The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

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swills
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by swills »

Did the Universal VIP tour in November 2011, the tour guide was interested that he had two 'UK guys' on board, and that he had something to show us! so off we went, on the trip, and I do have to say the VIP tour is darn good, and so is the meal you get! anyway got to a part of the lot that had been rebuilt after the fire a few years ago, 'where are our English guys" ? and he said "What do you think of our new London set" ? to which we replied "This is London" ? ! he seemed a tad deflated with our reply :-) did not look much like London to us, but maybe when it all dressed up, they may get away with it looking a little bit like Notting Hill, although I am not sure! going again next week, and got a fair deal on the VIP tour, will if anything has changed..... some of the 'rides' are fantastic though,

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Shaqui
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Shaqui »

swills wrote:Did the Universal VIP tour in November 2011, the tour guide was interested that he had two 'UK guys' on board, and that he had something to show us! so off we went, on the trip, and I do have to say the VIP tour is darn good, and so is the meal you get! anyway got to a part of the lot that had been rebuilt after the fire a few years ago, 'where are our English guys" ? and he said "What do you think of our new London set" ? to which we replied "This is London" ? ! he seemed a tad deflated with our reply :-) did not look much like London to us, but maybe when it all dressed up, they may get away with it looking a little bit like Notting Hill, although I am not sure! going again next week, and got a fair deal on the VIP tour, will if anything has changed..... some of the 'rides' are fantastic though,
Reminds me of the very stylised 'England' of Epcot when I visited in the 1980s.

I don't recall this building:

http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/ ... -pavilion/

- as it was more cobbled lanes leading to cosy village style shops and a red telephone box back then but it's the national caricature again.

Admittedly, their France Pavilion with its scaled down Eiffel Tower as backdrop was more impressive when almost in its shadow, than it looks in this long shot:

http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/ ... -pavilion/

George White
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by George White »

Another bad cliche is putting a phone box outside an American building to justify it...

Murder she Wrote's Ireland got everything wrong. Ponytails not curly wigs in Irish dancing. Canadian accents, NYPD Garda, US cop cars, stock footage for streets...

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Nick Cooper 625
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Shaqui wrote:Reminds me of the very stylised 'England' of Epcot when I visited in the 1980s.

I don't recall this building:

http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/ ... -pavilion/

- as it was more cobbled lanes leading to cosy village style shops and a red telephone box back then but it's the national caricature again.

Admittedly, their France Pavilion with its scaled down Eiffel Tower as backdrop was more impressive when almost in its shadow, than it looks in this long shot:

http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/ ... -pavilion/
Laughbale, although neither is quite as terrifying as their take on Germany!
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

jno
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by jno »

I'd need to check, but I seem to remember some 89/90 Mission Impossible series being set in London or the English countryside with car number plate spacing all over the place. It's always great to see this, and even though I know they are not really there, somehow I still think they are there - love it. Wasn't the Columbo shot even reversed?

George White
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by George White »

It was Australia. The Irish one had red phoneboxes, though I think it was a cross-border town called BallyNaGragh.

marsey
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by marsey »

This thread reminds me of The Comic Strip Present's... The Strike. Americans seemed to such an idealised version of Britain, and this tv programme perfectly epitomised it.

George White
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by George White »

Agents of SHIELD recently had the Universal backlot as Belarus/a brief shot of London, jarring with real footage of Stockholm.

Star Trek - Voyager has terrible holo-suite versions of Ireland and sub-Jane Austinian period Britain.

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Shaqui
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Shaqui »

George White wrote:Agents of SHIELD recently had the Universal backlot as Belarus/a brief shot of London, jarring with real footage of Stockholm.
And every actress in a US series who is English/pretending to be English now has to channel Renee Zellweger playing Bridget Jones, it seems... (yes, I'm looking at you Agent Simmons)

didi-5
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by didi-5 »

There was an American version of Hound of the Baskervilles with Stewart Granger which had a depiction of Baker Street that really was beyond belief!

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David Boothroyd
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by David Boothroyd »

Do French depictions of British dress count?

Soundtrack could be regarded as NSFW

ayrshireman
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by ayrshireman »

Shaqui wrote:
George White wrote:Agents of SHIELD recently had the Universal backlot as Belarus/a brief shot of London, jarring with real footage of Stockholm.
And every actress in a US series who is English/pretending to be English now has to channel Renee Zellweger playing Bridget Jones, it seems... (yes, I'm looking at you Agent Simmons)
Agreed. Nice looking girl, but her performance is jolly hockey sticks to the nth degree. Almost self-parodic. Mind you, as someone who finds the whole comic book phenomenon lost on them, I am not well disposed to the programme itself. Cartoony, lacking irony and self-awareness.

