Sunday, April 06, 2008

Thoughts on Charlton Heston

Charlton Heston has been much on my mind today...

I've felt a sense of loss when entertainment greats have died in the past -- Astaire, Kelly, Grant, Sinatra, Stewart -- but with Heston it goes deeper than that. Due in part to his books, his activism, and his interviews, we got a good look at the man as a person. I mourn not simply the actor, but Charlton Heston the man. A man of sound principles, dedication, courtesy, and good humor.

I think one of Heston's best moments came off the screen, when he read aloud the foul lyrics from an Ice-T rap album at a Time Warner shareholders meeting, forcing the shareholders to confront the filth being sold by the company.

I particularly liked the tribute at Libertas (subject link): "The only thing more impressive than the man's career was the man." Libertas also has a roundup of links to Heston tributes.

This tribute at The Shelf includes a terrific clip from WAYNE'S WORLD. It's not only wonderfully funny, it also demonstrates that a great artist can turn a few lines into a thing of beauty.

The April 7th "My Two Cents" column at The Digital Bits shares nice memories of Mr. Heston. (The column entries don't have permanent individual links so you may have to hunt for it.)

A brief column by Bob Thomas is worth reading. And here's Mike Clark, who does great writing on film at USA Today. Monday Update: Here's Clark's list of favorite Heston films. (I love THE BIG COUNTRY; Heston has a supporting role but oozes charisma.)

And this column contains the full text of Heston's 2002 speech at Harvard on "winning the cultural war." I remember hearing it or reading it back at the time; much of the speech is about fighting political correctness.

Political blogs posting tributes include Michelle Malkin, Power Line, and Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.

I suspect there will be more to share on the subject of Mr. Heston in coming days. In the meantime, here's a link to my post of just over a year ago on one of my favorite Heston films, THE PRESIDENT'S LADY. It's not mentioned in many of his obituaries, other than as part of the tally for the great men of history he portrayed, but it's a wonderful movie.

Previously: A Sad Day...A Life to Celebrate.

Monday Update: Power Line links to a letter Heston wrote to the Weekly Standard a decade ago on the subject of Shakespeare.

Rick Moran mentions another good Heston film, THE NAKED JUNGLE. It's somewhat hokey, yet deliciously entertaining.

Moran's conclusion: "Charlton Heston was an extraordinarily unique and dominating presence whenever the lights in the theater dimmed and the magic of movies took over our imaginations.

"And that is where he will live forever."

April 12 Update: Remembering Charlton Heston.


Blogger Irene said...

I've been seening some of the tributes on TV showing clips from his movies which has been nice. The Morning Show (Sunday CBS) did a nice tribute closing with a couple of clips from the final speech he did letting us know of his having Alzheimer's. A man of great dignity right to the end. There are not many left who will stand up and proclaim what is right.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

That was really nice, Laura. His 2002 speech was interesting to re-read. I can see where the simplicity of his words could so easily be misconstrued as charmingly trite in this cynical age, even five years later. And yet, when reading them with in light of what has been lost and what freedoms are increasingly being threatened, they really imprat such a serious weight.

9:46 PM  

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