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 Post subject: Re: RANKS of HESTON Characters - PHOTO VERSION
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 5:41 am 
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Prince Judah
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Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:18 am
Posts: 1360
2. KING: Crossed Swords (1977) Image a.k.a.The Prince and the Pauper
-------------------------------------------- as King Henry VIII, in his last days, year 1547


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 Post subject: Re: RANKS of HESTON Characters - PHOTO VERSION
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 5:45 am 
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Prince Judah
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Recently, I realized I had a couple of books which examined Hollywood's treatment of real history and real historical figures: THE HOLLYWOOD HISTORY OF THE WORLD by George MacDonald Fraser and HISTORY GOES TO THE MOVIES by Joseph Roquemore. It's the first book - by Fraser - which is more interesting; particularly interesting is his chapter on the Tudors and, especially, King Henry VIII, a subject which falls in line with the above listing of Heston's historical roles.

The first actor who portrayed the famous king that Fraser discusses in the book - and maybe the most famous portrayal - is Charles Laughton, who played the king in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933), which won him the Oscar. But, Fraser seems not to like that performance, writing that Laughton made him a childish buffoon, without any intelligence. Also, the real Henry was a giant, 6' 3" and broad, resembling a later actor - and we'll get to that...

Fraser wrote that the famous king was better served by other actors - Montagu Love, Robert Shaw, Richard Burton, Charlton Heston and Keith Michell. Of these, Burton was the least convincing to Fraser, remaining Burton with a beard (Anne of a Thousand Days/1969). He thought Shaw had a great gaze and played a mad tyrant well (in A Man For All Seasons), though he didn't look like Henry. Then Fraser wrote of his favorites in the role:
Quote:
Physically, Keith Michell and Heston were ideal casting. Michell, who played Henry both on television and in the cinema, achieved the difficult feat of aging the subject from youth to old age; if Heston is my favorite, it is for personal reasons, and also because for all his imposing height he had to overcome the disadvantage of looking not in the least like Henry Tudor. Make-up and his own immersion in the character turned him into a very proper tyrant - a hulking, gross giant, mottle-faced and lurching along on his 'sorre legge,' darting piggy-eyed wicked glances at his court, growling his lines, pawing at ladies-in-waiting, and dying at last defiantly in the shadows, muttering of "Monks, monks, monks!" while his jester whimpered at the foot of the bed. That, for the record, is how Henry went in fact.
Anyone who needs to explain Heston's acting ability to a naysayer should certainly try to use that example...
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