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Anthony McKay
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Anthony McKay »

David Boothroyd wrote:Do French depictions of British dress count?

Soundtrack could be regarded as NSFW
This just shows that French TV really has not changed in 30 years - I'd love to think that they have avoided house restoration and cooking shows and they still churn out these incomprehensible daily over-long shows featuring teams of regulars talking over each other.

George White
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by George White »

Relic Hunter had a particularly offensive Ireland, with Morris Minors used as Taxis in Dublin, c.2001, number plates all wrong and the Oirish warring clan a bunch of poor Man's Brian Dennehies who claimed to be the descendants of Brian Boru. The real direct desdendant of Brian Boru, king of Ireland bizarrely is in fact the Royal Family, as the Queen Mum was a descendant of the Borus, Boru anglicised to Bowe, then Bowes-Lyon

George White
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by George White »

Lost had a British nappy company called "Butties' Diapers", without realising the latter word is rarely used in the UK.

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Nick Cooper 625
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

George White wrote:Lost had a British nappy company called "Butties' Diapers", without realising the latter word is rarely used in the UK.
And we're back to this:

Image
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

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Richard A
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Richard A »

Slightly OT, but we've been to France and back, so...

As far as television adaptations of Francis Durbridge's work is concerned, we had a few in the Britain, but they were a major staple of German television from the end of the fifties to the late eighties and all of them were set in Britain, if not all filmed here. Until the Wirtschaftwunder had kicked in sufficiently to fund overseas (i.e. in Britain) location shooting, the first few mini-series of Durbridge adaptations were, with one exception, filmed in Germany with the usual scattering of post boxes and telephone boxes, some realistic, some not so. In addition, British cars were used whenever possible, mostly left hand drive, but sometimes right hand drive (borrowed from or ex- British Forces personnel?). When Hamburg locations were used, the look was reasonably authentic because north German architecture is not so different from British, with brick walls and similar house formats, but when Munich locations were used it didn't work so well.

The second German TV Durbridge Es ist soweit (1960) was filmed here before production of the next few returned to Germany, maybe it had proven to be too expensive. In 'Es ist soweit', the German crew were presumably short of a supporting actor to play a cyclist who the hero stops to ask the way, so our very own Peter Halliday was drafted in to play the part, IIRC dubbed into German.

Real British location filming returned in the form of selected central London sequences in Ein Mann namens Harry Brent (1967) and then with a vengeance in 'Wie ein Blitz' (1970) which included a lot of location filming in London, Hampshire and Dorset including a thrilling police hovercraft chase off Purbeck.

George White
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by George White »

Nick Cooper 625 wrote:
George White wrote:Lost had a British nappy company called "Butties' Diapers", without realising the latter word is rarely used in the UK.
And we're back to this:

Image
My theory is Butties' were doing a "Lew Grade", trying to appeal to the US market.

George White
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by George White »

didi-5 wrote:There was an American version of Hound of the Baskervilles with Stewart Granger which had a depiction of Baker Street that really was beyond belief!
My favourite, yes, using the same streets at the Little Europe backlot used in most of the Basil Rathbone Holmes films, but filming in colour now shows that the village set (which was of Mediterranean design to be used as Mexican, Spanish, Italian etc) looks more Rio Grande than Dartmoor. And Anthony Zerbe's accent

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Bernie
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Bernie »

I just watched NCIS season 12 ep 3. A chance to show David McCallum at his best, but also a chance to do their worst with "English" stuff. An address in Beaconsfield with a four digit house number, and a railway station set straight from the tradition of Union Station, Washington. And one of those American actors who really can't do the accent as an American style station info people - "Lord luv a duck, etc". The end scene on the Thames embankment - where the Hustle crew tended to go to do London scenery - was excellent, though - all green screen but really difficult to tell.

B

George White
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by George White »

Bernie wrote:I just watched NCIS season 12 ep 3. A chance to show David McCallum at his best, but also a chance to do their worst with "English" stuff. An address in Beaconsfield with a four digit house number, and a railway station set straight from the tradition of Union Station, Washington. And one of those American actors who really can't do the accent as an American style station info people - "Lord luv a duck, etc". The end scene on the Thames embankment - where the Hustle crew tended to go to do London scenery - was excellent, though - all green screen but really difficult to tell.

B
I thought that they were almost trying to mirror those UNCLE eps where they'd go to London and it'd be a chunk of the MGM backlot.
The station clerk I initially thought he was French, he sounded like he was trying to do a bad drunk Maurice Chevalier meets Inspector Clouseau.

