Go to the Telegraph and be amused at the photo essay: "When British Accents Go Bad," a compendium of movies set in in the UK with non-Brits, mostly Americans, cast as British characters, and whose mangling of Blighty patois is rightly described as "cringe-worthy." The Telegraph's picks are spot-on (you might say). There is, however, a crying need for the logical sequel to this piece: "When American Accents Go Bad," which gives us examples non-Americans having a go at American accents, with equally egregious results.
There are oh-so-many possible nominations for the dubious honor roll but I offer just one, the BBC's adaptation of Anthony Trollope's "The Way We Live Now," which nicely illustrates British cinema's propensity for assuming all Americans speak in laughably bad southern accents, regardless whence in America the characters may hale, which in this case is Kansas (Mrs. Hurtle) and California (Hamilton K. Fisker). Neither of the actors playing the parts are British; Miranda Otto is Australian, Michael Riley is Canadian (and should know better). The absurd and amateurish accents they effect must have been at the behest of the series' director, David Yates. Well, yippee ki-yay, old chap!
Readers on both sides of the pond are encouraged to offer their own pain-inducing examples of bad American accents in British flicks.