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RIP, Charlton Heston

“I’ve played three presidents, three saints and two geniuses – and that’s probably enough for any man.” –Charlton Heston

I just got accepted into grad school and I’m looking for a new job, hence my woeful slackness in keeping things up-to-date here. While I keep working on catching things up from the last two weeks, particularly the Hitchcock project (and I’m so very close to the good stuff, but it’s rough going just at present), here is an item of particular note: Another legend passes.

Of course, the news of Charlton Heston’s death must have reached just about everywhere by now, but I couldn’t let it go by without a mention. He was, for better or worse, truly one of the most iconic major stars of the ’50s and ’60s. Could one call him, in some sense, the American Peter O’Toole? Then again, why would one have to call him by anything other than his eminently recognizable name?

Heston was probably one of the first actors I recognized by sight. As a child, I watched him win that chariot race in Ben-Hur over and over again, and never got tired of the epic length of The Ten Commandments, one of the most grandiose biblical productions (and biopics!) ever attempted. He was one of those actors that made my parents feel safe . . . they could walk into the room and ask what I was watching. “I dunno. It has Charlton Heston in it.” “Oh, okay.” These were all, of course, grand historical epics like El Cid, long before I discovered his later work in futuristic dystopias.

As a teenager, I finally saw Planet of the Apes, and it made such an impression that it served as a large fraction of the jumping off point for a science fiction movie that my friends and brothers and I filmed over the course of six months on a handheld camcorder. Recently, the release of I Am Legend made me aware of The Omega Man, which I would like very much to see . . . I’ll need to get my hands on that soon.

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~ by Jared on April 6, 2008.

One Response to “RIP, Charlton Heston”

  1. I’m actually not all that concerned about Adamson and company blowing up some of the story events for the sake of more engrandized cinematic storytelling. If they visualized the story straight, the way it is in the book, I don’t think I’d care much to see it. It’s the weakest of the seven Chronicles, I agree, but without expanding on key moments in the story visually, you really don’t have much more than a walk in the woods and a battle at the end. I’m not saying they should push the original book’s intent out of the way completely (I’m positive they won’t and haven’t, but the sounds of that AiCN report), but they can’t ignore the filmic ramifications of leaving the action scenes less impactful than those of the first film (even a Narnia-loving audience member such as myself wants to see the action get bigger and better, particularly where the original story allows it to become so). I mean, even the LW&W battle scenes were blown up from just a couple sentences of Lewis’ original story (“There was a great battle. The good guys won.”).

    Bring on Prince Caspian. I truly hope they do a great job of expanding C.S. Lewis’ original tale into breathtaking new life. Should also be very exciting to see what direction (no pun intended) Michael Apted takes the Chronicles when he directs The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

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