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The Problem with Charlton Heston

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The excerpt from the book (two posts above) had a lot of interesting info but nothing which alters my opinion of Heston. I'm sure not gonna fault the guy for not being Larry Olivier or Alec Guinness.

And I can't fault him either, for the roles he was cast in, the path his career took (*as the studio system crumbled around him*), or for his physique/looks which typecast him for some parts and not others.

Nor can I fault him for his insecurities, his blind-spots, or his vanity. Really, his life story sounds like pretty much what I would expect to hear about the inner life most actors.

I don't go along with every conclusion the author draws even though I recognize that the article/snippet is better written than most.

Still, it shows just how difficult it is to write with complete confidence and accuracy about the sphere of theatre and theatrical personalities.

Juicy read though, thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thinking this over some more tonight. I disagree with the notion that after his 'towering' roles, Heston was floundering or wasted in smaller-scale stuff. Heartily disagree. You can see it either way: a he-man constrained by narrow straits, or those 'smaller' roles made bigger by his presence. I nod to the latter.

As for his 'big' roles...I ask you. Okay, so maybe 'Moses' was way over-the-top. But in all fairness no lesser-hewn actor could have suited as well. Heston was exactly the kind of 'figurehead' necessary to pull that off.

Its a shame that he and everyone else reversed their expectations of what he should deliver but the condition remains true that he was the best actor for these gigantic roles. He filled a niche no one else could.

So: 'Moses' and what I've stated above could excuse him for the disparity in his career if his excess only consisted of this gaudy performance. But he was also Ben-Hur! And he did a BANG-UP job! He kicked BUTT in Ben-Hur and no one else could have done the same.

When you are the best pick for huge role after huge role like this...its nothing to fault a guy on. Be fair. Stop quibbling with this guy.

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