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 Post subject: Re: Chuck's Screen Deaths
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:01 am 
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Prince Judah
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An interesting observation... I guess in my case that is indeed true - by the time I was watching the final act of Midway, I feared that Heston's character may be doomed; and, only because Heston was playing the character. That's an odd kind of tension in film screening...

Now, going the other way, to the earlier part of his career, I thought of throwing this question out there: what was the earliest film in which Heston played a character who died? (i.e. what was the first screen death of a Heston character?) I ask this because I'm not sure of the answer. But, in a Heston forum, I'm sure someone knows for certain.... :geek:


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 Post subject: Re: Chuck's Screen Deaths
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:56 pm 
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Cheating Bastard

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I think I remember him dying in RUBY GENTRY (1952) but haven't seen that film in many, many years.


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 Post subject: Re: Chuck's Screen Deaths
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:01 am 
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Michelangelo

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In the late 1940s and 1950s, Heston also played in Live TV.

In the "Studio One: A Bolt of Lightning (aired on November 1951) Heston played as James Otis who was killed by lightning.
Heston also played as Macbeth in the "Studion One: Macbeth (Oct 1951). In the orginal Shakespeare's play, Macbeth was killed. Probably, Heston's character (Macbeth) was killed at the end. :sherlock: I still do not get a chance to watch this one.


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 Post subject: Re: Chuck's Screen Deaths
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Prince Judah
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Here everybody talks of deliberate screen-deaths, but what of the Death which is no Death but a spiritual reward of being iconised and immortalised beyond the earthly physical life, which is no tragedy but a 'divine comedy'(I am using the technical term for a Christian martyrdom)? In my opinion, the 'death' of the CID is the best death an actor can boast of playing.

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 Post subject: Re: Chuck's Screen Deaths
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 8:06 am 
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Prince Judah
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I came across the Cinemorgue Wikia site and checked up on how Heston's screen deaths were listed there - http://cinemorgue.wikia.com/wiki/Charlton_Heston - so this finally addresses the number of movie deaths for his character: it counts up to 16 on-screen deaths there (though some happen off screen; we just find out the character had been killed afterwards). Unfortunately, the list there was incomplete: it was missing The Call of the Wild, his King character in Crossed Swords (77), and The Awakening, so I added these in. It also includes his Player King character in Hamlet (96), who dies on stage, acting as if he died, so if we don't count that, the total is 15 deaths. This is his movies only, not TV.


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 Post subject: Re: Chuck's Screen Deaths
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 8:12 am 
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Prince Judah
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Here is the list over at Cinemorgue (after my additions mentioned above - and keep in mind that these are all SPOILERS on how these films end):

Ruby Gentry (1952) [Boake Tackman]: Shot in the chest by James Anderson in the swamp while Charlton is talking to Jennifer Jones.
El Cid (1961) [Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, El Cid]: Shot with an arrow during a battle with the Moors; does not die immediately, he stays alive long enough to lead his army into battle the next day before finally expiring.
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) [John the Baptist]: Decapitated (off-screen) by Jose Ferrer's soldiers.
Khartoum (1966) [General Charles 'Chinese' Gordon]: Stabbed in the chest with a spear by a Muslim soldier as he approaches them; his severed head is later presented (out of camera frame) to Laurence Olivier.
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) [George Taylor]: Shot by James Gregory; Charlton's hand falls on the switch of a doomsday bomb as he falls, destroying the Earth.
The Omega Man (1971) [Robert Neville]: Impaled with a spear when Anthony Zerbe throws it at him.
The Call of the Wild (1972) [John Thornton]: killed by Yeehat Indians with arrows and left trapped under the ice of a frozen lake.
Antony and Cleopatra (1972) [Marc Antony]: Commits suicide by throwing himself on his sword; he dies shortly afterwards while talking to Hildegarde Neil.
Earthquake (1974) [Stewart Graff]: Drowned when he falls into the sewer system while trying to save Ava Gardner.
Midway (The Battle of Midway) (1976) [Captain Matthew Garth]: Killed in a plane crash when he tries to land his damaged fighter on an aircraft carrier.
Crossed Swords (The Prince and the Pauper) (1977) [King Henry VIII]: dies of sickness in bed, muttering of "monks" and as his court jester weeps nearby.
The Awakening (1980) [Matthew Corbeck]: killed by the evil reincarnated queen Kara (Stephanie Zimbalist), who brings down a sarcophagus and a stone wall on top of him.
Mother Lode (Search for the Mother Lode: The Last Great Treasure) (1982) [Silas McGee/Ian McGee]: Falls to his death after being shot by Nick Mancuso.
Hamlet (1996) [Player King]: Feigns being poisoned when another actor pours poison in his ear in a play-within-the-play sequence, while Kenneth Branagh watches Derek Jacobi's reaction in the audience.
The Order (2001) [Professor Walter Finley]: Shot in the chest in the crossfire of a shoot-out in the street; he dies shortly afterwards while talking to Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Planet of the Apes (2001) [Zaius, Thade's Father]: Dies of old age, while talking to his son (Tim Roth). (Both Charlton and Tim are wearing ape make-up for this film.)

