In The Arena

First Person
  • 16 Sep - 22 Sep, 2017
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Time Out

A spirited, sprawling, at times delightfully quirky memoir by Hollywood's own Mount Rushmore – Charlton Heston. With roles ranging from Moses to Michelangelo to Sir Thomas More to the Voice of God, Heston dominated Hollywood for years in a series of lavish epics, including The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur, where the latter won him an an Academy Award. In an era populated by steel-jawed men such as Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, Heston was perhaps the most rigid of them all. Yet he was one of the few American Shakespearians of any note. He worked with many of America's best directors. In thsi book, however, Heston seems to have never met an anecdote, detail, or aside he didn't like. Surely, he didn't have to discuss all of his 60-plus films. He is a perceptive and engaging raconteur as he traces his career from high school theater and the obligatorybut briefdown-and-out days in New York City to his ascent to Hollywood fame and fortune. Ego usually well in check, he is also his own best critic. Heston offers many useful insights into acting and directing, and his recollections of the people he worked with (just about everybody). The books contains some real gems, especially his analysis of various directors' methods.