SteveBoyce
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by SteveBoyce »

Richard A wrote: Real British location filming returned in the form of selected central London sequences in Ein Mann namens Harry Brent (1967) and then with a vengeance in 'Wie ein Blitz' (1970) which included a lot of location filming in London, Hampshire and Dorset including a thrilling police hovercraft chase off Purbeck.
Wie ein Blitz is great and apparently the ending was Francis Durbidge's preferred finale over the original (Bat out of Hell). And yes it's all with "proper" UK locations, though still with VT studio interiors sadly.

antoniod
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by antoniod »

I don't know if this is on topic, but here in the US there were all these commercials in the 80s-90s with actors imitating John Cleese. And today, faux British accents are the big thing on "Adverts", even though the setting for these is usually not Britain.

antoniod
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by antoniod »

And American TV prints of THREE INTO TWO WON'T GO and SECRET CEREMONY had the usual fake Brit Universal backlot scenes added to them in order to conform to NBC Network standards and practices. Ceremony even ended with Liz Taylor's murderess getting a plea of not guilty BY REASON OF INSANITY!!

George White
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by George White »

They did it to their Hammers - Phantom of the Opera, Evil of Frankenstein, Kiss of the Vampire and Hands of the Ripper all had added footage, the latter with Severn Darden as an alleged pal of Eric Porter's character.

I was watching again recently an episode of the Hardy Boys Mysteries with Patrick Macnee playing a bowler-hatted secret agent in London known only as "S" - obviously a thinly-disguised Steed. It used the backlot, the same footage of the spinning "New Scotland Yard" sign, Pernell Roberts from Bonanza as a Mid-Atlantic accented Inspector and the likes of Ian Abercrombie in roles as flustered coppers... James Booth too, after he moved to the US.

I also rewatched some Mission Impossible in tribute to Nimoy, and one of them - Lover's Knot was set in London/the Paramount Backlot with suspiciously mountainous countryside outside London.

I also ordered some Night Gallery box sets, which I remember aside from the episode - The Doll in season 1, which was set in a rather mannered and authentic (bar Henry Silva in brownface) upper-class Victorian London milieu, has several episodes set in the UK, as they were often adapted from British short stories, usually found in the Pan Books of Horror Stories...

antoniod
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by antoniod »

British expat John Williams appeared in a lot of US TV episodes set in Britain, but I think he became best known stateside for a TV ad where he appeared on behalf of a classical music package:"I'm sure you recognize this lovely melody, 'Stranger in Paradise', but did you know that it's actually from the Polyvetsian Dances by Borodin".......

George White
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by George White »

antoniod wrote:British expat John Williams appeared in a lot of US TV episodes set in Britain, but I think he became best known stateside for a TV ad where he appeared on behalf of a classical music package:"I'm sure you recognize this lovely melody, 'Stranger in Paradise', but did you know that it's actually from the Polyvetsian Dances by Borodin".......
Yes, he was in Lover's Knot of Mission Impossible, Columbo, the Stewart Granger Hound of the Baskervilles, Night Gallery, a lot of Hitchcock stuff... He was also in some Tommy Trinder and Will Hay films.
Ironically, he was cut out of the one British-made film he did in his US-based era - the Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. He had worked with Wilder before in Witness for the Prosecution.

George White
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by George White »

Monkees TV biopic has Toronto as Manchester. http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_356696-...utemaster.html
LOL
Toronto has doubled for England many times - Jumper, Total Recall remake, even in Equus, a British film which had to be made in Canada, A. Because of the fact Burton was a tax refuge, and B. Because this was the era of the UK-Canadian tax shelter co-production.
http://pics.imcdb.org/0is26/eq10.5731.jpg
Also discovered Mighty Joe Young 1998 and What's Love Got To Do With It have brief bits in London - shot on backlot

Richard F
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by Richard F »

The Sing a Song of Murder episode of Murder She Wrote was shown last night on ITV - dear God but what were they thinking? A Northern accented (!) Patrick Macnee playing a Archie Rice type comic, while his partner (played by Angela Lansbury) belts out music hall numbers from the Edwardian era to a half filled auditorium that includes a couple of faux punks! And the street scenes make Austin Power's London look like something from Ken Loach......

George White
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Re: The Worst US TV and film depictions of Britain

Post by George White »

Richard F wrote:The Sing a Song of Murder episode of Murder She Wrote was shown last night on ITV - dear God but what were they thinking? A Northern accented (!) Patrick Macnee playing a Archie Rice type comic, while his partner (played by Angela Lansbury) belts out music hall numbers from the Edwardian era to a half filled auditorium that includes a couple of faux punks! And the street scenes make Austin Power's London look like something from Ken Loach......
Yes, they were actually using the New York street IIRC not the European streets at Universal, so the streets are wider despite a Roller, a black cab and a Routemaster.
Also, Glynis Johns as an Oirish lady, Olivia Hussey supposedly playing a Mancunian with her vague "all-over-the-Commonwealth" accent.
And Latinos in white suits and turbans as extras!

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