Charlton Heston Movies

Of all the Charlton Heston movies none made more at the box office than 1956's The Ten Commandments

Of all the Charlton Heston movies none made more at the box office than 1956’s The Ten Commandments

Want to know the best Charlton Heston movies?  How about the worst Charlton Heston movies?  Curious about Charlton Heston’s box office grosses or which Charlton Heston movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Charlton Heston movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

Charlton Heston (October 4, 1923 – April 5, 2008) is known for his heroic roles in films such as 1961’s El Cid, 1956’s The Ten Commandments, 1968’s Planet of the Apes and 1959’s Ben-Hur, for which he won the Oscar® for Best Actor. At one point, Heston had starred in three of the top eight movies of all-time. Those movies were Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur and The Greatest Show on Earth. Heston remained a leading man from 1950 until the early 1980s. After that he started appearing in supporting roles in such movies as True Lies, Any Given Sunday and Tombstone.

His IMDb page shows 131 acting credits from 1941-2010. This page will rank 61 Charlton Heston movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television shows, shorts, cameos and movies that were not released in theaters were not included in the rankings.

Charlton Heston in 1959's Ben-Hur

Charlton Heston in 1959’s Ben-Hur

Charlton Heston Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Charlton Heston movies by his co-stars
  • Sort Charlton Heston movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost.
  • Sort Charlton Heston movies by yearly box office rank
  • Sort Charlton Heston movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and how many Oscar® wins each Charlton Heston movie received.
  • Sort Charlton Heston movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Charlton Heston Table

  1. Twenty-three Charlton Heston movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 37.77% of his movies listed. The Ten Commandments (1956) was his biggest box office hit.
  2. An average Charlton Heston movie grosses $127.50 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  34 of Charlton Heston’s movies are rated as good movies…or 55.73% of his movies.  Touch of Evil (1958) is his highest rated movie while Town and Country (2001) was his lowest rated movie.
  4. Twenty Charlton Heston movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 32.78% of his movies.
  5. Five Charlton Heston’s movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 8.19% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 39.86.  33 Charlton Heston movies scored higher that average….or 54.09% of his movies.  Ben-Hur (1959) got the the highest UMR Score while Town and Country (2001) got the lowest UMR Score.
Charlton Heston in 1968's Planet of the Apes

Charlton Heston in 1968’s Planet of the Apes

Possibly Interesting Facts About Charlton Heston

1. Charlton Heston was born John Charles Carter….Charlton’s name comes from his mom’s maiden name, Charlton, and his stepfather’s last name, Heston.

2. Charlton Heston turned down the role of “Police Chief Brody” in Jaws. Other movies he turned down over the years….John Wayne’s The Alamo, A Man For All Seasons, The Wild Bunch, The Omen, Deliverance and Stalag 17

3. Charlton Heston only received one Oscar® nomination in his acting career but he made it count as won the Oscar® for Ben-Hur…..luckily Burt Lancaster turned down the role.

4. Charlton Heston had two parts in The Ten Commandments……Moses and he provided the voice of God……years later he was hired by the F.B.I during the April 1993 Waco stand-off with cult leader David Koresh, to play the voice of God while communicating with him. However the plan was never used.

5. Charlton Heston played President Andrew Jackson twice in two separate unrelated films: The President’s Lady in 1953 and The Buccaneer in 1958.

6. Charlton Heston was also known for his political activism. In the 1950s and 1960s he was one of a handful of Hollywood actors to speak openly against racism and was an active supporter of the Civil Rights Movement. He was also president of the NRA from 1998 to 2003.

7. Charlton Heston was married to Lydia Clarke from 1944 until his death in 2008…they had two children.

8. In his 1985 autobiography “In The Arena” Charlton Heston wrote that 1972’s The Call of the Wild was easily his worst film, and hoped the public would never have to watch the film.

9. His line “Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!” from Planet of the Apes, is ranked by the American Film Institute as the 66th best movie quote of all-time.

10.  Two links from SteveLensman are highly recommended.  One is all about Ben-Hur and the other about all Charlton Heston movies.  Charlton Heston Movies

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125 thoughts on “Charlton Heston Movies

  1. HI STEVE Good weekend? 1 A joke doing the rounds when Greatest Story was current was that Stevens thought that Wayne was not acting intimidated enough by the mystic figure of Christ so George said “John put more awe into the scene,” and the Duke complied by uttering “Awhhh!”

    2 Beware of what James Coburn called the “Creative Bookkeeping” of Hollywood accountants designed to exaggerate costs so that those entitled to profit shares could be denied them. For example The Salkinds told Mr M that Superman 1978 had only broken even because of costs and Coppola also pleaded poverty over the earnings of Apocalypse Now so all 3 told Mr M that there were no profits for him.

