With an endless amount of stereotypes, Scots are a film writer’s dream. Playing on all manner of (slightly racist) myths and legends they are normally subject to ridicule and end up upsetting every inhabitant of the Highlands.
But that doesn’t upset the Scots quite as much as a dodgy accent. Here is are our pick of the worst offenders.
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Christopher Lambert is clearly the first name that springs to mind. His dismal attempt at a Scottish accent in 1986’s ‘Highlander’ has become infamous. Sounding more like a drunken Norwegian (despite being French) for the entire movie, voters decided it was the worst Scottish accent of all time, topping a poll back in 2008 with a staggering 42%. For some reason, the movie cast Scottish born Sean Connery as an immortal Egyptian/Scot. Cue confusing accents all round.
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Never one to shy away from controversy, Mel Gibson was widely lampooned for more than his total disregard for history in his epic Scot-buster ‘Braveheart’. Not content with altering a nation’s history, he added salt in the gaping factual wound by delivering a terrible Scottish brogue to boot. Merging Australian, American and pseudo-Scottish accents within the same sentence is never going to work. It’s no wonder he needed to dub over his own voice in ‘Mad Max’.
Mike Myers can definitely do a decent Scottish accent as he proved in black comedy ‘So I Married An Axe Murder’. Considering his Scottish heritage and rampant Anglophilia it’s a surprise he took liberties with all the Scottish stereotypes in ‘Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me’ and the ‘Shrek’ films. Clearly they were over-the-top performances but even he must have realised how ridiculous his accent sounded. Perhaps it was drowned out by all the laughter…
Normally considered as a trusty veteran in the movie industry, even Sir Michael Caine has a few bloopers in closet. One such misdemeanor was his abysmal Scottish dialect in 1971’s drama ‘Kidnapped’. He starred alongside Lawrence Douglas as a couple of Scots escaping a slave ship and subsequent journey back to Edinburgh.
1995’s ‘Rob Roy’ was filmed entirely on location and, with the exception of Jessica Lange, the entire cast nailed their Scottish accents. This was unfortunate. While the rest of the cast eased their way through the tricky Scottish idiom, Lange’s overly ‘r-rolling’ attempt stuck out like a dismembered thumb covered in neon paint.
Classic comedy flick ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ starred Robin Williams as a divorced father desperately trying to spend time with his children. Deciding the best way to do so was to dress up as an elderly lady, Williams changes his accent to hide his real identity. Despite claiming to be English, Williams’ attempt at the Scottish drawl was so poor that filmmakers even had to slip in a joke about how odd his/her accent was.
Which other terrible Scottish accents can you think of? Let us know below…