7 Classic Charlton Heston Movies


With his chiseled features, magnificent physique and deep, resonant voice, Charlton Heston was born to be a Hollywood hero. In a career that spanned more than sixty years, he was never quite viewed as a great artist but was a dependable box office success who never lacked for work.

Heston did it all – epics, westerns, biopics, film noir, science fiction, disaster flicks and even prime-time TV soaps late in his career. Here are seven classic films that show Heston’s breadth and versatility, and showcase a great American actor.

“Planet of the Apes” – 1968

Planet of the Apes.
20th Century Fox

Definitely not Oscar material, but one of the best-loved and most imitated sci-fi films of all time. Heston plays an astronaut hurtled to a time and place where talking apes are the dominant intelligent species, and human beings are speechless animals fit only to be used as unskilled slaves. Dated now, but innovative for its time, it’s great fun. Still terrific for the shocker ending, and of course, to hear Heston say, “Take your filthy paws off me, you damned dirty ape!”

“The Omega Man” – 1971

The Omega Man.
Warner Brothers

A man-made plague descends on humankind, killing most and turning some into mutated, mad creatures who roam the deserted cities after dark. Heston stars as a military scientist who injects himself with an experimental serum and remains immune. He tries to stay sane in the creepy confines of deserted Los Angeles, developing a serum from his own blood that could save the remnants of humanity. The story has been made and remade, and even parodied in a Simpsons episode. It’s one of the best last-man-alive stories ever.

“The Ten Commandments” – 1956

The Ten Commandments.

When Moses comes down from the mountain, you better not be worshipping a golden idol – not with Heston at his roaring, biblical, bearded best in a Cecil B. DeMille blockbuster. One of the biggest money-making films ever made about religion, it’s grand old Hollywood film-making with scope and splendor. Moses leads his people out of slavery and parts the Red Sea. A spectacular remake of DeMille‘s silent version, it retains the over-the-top flavor of acting for silent films.

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