Saturday, April 5, 2008

Charlton Heston (1923-2008)

Charlton Heston has died.

With the conservative activism of his later years, let us not forget that Mr. Heston had been active in the civil rights movement. He attended the March on Washington in 1963, famously photographed alongside Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte.

The photo above was taken in 1961... when Heston walked a picket line outside a segregated movie theater in Oklahoma.

You’re bound to see a lot of Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea and racing chariots on TV over the next 24 hours. So let me leave you with something a little bit different...

22 comments:

Andrew said...

The internet's already being flooded with overzealous lefties making "cold, dead hands" jokes at his expense. Ain't it just lovely?

Undercover Black Man said...

Incivility is becoming a real pain in the balls...

Undercover Black Man said...

To wit... the Huffington Post's Charlton Heston story: "Comments are closed for this entry."

I call that pre-emptive shame.

GenevaGirl said...

The video was blocked outside of the US. I'm curious: Just what was Heston doing in that video?

Undercover Black Man said...

Hey GG. He was being a good sport, being interviewed on the cartoon talk show "Space Ghost Coast to Coast."

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Charleton Heston was central to some of my favorite movies as a kid growing up in the 70s. Saw The Ten Commandments numerous times on ABC's Sunday movie. Major Dundee was a fave late-night movie during the same time. Soylent Green remains one of my favorite movies. The Omega Man was baad and scary. I think Will Smith's I Am Legend is a remake of that movie, which is based on a Richard Matheson story (after Rod Serling, he wrote the best Twilight Zone episodes) Couldn't wait to see Earthquake and Airport 1975 in the theatres. In fact, him, Clint Eastwood, and Charles Bronson were my favorite actors (besides all that blaxploitation stuff I loved) because I was into those kinds of movies then. In college watched and re-watched Ben-Hur while consuming a nickel bag along with countless snacks. In the 90s got into Touch of Evil with a slightly larger sack of cheeba Was embarrassed for him with the interview with Michael Moore at the end of Bowling for Columbine.

But my all-time fave Heston movie is Planet of the Apes. I think I'm gonna watch that today.

RIP.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ DeAng... up late or up early?

I forgot about "Soylent Green." But "Omega Man" was the shit.

And in junior high, they actually took us to see "Earthquake" as an official field trip. I don't know how they got away with that...

But yeah, anyone in our age range, they had to deal with Chuck one way or another.

cuz said...

Roz Cash in "The Omega Man." She's gone too but at least I got to meet her - great lady. I think "The Omega Man"was one of the first feature film black/white hook-ups - meaning mutual consenting heat on screen.

I can't be mad at Charlton. We had our annual "Ten Commandments Strike Party" yesterday (timely). Won't get into the details about that kooky ritual of ours.

I love his movies. My fav. is always "Ben Hur." The chariot race was one of the best edited scenes in filmmaking. I didn't know Charlton did 80% of the racing for that. "The Big Country" was omitted in the NYT obit. another fav of mine. Wililam Wyler directed that too. Saw all the "Planet of the Apes" movies.

Reginald Hudlin said...

I interviewed Charlton once and he told me that he and Roz Cash hooking up in OMEGA MAN was the first interracial romance on screen. He was very proud of that.

I never checked to see if anything preceeded it, but the point is he certainly took action in his personal and professional life on behalf of black people.

Bklyn6 said...

This is the first time I'm hearing of his passing.

I've never seen "Planet of the Apes" in its entirety, anyway. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever sat through all of "The Ten Commandments" either, or any other of Heston's movies; nothing personal, though.

I might have to check out "The Omega Man," though (thx cuz).

R.I.P. Mr. Heston.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Dave, pain in the heel where I tore my achilles had a brotha up early.

You guys went to see Earthquake as a field trip? Wild.

reginald, I thought Jim Brown rocking Raquel beat the Heston/Roz Cash thang to the screen. But that's pretty hip that Heston was proud of the moment.

Getting ready to pop in Planet of the Apes.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Just looked at his filmography. He was the king of the all-star blockbuster movies in the 70s.

Andrew said...

Also worth checking out is his performance as the Player King in Branagh's Hamlet. It was his last truly great performance. His role of a charismatic, noble, and slightly hammy, but in a good way, actor is the perfect coda for his career.

Michael Fisher said...

You guys do know what Planet of the Apes and Omega Man was about?

Reginald Hudlin said...

Now that Raquel has "come out" as a Latina, does it count? Probably does for the psychic impact to the public at the time.

Yes, APES and OMEGA are about fear of a black planet. But I love them both.

JD Rhoades said...

overzealous lefties

One of those phrases that makes me stop reading immediately. I save so much time that way, and I miss almost nothing of consequence.

Ken said...

I never knew Heston did the Big Top film before his epics. In the film, he just doesn't work because as a viewer, I was like, WTF is he doing in this film? He was too serious and had too much presence for this fluff. My point? The man had presence and talent. I overlook his NRA affiliation and growing conservatism. Oh, when I was in seventh grade, my science teacher named Dr. Sinatra (I kid you not)who looked like Dan Tanna from the tv show "Vegas" (Robert Ulrich) and who drove a corvette finagled a school trip for my class to go see STAR WARS! How in the hell he did that, I'll never know! And instead of teaching science, he told us about scuba diving and peein in his suit to stay warm..lol!

GenevaGirl said...

UBM, thanks for the recap. With a site called Adult Swim, my imagination ran wild.

Wasn't Captain Kirk's kiss with the black alien considered the first on-screen interracial kiss? Did Heston and Cash precede this? Or, is it splitting hairs between t.v. and film?

cuz said...

Hi Geneva Girl.

It is a bit of a split, but on point; it's also about context. In the "Star Trek" episode the kiss was under the influence of an alien mind/body manipulation energy field meaning it was not of "free will," against Kirk's character, and judgement. Therefore, Kirk, the playboy, got a free pass because he was "forced" to kiss the Uhuru (the black woman). But there is still some tension in that scene as if they were tip toeing to see how far they could go before the censors flipped out.

"Omega Man" is noted to be the first [of free will, reason, character and consent] kiss in American film between a white and black couple (heterosexual to be specific in contemporary context). Heston was proud of that historic moment.

Gee. I'm talking about Star Trek and Heston. I need to get a life :)

GenevaGirl said...

Cuz, I'd forgotten is was Uhuru and not an alien. I do remember that he was forced.

Now there are two of us who need to get a life!

Bklyn6 said...

In the "Star Trek" episode the kiss was under the influence of an alien mind/body manipulation energy field meaning it was not of "free will," against Kirk's character, and judgement.

Okay, I'm going off course now but....

I've always noticed on tv that whenever there's a hint of sexual tension between lead characters, the writer(s) will quell this by creating a storyline in which viewers get to see the characters hook up. But this only realized if the characters are not being themselves, e.g. the hook up takes place in another era between a couple who looks like the characters, that sort of thing. I can't think of a really good example, but I know it's happened on "The X-Files" between Scully and Mulder and "Smallville" between Clark and Lana and probably a lot of other shows.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ "Moonlighting," I think.