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Charlton Heston dies

Old 04-07-08, 04:17 PM
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The following is from tcm.com; the writer is Michael T. Toole:

TCM Schedule Change for Charlton Heston Memorial Tribute on Friday, April 11th

In Tribute to actor Charlton Heston, who died Saturday, April 5th at age 84, TCM is changing its evening programming on Friday, April 11th to honor the actor with a six-film salute.

Friday, April 11th:
2:30 PM Private Screenings: Charlton Heston
3:30 PM The Buccaneer (’58)
5:30 PM The Hawaiians
8:00 PM Private Screenings: Charlton Heston
9:00 PM Ben-Hur
1:00 AM Khartoum
3:30 AM Major Dundee

TCM Remembers Charlton Heston (1924-2008)

Charlton Heston, the strong-jawed, stalwart leading man who shot to fame in big budget epics such as The Greatest Show on Earth, The Ten Commandments and his Oscar® winning lead in Ben-Hur (1959), died at his Beverly Hills home on April 5. The cause of death was not reported, but in 2002, Heston publicly revealed that he was possibly suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 84.

He was born John Charles Carter on October 4, 1923 in Evanston, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. His father, a lumber mill operator, relocated his family to St. Helen, Michigan, where young Charles developed his young physique playing in the rural woods. He relocated to Chicago when his parents divorced and his mother remarried a factory plant manager. It was during high school that Heston discovered the drama department.

He attended Northwestern University on a theater scholarship but, like most men of his generation, his civilian life was interrupted by the war. At 19, he joined the Army Air Force. After his four year stint with the military, Heston resumed his acting pursuits and moved to New York City with his wife, Lydia (she was a fellow theater student at Northwestern; they married in 1944).

It was slowing going at first, but Heston found work on television playing in such literary adaptations as Wuthering Heights and Julius Caesar. With a new professional name (named after his mother’s maiden name and his stepfather’s surname) and some steady television credits, he was soon discovered by producer Hal B. Wallis, who gave Heston, at the young age of 26, a lead in his first commercial film, the noir thriller Dark City (1950).

From that point on, Heston starred in a series of high profile films: The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), The President’s Lady (1953), The Private War of Major Benson (1955), and as Moses in The Ten Commandments (1956). He surprised everyone by playing a Mexican federale for Orson Welles' classic Touch of Evil (1958); Although many critics dismissed his portrayal due to his darkened skin and ineffective accent, his fans still commend him for taking a role that cast him against his usual type. His most famous performance was the title role in Ben-Hur (1959). In William Wyler’s stellar retelling of this biblical tale of betrayal and vengeance, Heston, with his athletic, 6’ 3” build and raw-boned features, made him a most suitable choice for the part. He received the Oscar® for Best Actor for his efforts.

After his massive commercial and critical success with Ben-Hur, Heston could practically write his own ticket - and did - in a series of action adventure yarns: El Cid (1961), 55 Days at Peking (1963, and as Michelangelo, another historical character in The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965). Yet, despite being one of Hollywood’s biggest leads, his best and most underrated performances didn’t occur until 1968 in Will Penny. In that he showed a surprising vulnerability as an aging cowpoke who falls for a stranded mother. Other late career triumphs included George Taylor, the astronaut struggling for dignity in the classic sci-fi Planet of the Apes (also 1968); an effective Marc Anthony in Julius Caesar (1970); the lone survivor of a vampiristic future in The Omega Man (1971); the detective who discovers the secret ingredient in a new food product in Soylent Green (1973); and his fine, shrewdly villainous turn as Cardinal Richelieu for both The Three Musketeers (also 1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974).

When Heston's star on the big screen faded, he turned to television, and spent two seasons (1985-87) playing patriarch Jason Colby in the Dynasty spinoff. Better still, Heston displayed a refreshing dose of self-deprecation when he twice hosted Saturday Night Live and even made a cameo in Wayne’s World 2 (1993) lampooning his stoic on-screen persona.

In later years, Heston garnered attention for his off-screen politics. He served as the president of the National Rifle Association, campaigned for Republican candidates and made a notorious on-screen appearance in Michael Moore’s Oscar® winning documentary Bowling for Columbine (2002) defending the rights of gun owners. Heston wrote a telling memoir In the Arena: An Autobiography (Berkley Trade, 1995) and followed that with a heavily illustrated review of his film career Charlton Heston’s Hollywood: 50 Years of American Filmmaking (GT Publishing Corporation 1998). He spent his later years, after he publicly revealed that he was suffering from symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s disease, living quietly at his Beverly Hills home. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Lydia; a son, Fraser; and a daughter, Holly Ann.

by Michael T. Toole
Old 04-07-08, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by rennervision
Well in all fairness, I think Charlton Heston would be quite proud of his association with the NRA, so I don't think it would be disrespectful for the media to briefly mention it when reporting on his death.
True. For a great many Americans, his association with the NRA is a mark of distinction.
Old 04-07-08, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by wm lopez
Anyone who reads it will understand why I brought this up unless of course you share Clooney's views then you will be mad.
We do understand, we just don't care. What part of that don't you understand?