Note that the description for El Cid is inaccurate: Heston's character does not stay alive long enough to lead his army; he is already dead by that point. Another thing to note: this doesn't include several films of Heston's in which it's hinted or suggested that his character probably dies soon after the film concludes, notably The War Lord (1965), Soylent Green (1973) and The Last Hard Men (1976). However, it is true that he is still alive at the conclusion of these films, so they can't be included. The one other questionable one is Number One (1969) - it's not certain that he died and there are rumors of a deleted scene at the end showing him in a hospital, still alive. Also, I never realized until now how he has two films almost in a row - The Greatest Story Ever Told and Khartoum - in which his character gets decapitated.

The site also lists his TV deaths and these are much less in number, but it looks to me like it's also missing at least one - A Man For All Seasons (TV-1988). But, I don't have time to edit it now and will get to it the next day, perhaps.


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 Post subject: Re: Chuck's Screen Deaths
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:47 pm 
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Prince Judah
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We may discount 'NUMBER ONE' -- is that injury really fatal for a player? It of course destroys his career for ever, but I have difficulty in figuring out that Ron Catlan is going to die out of it.

If so, shouldn't the wife show more concern than what she expresses at the end? She is indifferent by this time about her husband's future prospects as a footballer, but if the injury was actually that serious, I think she could not bear to show that much lack of concern.

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 Post subject: Re: Chuck's Screen Deaths
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:47 pm 
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Prince Judah
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itsjudah24 wrote:
We may discount 'NUMBER ONE' -- is that injury really fatal for a player? It of course destroys his career for ever, but I have difficulty in figuring out that Ron Catlan is going to die out of it.

I agree that players usually don't die from such a tackle or injury, but the way it was filmed raises the question in this instance. Here's a shot of Heston's final scene in the film after he's brought down by opposing team players:
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Note the blood coming out of his ear, perhaps suggesting some internal injury, perhaps serious. Of course, he could still be simply injured and unconscious in this shot, not dead.

itsjudah24 wrote:
If so, shouldn't the wife show more concern than what she expresses at the end? She is indifferent by this time about her husband's future prospects as a footballer, but if the injury was actually that serious, I think she could not bear to show that much lack of concern.
This is probably the most discussed subject when people talk about this film - the wife's reaction at the end. When I first watched this many years ago, I thought, wow, she is a very cold woman. Again, the way it was filmed raises these questions. Instead of rushing from the stands with worry, she walks off in casual fashion - very strange. The previous scenes, just before Heston is brought down, show her rooting for him, so it's not as if she wanted him to fail. Her behavior after his fall, however, was one of resignation and even indifference. Maybe the actress simply didn't act this out correctly and they were unable to get further takes. (this was in the middle of a crowd of spectators and maybe it would have been too costly to shoot further takes).


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 Post subject: Re: Chuck's Screen Deaths
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:54 pm 
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Prince Judah
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btw, though there has been a lot of discussion about Heston's many death scenes in his films, he's not the only one. Kirk Douglas is listed with about 20 death scenes. Heston probably matches him if you count Heston's 4 or 5 deaths in TV roles. But, the one who takes the prize must be Christopher Lee, who is listed with about 3 times as many film deaths as either Heston or Douglas. Remember, just Lee's repetitive role as Dracula in Hammer Films had him dying over & over; just in those films, it adds up to about half-a-dozen deaths.

As far as stars with the least deaths in films, Cary Grant may be a front runner. He never died in his films; there was only one old film where he played a ghost - I think it was one of the Topper films - but even there I don't think they showed him getting killed, though there was a car crash, suggesting he died in it.


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 Post subject: Re: Chuck's Screen Deaths
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:26 pm 
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Prince Judah
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I just mentioned Christopher Lee in the above post and I just found out that he died a few days ago, on June 7th, at the ripe old age of 93 >>> http://www.imdb.com/news/ni58686863?ref_=hm_nw_tp1 Image As mentioned above, he may hold the record for most on-screen deaths in film and played Dracula numerous times, mostly in Hammer Films. R.I.P. (see the whole biography and details in the Other Actors folder)


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