Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Pry it from my cold, dead hands

I was thinking today about Charlton Heston. I don't know was just one of those random epiphanies that I often have in the excremeditation chamber (aka, the bathroom). What? That's where I do most of MY best thinking. It's been empirically shown that most brilliant ideas and breakthroughs occur while the in the "thinking position."

So, anyway, it occurred to me just what a glorious movie career this man has had, and I wondered what an impact those roles must have had on his personal outlook and psyche. Let's take a look and I'll show you what I mean.

Briefly, we're talking about a man who has played biblical figures Moses AND God. His "historical" roles include Judah Ben Hur, Michaelangelo, El Cid, Sherlock Holmes, Andrew Jackson, and the shaper-of-worlds Thomas Jefferson. That alone is an impressive list, and most of them were impressive performances.

And then there are his BEST roles, or they're MY favorites at least.

In Omega Man, Heston portrayed a man who woke up to find himself one of the last survivors of a vampiric plague. Luckily he was saved by a hot babe with a gun.

In The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers, he was the malevolent puppeteer behind the throne, Cardinal Richelieu. A minor role in the films, but an important character. By the way, it SHOULD go without saying that these are the ONLY versions of the story to see. Seriously with the talents of Richard Chamberlain, Michael York, Oliver Reed, Frank Finlay, and Christopher Lee(!) could any other version compete? And that's not counting the beauty and stunning performances of Raquel Welch and Faye Dunaway!! Mmm...Faye Dunaway...

Soylent Green presented him as the man who uncovered the truth about the world's overpopulation problem. He also delivers one of his most famous taglines in this movie.

Planet of the Apes remains one of my most treasured boyhood films. Not only do we get gorilla cowboys and my first look at science fiction, but we get Heston's greatest moment in film history: his emotional breakdown on the beach at the close of the movie.

One of the best things about these movies is you always get plenty of Charlton Heston musing about his (character's) lot in the Grand Scheme of Things. It's roles like these that turn humble, so-so actors into brilliant men. Men who are capable of going on to lead the free world's gun club.

And, as an aside, all four of those movies are based on really good them!

And that was pretty much the thought that came to me in an instant of neural explosions. I don't really know where these things come from. Maybe, standing there, head bowed and alone with my own inner musings, I just felt some kind of kinship to the man. Yes, you can take this from me when you can pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Wait, that's not where I wanted this to go at all. I just wanted to talk about Charlton Heston's awesome B-movie film career. Where'd that other stuff come from? *sigh*

Playing on XM: Los Lonely Boys

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