Monday, April 07, 2008

Charlton Heston escapes the planet of the apes

Charlton Heston has passed away this weekend at the age of 84… I’m just wondering if anybody remembered to pry the gun from his cold, dead hands. I’m kidding!

I actually agreed with Heston about guns. Not because I think that having a bunch of people carrying guns makes society any safer- of course it doesn’t- but because I’d imagine that trying to instill gun control in the United States at this late date would be as realistic as asking everyone who uses illegal drugs to report to their local police station and turn over their stash. Also, call me a paranoid, but I don’t like the idea of agents of the government having all of the guns. This just isn’t a good time to talk about yielding more rights to the state.

That said Heston was a Hollywood icon who was well-suited for a time of costume dramas and historical epics. I don’t actually think he was a very good actor: most Charlton Heston movies I remember as being great, except for his performance. But his grandiose persona was appropriate for an era of over-the-top scenery chewing and epic scope. His larger-than-life personality never appealed to me, but it worked in movies like the Ten Commandments or Ben Hur. And what’s more, he seemed like a movie star. It’s hard to imagine him doing much else. Could you imagine having Charlton Heston as your dentist?

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