I saw some films with Laurence Olivier in them recently. I noticed that he sounds different from other actors of his time. I'm Italian, and he almost sounds as an Italian man with a very good English accent (1). He had a sort of machine-gun prosody, the words bumped into each other, in a way, rather than merge, which is usually a factor for identifying a non-native English speaker. Why is that? I'm pretty much used to old British actors, but Olivier doesn't sound, in my opinion, like others. The vowels, too, resemble Italian vowels; they sound less foreign to me.
(1) Not because of flaps. By the way, many actors of his time used them, but Olivier's flaps sometimes sound d's to me.
Bye, FB

"Che cos'รจ un fallo da tergo? E non stiamo parlando della tua vita privata."
(Intervista della Gialappa's Band a Elisabetta Canalis)
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I saw some films with Laurence Olivier in them recently. I noticed that he sounds different from other actors of ... Olivier doesn't sound, in my opinion, like others. The vowels, too, resemble Italian vowels; they sound less foreign to me.

Born in Dorking, Surrey. He had a distinctive, mannered way of speaking.
John Dean
Oxford
I saw some films with Laurence Olivier in them recently. ... too, resemble Italian vowels; they sound less foreign to me.

Born in Dorking, Surrey. He had a distinctive, mannered way of speaking.

Now; is the winter; of, our dis-content; made glorious summer, by, this son, of York.
Or maybe not, But he was well recognisable in parody.
Paul
In bocca al Lupo!
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I saw some films with Laurence Olivier in them recently. I noticed that he sounds different from other actors of ... Olivier doesn't sound, in my opinion, like others. The vowels, too, resemble Italian vowels; they sound less foreign to me.

There are some who consider Olivier to be an utter and complete ham. (At least, that's my seventy-billion lira's worth.)
Rudolf
I saw some films with Laurence Olivier in them recently. I noticed that he sounds different from other actors of ... By the way, many actors of his time used them, but Olivier's flaps sometimes sound d's to me. Bye, FB

Born English, in England, son of an English clergyman. Spoke TURP when he wanted to.
I saw some films with Laurence Olivier in them recently. ... vowels, too, resembleItalian vowels; they sound less foreign to me.

There are some who consider Olivier to be an utter and completeham. (At least, that's my seventy-billion lira's worth.)

As John and Paul say, his speech was artificially constructed for a particular verse-speaking purpose. Thrilling in live performance, I can assure you; but I don't think it would work at all these days.

Having said I don't think it would work any more, I must add that he'd have been just as great in Shakespeare if he were forty years old today: he'd just have developed a different style. I found it interesting to see how his vignette in the BBC Brideshead Revisited just didn't fit. This was unusual, as in various film roles I always found him distinguished by his ability to inhabit a character, sometimes to the point of self-effacement. Actors of previous generations can often seem a bit hammy in hindsight; but it isn't hammy at all.
Mike.
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Born in Dorking, Surrey.

Do you think this affected his accent?
Now; is the winter; of, our dis-content; made glorious summer, by, this son, of York.

I only remember Ian McKellen (great actor)'s version at the moment.
Or maybe not, But he was well recognisable in parody.

Padody?
In bocca al Lupo!

Is a "Lupo" more important than a "lupo"?
Bye, FB

Nasalization is just a part of life.
(Joey DoWop Dee on it.cultura.linguistica.inglese)
I saw some films with Laurence Olivier in them recently. I noticed that he sounds different from other actors of his time.

As Mike Lyle posted, LO's voice was designed for the "live theatre," thus nowadays seems old-fashioned in many movie performances. But this is less significant. than that he was an old-fashioned actor i.e. trained early in the 20th century when it was desirable for an actor's voice to vary just as much as his gait. Olivier and his rival John Gielgud were both very proud of the range of their voices; (their other friend and rival, Ralph Richardson opted out of this rivalry, viz. did not seek to offer a range of speaking styles.) Olivier spoke quite differently as Hamlet, Romeo, Lear, Richard III, Othello (a
Caribbean accent in the 1960s!), Uncle Vanya,
Archie Rice (The Entertainer), a Nazi dentist, and so on.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
In bocca al Lupo!

Is a "Lupo" more important than a "lupo"?

It's just my little joke.

Paul Wolff
In bocca al Lupo!
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