You do understand this site has a 'Politics' forum, right?

On-Topic... Mr. Heston. Thanks for all those magical movie moments. As a kid, hearing a new Charlton Heston movie was coming out, was second only to a new James Bond movie!
Old 04-07-08, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by wm lopez
...bring attention to Dafor...
There's delicious irony in that snippet.
Old 04-07-08, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by rennervision
Well in all fairness, I think Charlton Heston would be quite proud of his association with the NRA, so I don't think it would be disrespectful for the media to briefly mention it when reporting on his death.
Yes, I believe you are correct. I just don't think this thread is the time or place to be airing grievences about Heston, The NRA, George Clooney OR Michael Moore. It's in poor taste, poor timing and just plain stupid
Old 04-07-08, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Carcosa
Yes, I believe you are correct. I just don't think this thread is the time or place to be airing grievences about Heston, The NRA, George Clooney OR Michael Moore. It's in poor taste, poor timing and just plain stupid
Well... that's humanity for you.
Old 04-08-08, 02:50 PM
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Oh my God. I'm back. I'm home. All the time, it was... We finally really did it.
[screaming]

You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

RIP
Old 04-08-08, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by flixtime
The following is from tcm.com; the writer is Michael T. Toole:

TCM Schedule Change for Charlton Heston Memorial Tribute on Friday, April 11th

In Tribute to actor Charlton Heston, who died Saturday, April 5th at age 84, TCM is changing its evening programming on Friday, April 11th to honor the actor with a six-film salute.

Friday, April 11th:
2:30 PM Private Screenings: Charlton Heston
3:30 PM The Buccaneer (’58)
5:30 PM The Hawaiians
8:00 PM Private Screenings: Charlton Heston
9:00 PM Ben-Hur
1:00 AM Khartoum
3:30 AM Major Dundee

TCM Remembers Charlton Heston (1924-2008)

Charlton Heston, the strong-jawed, stalwart leading man who shot to fame in big budget epics such as The Greatest Show on Earth, The Ten Commandments and his Oscar® winning lead in Ben-Hur (1959), died at his Beverly Hills home on April 5. The cause of death was not reported, but in 2002, Heston publicly revealed that he was possibly suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 84.

He was born John Charles Carter on October 4, 1923 in Evanston, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. His father, a lumber mill operator, relocated his family to St. Helen, Michigan, where young Charles developed his young physique playing in the rural woods. He relocated to Chicago when his parents divorced and his mother remarried a factory plant manager. It was during high school that Heston discovered the drama department.

He attended Northwestern University on a theater scholarship but, like most men of his generation, his civilian life was interrupted by the war. At 19, he joined the Army Air Force. After his four year stint with the military, Heston resumed his acting pursuits and moved to New York City with his wife, Lydia (she was a fellow theater student at Northwestern; they married in 1944).

It was slowing going at first, but Heston found work on television playing in such literary adaptations as Wuthering Heights and Julius Caesar. With a new professional name (named after his mother’s maiden name and his stepfather’s surname) and some steady television credits, he was soon discovered by producer Hal B. Wallis, who gave Heston, at the young age of 26, a lead in his first commercial film, the noir thriller Dark City (1950).

From that point on, Heston starred in a series of high profile films: The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), The President’s Lady (1953), The Private War of Major Benson (1955), and as Moses in The Ten Commandments (1956). He surprised everyone by playing a Mexican federale for Orson Welles' classic Touch of Evil (1958); Although many critics dismissed his portrayal due to his darkened skin and ineffective accent, his fans still commend him for taking a role that cast him against his usual type. His most famous performance was the title role in Ben-Hur (1959). In William Wyler’s stellar retelling of this biblical tale of betrayal and vengeance, Heston, with his athletic, 6’ 3” build and raw-boned features, made him a most suitable choice for the part. He received the Oscar® for Best Actor for his efforts.

