Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Death of an Icon

So with the recent death of Charlton Heston, where does he deserve to belong among the list of the great Hollywood stars?

This is an actor who in the 50s and 60s, worked with every great director from William Wyler to Orson Welles. An actor who became the go-to guy for dozens of epic films from Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments to El Cid and 55 Days At Peking.

I am going to go ahead and say it, Charlton Heston was one of the greatest actors of the 50s and 60s. Simple as that. He wasn't the most talented, he wasn't the most skilled but he knew how to choose quality films and even if he was miscast...he could still pull it off and make you believe he was British, American or Mexican. He was a gutsy actor who knew how to use his limited talents to their utmost.

Sure, as he got older, he became less picky. The Planet Of The Apes works only because of the script and the Apes films that followed but Soylent Green may be one of the worst sci-fi films ever made and The Omega Man is almost laughable.

It is just too bad that his work in the latter part of his career along with his affiliation with the NRA had really reduced his importance in Hollywood. Hopefully after his death, people will revisit the early part of his career.

5 Great Charlton Heston Scenes

1. Ben-Hur (the chariot scene)

2. Touch Of Evil (the great opening crane shot all done in one take)

3. The Planet Of The Apes (have to include that famous final scene)

4. The Ten Commandments (the parting of the Red Sea)

5. Wayne's World 2 (no, I am not kidding-this is a fitting tribute)



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