This post is from Dan Balan, free thinker, author, classmate, a Chicagoan… One of the few who feels and touches time…He wrote this piece as a mail to his classmates – a bunch of us, who, among other stuff, have seen a lot of movies together…
***Dan’s mail below***
Charlton Heston, one of the greatest Hollywood actors, has died. He acted in epic movies like Ben-Hur, Ten Commandments, The Agony and the ecstasy, and many others. He played historical roles as Moses, El Cid, John the Baptist, Judas Benhur, Julius caesar( which I enacted in high school myself for which I won the best actor in 10th std.).
He symbolized Hollywood in an era of larger-than-life movies. These movies were more than simply celluloid; they conveyed an american ethos, virtuous, righteous, and one that seemed even right. The world saw America through Hollywood movies. Hollywood became synonymous with America and vice-versa. It was an explicit era of good triumphing evil; righteousness restored and the wrong punished.
Heston was in the company of Montgomery Clift, Robert Mitchum( Ryan’s daughter ), Clark Gable, John wayne and many immortal Hollywood names. BenHur won eleven Oscars. The only other movie in recent times to win a bumper crop was the Titanic.
The movies made then had historical plots, elaborate settings, extensive cast, and enchan ting scenes. Who could forget the chariot races in Benhur, or the parting of the Red Sea in Ten Commandments… It was the era of the magnum opus in Hollywood when Heston reigned.
Contemporaneously, the movies produced in India then were also historicals. NT Rama Rao, Sivaji, MGR and others played roles from chronicles of history. That era is over now, perhaps never to return.
Charlton Heston was from Chicago, attended Northwestern University where he studied acting and speech.
He cut his chops in Chicago theatre, where he played biblical roles. At 6′ 2″, he was imposing with a handsome face, vulnerable, heroic, tender, and rugged all at once— he had no difficulty cracking Hollywood .
In later years Heston was the frontend for NRA–the national Rifle association, the lobbying group that advocates right to bear arms. He also worked for Screen Actors Guild tirelessly.
Three years ago, President Bush awarded him the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor. It’s the equivalent of Bharat Ratna in India.
Another page in history has turned…. the world moves on…