After his massive commercial and critical success with Ben-Hur, Heston could practically write his own ticket - and did - in a series of action adventure yarns: El Cid (1961), 55 Days at Peking (1963, and as Michelangelo, another historical character in The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965). Yet, despite being one of Hollywood’s biggest leads, his best and most underrated performances didn’t occur until 1968 in Will Penny. In that he showed a surprising vulnerability as an aging cowpoke who falls for a stranded mother. Other late career triumphs included George Taylor, the astronaut struggling for dignity in the classic sci-fi Planet of the Apes (also 1968); an effective Marc Anthony in Julius Caesar (1970); the lone survivor of a vampiristic future in The Omega Man (1971); the detective who discovers the secret ingredient in a new food product in Soylent Green (1973); and his fine, shrewdly villainous turn as Cardinal Richelieu for both The Three Musketeers (also 1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974).

When Heston's star on the big screen faded, he turned to television, and spent two seasons (1985-87) playing patriarch Jason Colby in the Dynasty spinoff. Better still, Heston displayed a refreshing dose of self-deprecation when he twice hosted Saturday Night Live and even made a cameo in Wayne’s World 2 (1993) lampooning his stoic on-screen persona.

In later years, Heston garnered attention for his off-screen politics. He served as the president of the National Rifle Association, campaigned for Republican candidates and made a notorious on-screen appearance in Michael Moore’s Oscar® winning documentary Bowling for Columbine (2002) defending the rights of gun owners. Heston wrote a telling memoir In the Arena: An Autobiography (Berkley Trade, 1995) and followed that with a heavily illustrated review of his film career Charlton Heston’s Hollywood: 50 Years of American Filmmaking (GT Publishing Corporation 1998). He spent his later years, after he publicly revealed that he was suffering from symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s disease, living quietly at his Beverly Hills home. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Lydia; a son, Fraser; and a daughter, Holly Ann.

by Michael T. Toole
Michael T. Toole is a tool! He mentioned the NRA but not George Clooney!
Old 04-08-08, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt
Sad news...

...but most sites are reporting his age incorrectly. Heston was 83, not 84. He was born October 4th, 1924. He wouldn't have turned 84 until this fall.

NYT updated their info. He's was still 84
Old 04-08-08, 04:05 PM
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Mr. Heston was 1 of the 3 favorite actor's my father always talked about...

1. Charlton Heston
2. John Wayne

and the other still being alive...

3. Sean Connery
Old 04-08-08, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by flixtime
The following is from tcm.com; the writer is Michael T. Toole:

TCM Schedule Change for Charlton Heston Memorial Tribute on Friday, April 11th

In Tribute to actor Charlton Heston, who died Saturday, April 5th at age 84, TCM is changing its evening programming on Friday, April 11th to honor the actor with a six-film salute.

Friday, April 11th:
2:30 PM Private Screenings: Charlton Heston
3:30 PM The Buccaneer (’58)
5:30 PM The Hawaiians
8:00 PM Private Screenings: Charlton Heston
9:00 PM Ben-Hur
1:00 AM Khartoum
3:30 AM Major Dundee

TCM Remembers Charlton Heston (1924-2008)

Great! I love the Buccaneer...not available on dvd though. Will tune in for this and remember Chuck.
Old 04-08-08, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by thursdaynighter
Great! I love the Buccaneer...not available on dvd though. Will tune in for this and remember Chuck.
Agreed, the version with Yul Brynner and Charlton Heston is a fun watch.

Have you ever seen the earlier '38 version starring Fredric March? It is a fine film in its own right. TCM has aired it recently, and as luck would have it, it is airing again in a few days (as follows):

April 12th - Saturday - 2:00 PM
The Buccaneer (1938)

French pirate Jean Lafitte tries to redeem his name helping the U.S. in the War of 1812.
Cast: Fredric March, Franciska Gaal, Akim Tamiroff. Dir: Cecil B. De Mille. BW-126 mins, TV-G, CC
Old 04-08-08, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by flixtime
Agreed, the version with Yul Brynner and Charlton Heston is a fun watch.

Have you ever seen the earlier '38 version starring Fredric March? It is a fine film in its own right. TCM has aired it recently, and as luck would have it, it is airing again in a few days (as follows):

April 12th - Saturday - 2:00 PM
The Buccaneer (1938)

French pirate Jean Lafitte tries to redeem his name helping the U.S. in the War of 1812.
Cast: Fredric March, Franciska Gaal, Akim Tamiroff. Dir: Cecil B. De Mille. BW-126 mins, TV-G, CC
Yes, I did enjoy that version too but there is just something about that uneasy alliance between Yul and Charlton...very cool. Does anyone know if the '58 version has a chance to get to dvd anytime soon?
Old 04-09-08, 08:34 AM
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A cinematic legend passes away. You will be missed.
Old 04-10-08, 04:13 AM
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I've always felt that Heston was victimized by lazy studios and directors. In a lot of movies, he wasn't allowed to act the role. Instead, he'd be cast as a cop or a pilot or whatever and told to be Ben Hur again, as if the mere casting of Heston made the character larger than life. So he was accused of being stiff.

