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[WATCH] Here's Why Actors Acted So Differently in Old Movies

Have you ever noticed that actors act differently in the classic American movies? Well actors used to have very different, American accents in the earlier part of the 20th century movies.

If you have ever seen an American movie from the 1940s and earlier, you might have wondered why the actors sound so different from actors today. This video from HowStuffWorks explains the accent, referred to as the Mid-Atlantic or Transatlantic accent: It is not just actors, but also anyone form the higher class society at the time: This type of pronunciation is called the Transatlantic, or Mid-Atlantic, accent. And it isn’t like most other accents – instead of naturally evolving, the Transatlantic accent was acquired. This means that people in the United States were taught to speak in this voice. Historically Transatlantic speech was the hallmark of aristocratic America and theatre. In upper-class boarding schools across New England, students learned the Transatlantic accent as an international norm for communication, similar to the way posh British society used Received Pronunciation – essentially, the way the Queen and aristocrats are taught to speak. Here's an example from the classic movie Casablanca: If you're from Northeast, you have probably heard the accent from older men and women who grew up around this time. As for actors in this era, since this was the accent of upper-class elites, it was the one also taught to actors. Though it stopped being used over time, you can hear it all the time in older movies. This is because method acting and other natural styles of acting changed the way people talked in movies and TV shows.

What do you think? Are you going to start talking with a Mid-Atlantic or Transatlantic accent? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below!

 

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