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WHICH IS THE TOUGHEST HESTON CHARACTER?
Brad in THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH (1952) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Ed Bannon in ARROWHEAD (1953) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Leiningen in THE NAKED JUNGLE (1954) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Harry Steele in SECRET OF THE INCAS (1955) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Moses in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956) 20%  20%  [ 1 ]
Judah Ben-Hur in BEN-HUR (1959) 20%  20%  [ 1 ]
Rodrigo in EL CID (1961) 40%  40%  [ 2 ]
Taylor in PLANET OF THE APES (1968) & Sequel (1970) 20%  20%  [ 1 ]
Neville in THE OMEGA MAN (1971) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Spencer Trilby in TRUE LIES (1994) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 5
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 Post subject: Heston's Toughest Character
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:18 am 
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Prince Judah
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It's no revelation to state that most of Heston's characters are tough, to various degrees. This was spelled out very late in his career in 1998, when he parodied himself as a police detective in an episode of the TV series Friends, suggesting that he could still beat up a much younger character, Joey (Matt le Blanc), even though Heston was 75 years old by that point. This parody pointed out that Heston in his career had played more tough characters than anyone else. The question is, which is the toughest character? It's tough - no pun intended - to figure out which one it is because there are so many. I narrowed it down to 10.

I based my selections on 3 components: (1) the physical ability to outfight or kill enemies/opponents; (2) indomitable will, to never give up no matter the odds; and (3) the ability to survive danger/hardship far beyond the average man. Examples of characters which did not make the list: Chrysagon in THE WAR LORD was an effective warrior but not quite as capable as The Cid; I saw no point in including him, knowing that he's a notch below one of the other selections. Both Will Penny and the Ranger in THE LAST HARD MEN were tough, but past their prime, unable to escape serious injury or death if challenged by a vicious foe. Heston's engineer in EARTHQUAKE was a strong man and brave, but in the end he was an average man caught in a dangerous situation, which he was unable to survive.

I explain my 10 candidates for TOUGHEST HESTON CHARACTER below in the next post. I myself haven't picked the toughest one of all, as yet, because, again, it's not too easy to pick just one... and, if anyone has other candidates, they can post them below, telling me why I should have included them. Be ready for a rebuttal, though... :uzi:


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 Post subject: Re: Heston's Toughest Character
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:20 am 
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Prince Judah
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HERE'S WHY I THINK THESE ARE HESTON'S TOUGHEST CHARACTERS:

Brad in THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH: Heston's circus manager yells at the circus owners, puts Cornel Wilde's flamboyant trapeze star in his place, and beats up anyone who tries to make dishonest money on circus grounds. Brad backs down to no one, not even Holly, the crazed circus performer who loves him because she knows he's the toughest boss in the country..! Half a train car falls on top of him and only annoys him..!

Col. Taylor in PLANET OF THE APES & BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES: an entire Ape society :ddape: can't keep Heston as the stranded astronaut imprisoned; a bullet shot to the throat only temporarily stops him and he later beats up numerous gorillas before being re-captured, even with his injury; in the sequel, he's shot again but refuses to die until he takes everyone with him..!

Col. Neville in THE OMEGA MAN: one man vs. an entire cult of mutated fanatics - Heston as Neville, his preferred weapon is a machine gun and he holds his own until the very end of the film... :neville:

Harry Steele in SECRET OF THE INCAS: Harry dodges an assassination attempt and takes out the sniper as if he does this once a week... :harrysteele:

Leiningen in THE NAKED JUNGLE: Heston's landowner is absolute ruler in his section of land, makes sure everyone knows it, and doesn't even back down from an army of ants (2x20 miles worth!); anyone would bet on the ants in such a war, but against Leiningen, the ending says different.

Rodrigo in EL CID: the noble knight backs up his nobility by being able to take out almost anyone with a sword, :elcid: sometimes even multiple opponents...! If anything, Heston's Rodrigo seems to get more invincible as the film goes on (until the end, that is)...

Ed Bannon in ARROWHEAD: even though Jack Palance plays the most lethal and scary fighting Indian ever, Heston as Bannon kills him rather easily in the concluding fight, fair & square... :cowboy1:

Moses in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS: his decision to give up all his princely advantages to become a slave was gutsy, but surviving his exile to the desert showed that it's very difficult to kill this man; and, right after, he was still able to beat up a trio of rowdy goat herders no problem...

Judah Ben-Hur in BEN-HUR: not so much for the chariot race victory but for his endurance in surviving 3 years on the Roman galley as a rowing slave, after which he was still strong enough to take down a pirate and easily overpower a Roman Tribune...

HONORABLE MENTION:
Spencer Trilby in TRUE LIES: sure, he's way past his prime, but it's understood that in his prime, he was probably tougher than Arnold and still can belittle him anytime he feels like it...