If you see Will Penny, or some of the later supporting roles when he pokes fun at his onscreen image, you can see what he was capable of.

Still, I don't remember a single performance of his that I considered him to be slumming or just in it for the paycheck. There's a number of moves like Omega Man, Skyjacked and Earthquake that hover on the edge (or cross over) into campiness, but Heston always plays his roles straight and allows the films to maintain a bit of integrity.

Plus, he was one of the last of a bygone era of larger-than-life Hollywood icons ad he will be sorely missed for that alone. I guess Kirk Douglas is now the only one left of that stature.
Old 04-12-08, 07:58 AM
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TCM Obit

Originally Posted by pjflyer
Michael T. Toole is a tool! He mentioned the NRA but not George Clooney!
Flyer:

I don't get this one? Why is he a tool and why are you so upset? This is a standard obit that simply states a fact that he was with the NRA, something Heston was proud of. He's not passing political judgment on him. And why would he mention some obscure quote by George Clooney years ago? What bearing does that have on Heston's great career? If anything, that just gives someone else a forum on Heston's time. Also, he's writing from a journalist's standpoint, and not a message board like ours, where they concentrate more on his film work than petty gossip and mudslinging.

Personally, I like this obit and Mr. Toole (he's been TCM's obit writer forever) because he doesn't dwell on politics or lurid details on a personal life but concentrates on film performances and he's spot on about Heston's middle period here because I love "Will Penny," "The Omega Man," and damn - I almost forgot about how deliciously evil he was in "The Three Musketeers!" until this obit brought it up!

So for this thread, shouldn't we just concentrate on Heston's fine work, instead of criticizing another's political stance?
Old 04-12-08, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by stvegas
Flyer:

I don't get this one? Why is he a tool and why are you so upset? This is a standard obit that simply states a fact that he was with the NRA, something Heston was proud of. He's not passing political judgment on him. And why would he mention some obscure quote by George Clooney years ago? What bearing does that have on Heston's great career? If anything, that just gives someone else a forum on Heston's time. Also, he's writing from a journalist's standpoint, and not a message board like ours, where they concentrate more on his film work than petty gossip and mudslinging.

Personally, I like this obit and Mr. Toole (he's been TCM's obit writer forever) because he doesn't dwell on politics or lurid details on a personal life but concentrates on film performances and he's spot on about Heston's middle period here because I love "Will Penny," "The Omega Man," and damn - I almost forgot about how deliciously evil he was in "The Three Musketeers!" until this obit brought it up!

So for this thread, shouldn't we just concentrate on Heston's fine work, instead of criticizing another's political stance?
Actually my post agrees with you 100% I was targeting the stupidity of the George Clooney posts earlier in the thread.
Old 04-13-08, 11:34 AM
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I saw "Ben Hur" when I was a little kid in Hiroshima, Japan (1994). Of course it was dubbed. But only at Eastertime this year, did I see in English both "The Ten Commandments" and "Ben Hur" as originally done. Charleston Heston was a supurb actor for epics. But when you look at his career, it's amazing how few really awesome movies he made. Most of his best work was done before 1960.
The cheezy "Planent of the Apes" movies was a waste of his great talent. It's too bad that when "Ben Hur" was finished (1959), the great USA studio systems were already dying out...and therefore terrific actors who had been studio megastars had to find really stupid roles once the studio system was gone. "Airplane 1975" etc is really pathetic use of a great star.
I think "The 10 Commandments" and "Ben Hur" will stand in the quality of there work as models for all epic type movies to come. Some epics like "Gladiator" and "10,000 BC" in their set design, etc. reflect if even in a small way the grand scale and historical accuracy first seen in Charleston Heston epics .
Old 04-13-08, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by pjflyer
Actually my post agrees with you 100% I was targeting the stupidity of the George Clooney posts earlier in the thread.
Flyer:

That’s fine. I was just confused by your “Michael T. Toole is a tool” statement because it gave me the impression you were criticizing TCM’s obit writer and that puzzled me because (as I stated in my earlier post) I thought Mr. Toole’s (of TCM) obit was well-written and fair handed and he wasn’t a member on the site. But no worries, since it’s a moot issue and we’re on the same page.

I wasn’t passing judgment on you and I hope you took nothing I wrote as such.

Cheers mate,


Steve
Old 04-17-08, 03:03 AM
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My three favorite Heston films are:

1) Planet of the Apes.
2) The Big Country.
3) Will Penny.


Heston gave an intesting speech to Harvard Law Students in 1999.
Lucky for us Harvard has it up on their web site.

http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/...um/heston.html

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