    3 Now Mr M may not have been able to speak well to your ears but he could certainly count and took legal proceedings resulting according to Variety in out of court settlements in actual dollars at around 1983 value of $15 million from the Salkinds and $9 million from Francis which allowed the Great One to disappear from our screens for 10 years. Actually the Salkinds economised by shooting Superman 1/2 back-to back getting to some extent 2 for the price of one and they cut Mr M’s scenes out of Supe 2 so they didn’t have to give him any further profits

    4 I have come to the conclusion that so strange are some of the arguments on this site that certain people enjoy arguing just for the sake of it and the more bizarre their contentions the more they g** o** on them. However I will take what I can get particularly as the Work Horse has now turned into the Bing Crosby of the site and I am sure you will remember Sinatra singing to Bing in High Society “I have heard that in this Clan, You are called the forgotten man.” Lucky you too haven’t gone AWOL on us and I can still keep an interested eye on your catalogue for new entries whether they be related to big spectacles or the low costing tiny grossers that have got John so excited. What with that and billing he seems to get his k******s in a twist over the strangest things. Anyway nice to hear from both of you again.

  2. STEVE/JOHN
    Out of respect for you guys I have been doing some random facts checking and apparently to make an average A C Lyles piece of rubbish cost about $1.5 million in today’s money and the more profitable ones such as Dana Andrews’ Town Tamer earned around $10 million in worldwide rentals in 2017 dollars Chuck’s Ben Hur cost around $130 million in 2017 money and earned an inflation adjusted $720 million approx in worldwide rentals. However Town Tamer’s cost to earnings ratio was roughly 1: 6.7 whereas the Heston epic’s cost/earning ratio was around only 1: 5.5 so no doubt Lyles preferred his $10 million to Ben Hur’s $720 million. Who wouldn’t?

  3. STEVE/JOHN

    1 The great news is that Easter is just around the corner and I don’t know about you guys but to me just as Christmas means It’s a Wonderful Life the coming of Easter is always the harbinger for Chuck and Ben Hur. I see they are advertising it already on television

    2 Of course the drift of some of the recent correspondence might suggest that on the technical side of the industry the heroes of you two are not the epic makers like Wyler and DeMille but A C Lyles who generated large profit to cost ratios by making rubbish for which he by-passed the big stars of the time like Heston and stacked his films with once famous has-beens whom he could now employ for a song. However if you would prefer to watch Pow Wow at Big Bull’s Wigwam starring an over-weight Howard Keel rather than a lithe Heston in a classic like Ben Hur then best of luck to you!

    3 Chuck, now there’s the real deal in terms of stardom and for me a true star is someone who when in his/her heyday can demand the prestige parts and the best billing as Chuck was able to do post Ben Hur. In my view stars who consistently accept 2nd billing or less even in important movies have accepted that they are not among the cream .of the cream as represented by The Waynes, the Stewarts, the Crawfords, the Dunnes and the Liz Taylors and that a lower billed part in anything worthwhile is on most occasions all that those inferior stars are going to get..

    1. “All I know is that I race against Messala!”

      Bob, I usually watch Ben-Hur either at Xmas or Easter, I’ve already watched it last Xmas so it’ll have to be another Heston epic this Easter, maybe El Cid. The Greatest Story Ever Told might be apt for that time of year. “Truly this man was the son of Gaaad!” John Wayne as The Centurion.

      I thought King of Kings starring Jeffrey Hunter was more enjoyable and livelier than George Stevens slow moving but star-studded epic. Hard to believe it was the director of Gunga Din and Shane who was responsible for that, John Huston’s The Bible was even worse.

      But I’ve always had a soft spot for Khartoum (1966), even if it did invent some of the historical events shown in the film, but than again the movies have always distorted history.

      As for the debate on profit ratios, I’ll stay in neutral and say I enjoy both low budget and big budget movies equally. But from what I’ve read recently some of the expensive top grossing films of recent years did not bring much profit to the studio after everything was calculated and finalised. The studios sometimes spend over $100m on publicity alone on some of these huge movies.

      1. Steve and Bob

        “I enjoy both low budget and big budget movies”

        I agree with you. I don’t see why this must be an either/or choice as Bob seems to want to make it. Hollywood can and has done both. I would only point out that the executives who established a solid base of modestly budgeted programmers as a financial buffer remained solvent longer and so were in a position to fund their occasional let-it-all-hang-out cast of thousands all star extravaganzas more often.
        My other point is that just being big budget does not in itself guarantee quality. For every Quo Vadis or The Ten Commandments or Ben-Hur, there is also a The Prodigal, The Big Fisherman, or a The Greatest Story Ever Told. Many big budget films turn out to be long bores. In fairness, it is not the Biblical/historical epics as much as the bloated musicals of the late sixties and seventies that stand out here. Camelot was one of the few movies I have rented that I had a difficult time getting through. What about The Man of la Mancha? Or the 1972 Lost Horizon? Give me Night of the Living Dead any time.
        For all that, I love the biggies when they are done well. But where would Hollywood be without its modestly budgeted genres such as westerns, noirs, and mysteries? And I’m a serial fan! Man, talk about low budget and lower prestige.

  4. What I am curious to know is why none of the filmographies I’ve been able to find ever list him, even as uncredited, as being the voice of Satan in Nicholas Ray’s “King of Kings?” Yes, if you listen very closely to the pronunciation of some of the words in the very short Satan statements, you can discern that he definitely spoke those lines. But why he is never mentioned as having voiced those lines is very curious. I seriously doubt that many people would associate him with Satan, with as devout a Christian as he was, and with as many Biblical characters as he portrayed. I’m willing to bet that most likely it was, and continues to be, at his and his family’s behest (no pun intended). Nevertheless, he’s gone, and no one who adored him and his films would ever think the less of him were it known that he did that.

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