his moment to leave the studio (can't remember what that question was, but I think it was about Gladiator). It all seemed very petty on the part of the actor, as the interviewer wasn't appearing to be critical of the accent, just puzzled about it!
I heard a clip from the film while driving (prior to this interview) and had been similarly foxed as to which accent he was striving for.


20 May 10 - 11:32 AM (#2910601)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: GUEST

I wonder whether Americans, Australians, or Irish would mind if some of their folk heroes spoke in films with a English West country accent, Lancastrian, modern English upper class accent or such like? Maybe they did.

I like the idea of doing films in the historically accurate languages it would certainly add a twist to our predjudices - take Braveheart, for example, Edward the I couldn't speak English (Edward III was the first English King after the conquest to use English)and so he and his barons would have spoken in Norman French as would have many of the nobles in Scotland. Wallace as a name came over with William the conquerer so his language would also have been French or Flemish. The ordinary people at the bottom of the pile would have spoken different dialects of English, some would have spoken Gaelic(from the Highlands) and it is also possible that Welsh or the northern version of it still survived in different parts of Scotland and Northern England - there is evidence for this in place names, e g Aberdeen - mouth of the river Dee, and folklore, as well as possibly old Norse. It would be a more interesting, more complex and less distorted window on our history.


20 May 10 - 11:47 AM (#2910611)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Dave Hanson

Abdul,I served in HM Forces with a lot of good mates, all ex miners from Barnsley, Rotherham, Wombwell, Darfield and a few more pit villages, tell them they don't have a regional [ South Yorkshire [ accent, it's totally distinctive.

Dave H


20 May 10 - 12:31 PM (#2910647)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Abdul The Bul Bul

I it is Dave I know, but a Yorkshireman is East, West or North Yorkshire.
Al


20 May 10 - 12:44 PM (#2910655)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russell Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Maybe Russell Crowe had some other reason for walking out, like being taken short, but felt that walking out in a huff was more in keeping with his image.

I read once that the late Senator Joe McCarthy used to do that.

(Could some clone maybe correct the spelling of the name is the heading.)


20 May 10 - 02:10 PM (#2910712)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: GUEST,Allan

"Wallace as a name came over with William the conquerer so his language would also have been French or Flemish." The ordinary people at the bottom of the pile would have spoken different dialects of English, some would have spoken Gaelic(from the Highlands) and it is also possible that Welsh or the northern version of it still survived in different parts of Scotland and Northern England - there is evidence for this in place names, e g Aberdeen - mouth of the river Dee, and folklore,"

I don't think that it is at all certain that the name Wallace came over with the Normans. In his "Surnames of Scotland" Professor Black gives the various theories but comes to the conclusion that "Wallace is most probably simply a native name meaning Strathclyde Briton" and of course as Wallace lived in what had been Strathclyde it is very possible. Gaelic at that time was spoken throughout much of Scotland and not just in the Highlands. The division into Gaelic speaking Highlander and Scots speaking Lowlander is a later phenomena. It is true that Aberdeen comes from a P-Celtic language. It is bang in the middle of the P-Celtic Pictish speaking area. The P-Celtic Pictish language is thought to have been closely related to the Britonnic/Cumbric/Welsh which was spoken in the south of Scotland.


20 May 10 - 03:54 PM (#2910779)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Anne Lister

On the subject of "authentic" accents I can recommend the French film "Les Visiteurs" where Jean Reno and his sidekick are speaking old French - which has to be subtitled into modern French, even with the French soundtrack.


20 May 10 - 05:29 PM (#2910834)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Sorcha

Well, I can't imagine say, John Wayne doing a western with an Irish accent. But he WAS just John. He didn't really act as much as he just acted like John Wayne.

Even in The Quiet Man, they never had him try to adopt an Irish accent.

But, usually, accents in films don't bother me much.


And yes, not many outside of England can actually recognize a Yorkshire accent from a Cornwall one! Just like Navajo.


20 May 10 - 06:06 PM (#2910858)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: GUEST,Allan

"Even in The Quiet Man, they never had him (John Wayne)try to adopt an Irish accent."

But he wasn't an Irish character! He played an American.

I think that someone else said only folk on the east side of the Atlantic will cringe at bad British accents and that is probably correct. There are quite a few British actors playing Americans in US TV shows at the moment and possibly some of them have iffy accents. We Brits wouldn't necessarily know.

I have to laugh at my wife though. She always gets het up that aliens on things like Star Trek etc always have American accents. "Aliens wouldn't have American accents" she will say. When asked what kind of accents they should have she says they would sound more like her - because she hasn't got an accent. It may be hard to pinpoint a regional accent on her but anyone north of the border knows straight away that she is English - yet she still insists she hasn't got an accent :-)


20 May 10 - 08:58 PM (#2910957)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Sorcha

But, wasn't the Wayne character in Quiet Man an Irish expate come home? I've been wrong before, :)


20 May 10 - 10:46 PM (#2910999)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Neil D

I hear this movie features one of my favorite musicians, Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea, playing Allan A'Dayle who, if memory serves, was the resident balladeer of the Merry Men. Does he have much screen time? Is he the one mentioned earlier playing mandolin? (lute would have been more appropriate)


21 May 10 - 12:43 AM (#2911033)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Bert

Talking of accents. The best example of handling accent was in the TV sitcom 'Allo, 'Allo.

