Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Charlton Heston: A Personal Memory

As a film fan saddened by Charlton Heston’s recent death, I would like to share a personal memory of him.

When Charlton Heston received his 1995 Lifetime Achievement Award in San Diego, one of the multiplexes honored him by showing a different one of his films on each of its 24 screens. But Touch of Evil, my favorite, was missing. I expressed my disappointment to Heston as he held court in the huge lobby. Not expecting to hear anything more about my concern, I felt pleased when he later announced to the group during his acceptance speech that program officials had not been able to secure a proper print of Touch of Evil. Evidently, Heston was disappointed too, probably because he wanted fans to view this Orson Welles classic on the big screen.

“People see most of their movies at home on television today instead of in movie theaters,” he complained. “And the emotional impact is not the same.”

I couldn’t agree more.

After meeting the elegant Charlton Heston at this event, I realized how gracious and perceptive he could be. May he rest in peace.

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