The Intercultural Communication of American and British in Saving Mr Banks

The Intercultural Communication of American and British in Saving Mr Banks

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The movie Saving Mr Banks starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson is a co-production of Australia, Britain and USA that combines comedy and drama genres. This movie tells the story of Walter Disney persuading the writer of Merry Poppins to sell the rights for production of the movie. There are two storylines within this movie: the autobiographical memories of Pamela Travers in Australia and the persuasion that takes place in LA and London. Within the story it is explained why it took 20 years for Disney to buy the rights for production.
The scene where Pamela Travers comes to America and meets her driver and Walter Disney demonstrates various aspects of intercultural communications. In this paper I will argue that cross-cultural differences between Americans and British in the movie Saving Mr Banks are shaping the relationships between main characters. It happens through different use of language and differences in cultural background.
Americans and British both speak English language, however the characters are faced with some challenges in verbal communication. So American English and British English shape the identity of the speaker. The writer who comes from Britain emphasises the importance of her title. She is also very cautious with use of names. She believes that strangers, acquaintances and friends have to address each other differently. This shows that English is a verbal culture.
The formal addressing is important because it reveals the intricate system of class in English society. When the driver meets the writer, he greets her using her initials and her family name. She thinks that it is inappropriate, and corrects him: “-It’s not Mrs P.L., it is Mrs.” It seems that, taking into consideration the language that Pam...


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...Basis of American Culture. http://immi.se/intercultural/nr5/aldridge.htm (accessed April 7, 2014).
Deutscher, Guy. Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages. Excerpt ‘Does Your Language Shape How You Think?’
Fox, Kate. Watching the English. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2005.
Gudykunst, William B., and Young Yun Kim. Communicating with strangers: an approach to intercultural communication. 4 ed. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., 1984.
Hall, Stuart “Cultural Identity and Diaspora” in Theorizing Diaspora, edited by Jana Evans Braziel and Anita Mannur.
Mulvaney, Becly Michele. “Gender differences in Communication : an intercultural experience” in Jandt, F. 2003, Intercultural Communication, a Global Reader.
Saving Mr. Banks. DVD. Directed by John Lee Hancock. Burbank, California, U.S.: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, 2013.

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