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In Damn Dirty Memorium

April 7th, 2008

Charlton Heston died over the weekend. And while I wasn’t keen on Heston the NRA spokesman, I want to doff my cap to Heston the actor.

Was he a ham? Sure. But some films are much better off with a thick slice of ham. Take Planet of the Apes, the real one, not the “reimagining.” I adore this movie, and there’s a lot to recommend it: the social commentary; the primal, eerie soundtrack; the groundbreaking makeup appliances; and the monkey jokes. But I cannot imagine it without Heston. Sure, his masterful scenery-chewing is what everyone remembers, but the bitter misanthropy of his character holds together the whole enterprise in the quieter moments.

That said, here’s the bit which includes Heston’s most quoted line:

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