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 Post subject: Re: Heston's Toughest Character
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:55 am 
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El Cid
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I voted for Moses. Anybody who endured those years as a slave and then led thousands of people through the desert for forty years is one helluva tough son-of-a-gun.

But Judah Ben Hur is a close second. Enduring his ordeal as a galley slave and then being told the devastating news that first his mother and sister were dead, only to discover that they were lepers and then overcoming all this to find forgiveness proves that Judah Ben-Hur was a real man.


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 Post subject: Re: Heston's Toughest Character
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:13 am 
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Prince Judah
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So Moses takes the early lead... appropriate, I suppose, for the great leader figure of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 8-)

:arrow: this just made me realize, maybe a similar poll would ask which of Heston's characters is the best leader :?:


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 Post subject: Re: Heston's Toughest Character
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:25 am 
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El Cid
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The best leader?

My vote would go to El Cid.

Even when he was dead his people followed him to victory over the Moors.

You can't get much better than that, surely!


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 Post subject: Re: Heston's Toughest Character
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:32 pm 
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This one was a toughie! It stood between Neville and Taylor for me, with Taylor edging Neville out of the first spot.

George Taylor must be the most alpha male character that has ever been depicted on screen. Such confidence and arrogance you just want to punch him in the face and shake his hand at the same time. He could back it up with his brain, fists and guns, too.

God I love that character. George Taylor for the win or I go ape! :ddape:

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 Post subject: Re: Heston's Toughest Character
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:34 pm 
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Prince Judah
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I finally picked one - Rodrigo, The Cid in EL CID.

What finally made my decision for me was the concluding battle - The Cid defeats an army mostly by himself when he is already dead.
Sure, Taylor in the PLANET OF THE APES sequel blew up the whole planet, but he was still alive (barely) when he committed this deed. In EL CID - think about it - the man has been dead for nearly a day and still manages to wipe out an entire army - merely by his reputation and his physical presence. Now that's Bad-Ass! That is tough. :elcid:


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 Post subject: Re: Heston's Toughest Character
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:12 pm 
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For me, the best fighter is Cid, and the best leader is Moses. Rodrigo offers three fight scenes on screen and each of them shows his spectacular skill, toughness and courage. But after all he is a normal human being, and though his moral strength comes from his faith in God, he is not actually a divinely 'chosen one' for leadership like Moses, by God Himself. Ben-Hur is a close second to Cid in toughness.

But Chrysagon, how could you have forgotten yourself? Christian modesty? Not much of that to be expected from the 11th century Norman night, anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Heston's Toughest Character
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:05 pm 
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Prince Judah
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I have voted for Judah Ben-Hur. I am very sorry for Moses, he could have been the joint-winner with Judah, but here we can only vote for one. The hardships he had to bear as a slave was tiresome, but not beyond the level of any other man. In fact, other young men among the Israelites(like Joshua) were also capable of bearing the same. As for the suffering in the desert, Judah had also gone through a similar kind of ordeal when he was dragged through the desert, with tied hands and bearing constant whipping at his back. After all, Moses was not walking under lashing with tied hands, and he had a formidable stick to support him. The walk through the desert and then three years in the galley -- it was just a synomym for death-sentence in those days. His moral toughness is also unique: the moment he gets unchained, he does not think of himself only and flee, but rescues many of his fellow-slaves, and above all, rises above the bias that always exists between the oppressor and the oppressed, and saves Quintus Arrius.

Again, his reply to Pontius Pilate, when he returns the Roman ring, and claims to be a son of Israel. Standing in front of the Tribune in his own palace, this courage to be displayed is no easy task. The same toughness he has shown earlier when he refused Messala, a 'friend' challenging him with all the power of the 'Empire' behind him, and giving him two options only -- "either you are with me or against me". No fear, emotional weakness or even the thought of the protection of his family could yield his integrity.

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 Post subject: Re: Heston's Toughest Character
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:24 pm 
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Prince Judah
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And if I am to choose the best leader, I'll rather vote for Moses, and I need to say a hundred 'sorry' to El Cid.

By the way, I think General Gordon in KHARTOUM could be a candidate as well. He is a good leader and fighter, and his moral strength is evident when he goes to meet Mahdi with just one attendant, and unarmed himself. I remember the scene when he removes his cloak and shows who he is, the guards at Mahdi's camp are awe-struck : Gordon Pasha! Such is the power and dignity of the man who has come only to talk. And the way he holds his position against the mean politics of his own nation's government is no simple sign of toughness. The second meeting with Mahdi is equally strong on Gordon's part, and he morally overpowers Mahdi by reminding him of the 'one against many' situation. Gordon's death also becomes the curse on Mahdi, and theMahdi's fear and awe, seeing Gordon's head shows how afraid he is of the dead man whom he secretly admires and recognises to be a better and stronger character than himself.

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