Everyone spoke English but those who were supposed to be French spoke with a French Accent. The 'English' Gendarme who couldn't speak French spoke wit a French accent but mispronounced most of the vowels.


21 May 10 - 01:59 AM (#2911045)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: GUEST,Andrew

King Richard was French and the legend of Robin usually portrays him as one of Richard's Knights/Earls that has been outlawed. If he existed at all,I doubt if he would have spoken with a present day accent of any sort. We will never know what any accent was like 800 years ago! Accents change and develop in relatively short periods of time, lookm at the USA and Australia as examples. What is important is good acting and clear speech, after all the purpose of the film is entertainment. I am always skeptical of films that say things such as "The Untold Story" "The Truth Behind The Fiction" The Arthur film a few years back was another example of such tripe.

P.S. Where's my plectrum?


21 May 10 - 02:05 AM (#2911047)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: GUEST,Allan

"But, wasn't the Wayne character in Quiet Man an Irish expate come home? I've been wrong before, :) "

On reading the synopsis yes he was returning to the land of his birth which he left as a child. So I suppose it depends on what age one would leave as to whether he'd have a US or Irish accent.


21 May 10 - 03:26 AM (#2911063)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Dave Hanson

Point taken Abdul, I'm a West Yorkshireman myself.

Dave


21 May 10 - 03:35 AM (#2911065)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Abdul The Bul Bul

You should have said that at first Dave. I would never have tried to tell you something!
To get back to the thread....Who cares?....It's a film it's not real life. Cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers, Tommies and Jerries, goodies and baddies, not a bleedin history lesson.
Al


21 May 10 - 06:23 AM (#2911130)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Dave Hanson

Robin O'Hood then ? played by a New Zealander, the mind boggles, Sean Bean would have been better.

Dave H


21 May 10 - 06:47 AM (#2911136)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Manitas_at_home

Ah yes. Sean Bean played Richard Sharpe but couldn't get the Wapping accent so they rewrote the character as coming from Torkshire.


21 May 10 - 07:17 AM (#2911152)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Bonzo3legs

It certainly sounded slightly Irish, but does it really matter. It's a damned good film, with great battle scenes - but why does the soundtrack have to be played so loud? It was so loud in fact that it masked the sound of the compulsive eating of pop corn, it did not unfortunately mask it's hideous smell.

It's amazing how few people could be bothered to watch the credits - I counted 2 others besides ourselves! I do not consider a film watched until I have seen who was Gaffer.


21 May 10 - 07:41 AM (#2911170)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Manitas_at_home

Did I really type Torkshire? Yorkshire.

We always watch the credits, especially animations. You'd be surprised at what delights you miss if you skip out before the very end.


21 May 10 - 08:44 AM (#2911205)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Anne Lister

I think you could make a case for a wide variety of accents being possible for Robin Hood - it's just that in this case Crowe aimed for one accent and missed, and clearly didn't like being told as much.


21 May 10 - 01:39 PM (#2911383)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Dave Hanson

Sean Bean is from Sheffield, which was still in Yorkshire last time I looked.

Dave H


21 May 10 - 04:20 PM (#2911521)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Little Hawk

They should've got Chongo to play the part.


21 May 10 - 06:12 PM (#2911602)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: GUEST,Shimrod

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


21 May 10 - 06:33 PM (#2911617)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


21 May 10 - 08:51 PM (#2911716)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Little Hawk

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. ;-)


21 May 10 - 10:59 PM (#2911763)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Ebbie

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?


22 May 10 - 08:30 AM (#2911907)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


22 May 10 - 09:31 AM (#2911929)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: GUEST,Allan

"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.


22 May 10 - 11:19 AM (#2911962)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Ebbie

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". .


22 May 10 - 01:09 PM (#2912019)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Anne Lister

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.


22 May 10 - 02:10 PM (#2912050)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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


22 May 10 - 02:25 PM (#2912057)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: 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. 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).


22 May 10 - 02:39 PM (#2912066)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Ebbie

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.


22 May 10 - 03:57 PM (#2912096)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Maryrrf

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.


23 May 10 - 02:40 AM (#2912371)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Amergin

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


23 May 10 - 05:32 AM (#2912410)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Dave Hanson

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


23 May 10 - 05:47 AM (#2912413)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Anne Lister

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.


23 May 10 - 06:41 AM (#2912431)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Amergin

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


23 May 10 - 10:15 AM (#2912497)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Ebbie

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?


24 May 10 - 08:10 AM (#2913022)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: A Wandering Minstrel

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. :)


24 May 10 - 09:00 AM (#2913067)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Rob Naylor

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!!!


24 May 10 - 09:10 AM (#2913075)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Dave Hanson

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


24 May 10 - 02:35 PM (#2913284)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Edthefolkie

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).


24 May 10 - 06:00 PM (#2913431)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Ebbie

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.


24 May 10 - 09:41 PM (#2913593)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: maple_leaf_boy

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


24 May 10 - 11:48 PM (#2913655)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Shanghaiceltic

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.


25 May 10 - 12:15 AM (#2913664)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: Ebbie

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.


25 May 10 - 09:53 AM (#2913918)
Subject: RE: Accents: Russel Crowe and Robin Hood?
From: GUEST,Neil D

Fightin' Round the World w/Russell Crowe