Americans in Foreign Cinema

I always find it funny to watch a foreign film and to see the absolutely horrible actors they get to play American and British people.

The two Japanese war films I spoke about in my other look at foreign war films below also had preposterously bad Caucasian actors. In “The Burmese Harp” the British soldiers are a couple of the worst actors I’ve laid eyes upon. The one in charge blinks so much you want to give him an eye drop. And what was even more upsetting was that when we finally come upon the American soldiers in “Letters from Iwo Jima”…you know the ones that kill the Japanese hostages…they were horrible too! This is an American production and they still couldn’t find solid English speaking actors. I mean it’s one thing when it’s a martial arts extravaganza, but Clint Eastwood?

Thankfully one film I saw recently put some of my worries to rest. It’s interesting because it’s a film that contains one of my favorite scenes, a scene that influenced more so than most, and the first time I saw it was flipping through channels a long time ago, long before I saw the film for the first time which was actually a few nights ago. I stopped on a channel intrigued by a man dressed in white sitting on a beach. The image was in black and white. And he notices a blond young woman calling to him from the other side of a portion of the beach where the ocean water has separated them. She calls to him, trying to tell him something, but the waves are too loud. He can’t make out what she’s saying. That’s all I’m going to say, because I hate giving away endings. But I understood it, even at my young age and without having seen the whole film. One of those moments in which it hits you, the extent of what something can be and mean. Many of you will know what this movie is, some may not have seen it. I did not see the whole film until recently and I wasn’t aware that it contained this scene until the end. It gave me chills to come across this scene again especially in it’s complete context. “La Dolce Vita” by Fellini. And to get back to the point, it was nice to see English speaking actors in a foreign film that could actually act, even though it made us look very foolish, and the actress was actually Swedish. You win some…

Anyone else think of a foreign film in which we the people of America were portrayed by talentless hacks?

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