Charlton Heston, who died last night was without a doubt a very fine actor. He was one of the few thespians who rarely gave a bad performance and his films are very watchable and mostly entertaining.
I say all of the above as someone who doesn't like the man. In fact, I would go so far as saying that I dislike him- which is rather unfair since we didn't meet and it looks like we won't either.
Does it really matter what I think about him? Nope. Not a damn jot ( please note the play on his famous Planet Of The Apes line). However, seeing that I'm choosing to write a blog about him, I suppose, I should share my antipathy for the man!
Charlton Heston, on screen and in every interview I saw of him over the years represented one of the traits that I like least in fellow human beings, that of arrogance.
I'm probably one of the few people around who think that he was miscast as Moses in The Ten Commandments. The Bible (and by extension, the Torah) categorically states that Moses was the humblest man who ever walked the planet, which is not a character trait that Heston imbued him with in the movie.
Yes, Chuck was noble and yes, he was statesmanlike, but humble? Methinks not. Then again, De Mille wasn't exactly a blushing violet either!
Charlton Heston always portrayed himself on screen and in real life (at least to plebs like me) as being better than anyone else around. Despite the attempts to divorce the man from his roles, I could never quite come to terms with this aspect of his personality. Saying that, I'll probably eat my words when I read oodles and oodles of idiosyncratic eulogies, revealing how Chuck was really this great human being whose loss to the world is immeasurable.
As an orthodox Jew, I'd rather like to believe that Moses was so much more a man than Charlton Heston could ever be. Maybe there is no one on earth who could portray him. However, if there had been, I wish it would have been the other guy.
My money would have been on Gregory Peck anyway - a mensch of a man if ever there was one.
So long Chuck.
I'd love to be a fly on the wall when you meet the real Moses.