As y’all know, in the last week or so, we’ve had Holy Week, Passover and Easter. To celebrate I saw “The Ten Commandments” and “Ben Hur” fpr the umpteenth time.
I got to tell you “Ben Hur” is one heck of a sports movie. There’s javelin throwing. There’s rowing competition. There’s archery and catapulting fire from one ship to another. There’s chariot racing. Since it was the Romans that invented the Olympics, it was only right to feature these Olympic sporting events, performed by some Olympic style egos.
On top of all that, there’s Charlton Heston face. It has two emotions. Chuck Serious and Chuck Light. I mean that guy knew how to act. It near puts away Kirk Douglas’s Spartacus face, but not quite. It did give Burt Lancaster’s Elmer Gantry face some competition. It was almost like Chuck had played those roles too. Nobody could out-hero Chuck. Just check out his El Cid.
His was such a face that it just about makes you want to believe Chuck was playing God, not Moses, in “The Ten Commandment”. He sure sounded like God. How Chuck got that face to do that I will never know. Anyway Chuck sure knew a lot about God. He kept meeting him in all those movies.
In “The Agony and the Ecstasy”, he met the Pope. That was like meeting God back in the olden days. And he got to paint God’s hand. So you can pretty well assume Chuck had met God and shook the Big Guy’s Hand. He was so good at the God gig that he got promoted to Cardinal as in Cardinal Richelieu. He even did a series on the Bible as if he wrote the Good Book himself. Of course, we know he didn’t. God did that. But the way Chuck did the series, it was just like God talking to you.
So, when the NRA was looking around for someone who could speak with a voice of authority, they got Chuck. You just knew that God had given us an Eleventh Commandment when Chuck said, “Thou shalt not take away my gun.”
Now, that Chuck ain’t around no more, Hollywood sure don’t know how to make Chuck movies, and I sure miss him. I mean, they have tried with “Exodus: Gods and Kings.” Hollywood went and CGI-ed the heck out of the Moses story. Only that Red Sea parting ain’t even close to the real thing. Old Cecil B. was at the parting of the Red Sea himself. If anybody could put on a parting, it was Cecil B.
It even screwed up the Noah story. How Russell Crowe spoke those lines without laughing I will never know. Guess, if they paid me the big bucks Russ got, I would say any darn thing they wanted me too.
And with “Ben Hur: The Remake,” we got a chariot race that really wasn’t a chariot race. It was s’posed to be the Roman equivalent of the Daytona 500. Only thing, that wasn’t chariot racing. Chuck knew that.