When I saw New York Magazine’s Vulture blog did a slideshow about the worst Southern accents in the movies, with clips of real-life speakers from the actual towns that were supposed to be represented, I was delighted to see some recognition that not all Southerners sound like L’il Abner and that there are distinctive differences based on region and culture. As we say in the South, bless their hearts.
My own pick for the worst Southern accent I ever heard on screen was in a British miniseries I saw on PBS many years ago. I genuinely thought the character had a speech impediment. Vulture picks Nicolas Cage for their all-time worst, but I’d go for John Travolta (“A Love Song for Bobby Long”). Best? Ms. Meryl Streep, of course, in “The Seduction of Joe Tynan.” She said she based her honeyed tones on Dinah Shore.