The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked

List Rules
Your favorite Charlton Heston movies, regardless of box office or or how big his role.

The best Charlton Heston movies of all time prove that he was one of the greatest actors ever along with being one of the most well-known names. Active from 1941 to 2003, Heston appeared in over 100 of the course of his career. Many of his roles have immortalized him in cinema history. In addition, he’s probably one of the highest grossing movie actors of all time when adjusted for inflation.

Born in 1923, Charlton Heston was born John Charles Carter to Lilla (née Charlton) and Russell Whitford Carter. After his parents divorced when he was 10 and his mother later remarried and took on the surname of Heston. He earned a drama scholarship to Northwestern University and went on to enlist with the Army Air Forces in 1944. Following his service, he acted in stage productions and had a number of roles on television.

His first film appearance was as the leading man in the 1950 noir film Dark City, though it was not his breakout role. That wasn’t until 1952, when he starred in The Greatest Show on Earth. From that point, he had a flurry of roles, many of which are still fondly remembered. After all, he was none other than Ben Hur and Moses. Plus, he had the unforgettable line "Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!"

So what are the best Charlton Heston films ever? Is it Ben Hur or Planet of the Apes? See what fans have ranked as their favorite Charlton Heston movies below. Movie trailers have been included if you want a preview of the film. If you think the best Heston role isn't at the top, then vote it up. Don’t see it listed? Add it so that others may vote for it. After all, this list of the best Charlton Heston movies should be as a comprehensive as possible. 

Ranked by
  • Ben-Hur
    Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd
    • Released: 1959
    • Directed by: William Wyler
  • Planet of the Apes
    Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter
    • Released: 1968
    • Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner
  • The Ten Commandments
    Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Edward G. Robinson
    • Released: 1956
    • Directed by: Cecil B. DeMille
  • Soylent Green
    Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Leigh Taylor-Young
    • Released: 1973
    • Directed by: Richard Fleischer
  • Will Penny
    Charlton Heston, Joan Hackett, Donald Pleasence
    • Released: 1968
    • Directed by: Tom Gries
  • El Cid
    Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Raf Vallone
    • Released: 1961
    • Directed by: Anthony Mann
  • Touch of Evil
    Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh
    • Released: 1958
    • Directed by: Orson Welles
  • The Omega Man
    Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Rosalind Cash
    • Released: 1971
    • Directed by: Boris Sagal
  • The Big Country
    Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker
    • Released: 1958
    • Directed by: William Wyler
  • The Naked Jungle
    Eleanor Parker, Charlton Heston, Abraham Sofaer
    • Released: 1954
    • Directed by: Byron Haskin
  • The Agony and the Ecstasy
    Charlton Heston, Rex Harrison, Diane Cilento
    • Released: 1965
    • Directed by: Carol Reed
  • Major Dundee
    Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, Jim Hutton
    • Released: 1965
    • Directed by: Sam Peckinpah
  • Ben Hur
    William Wyler, Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins
    • Released: 2003
    • Directed by: William R. Kowalchuk Jr.
  • The War Lord
    Charlton Heston, Richard Boone, Rosemary Forsyth
    • Released: 1965
    • Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner
  • Khartoum
    Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Richard Johnson
    • Released: 1966
    • Directed by: Basil Dearden
  • The Greatest Show on Earth
    Betty Hutton, Charlton Heston, Cornel Wilde
    • Released: 1952
    • Directed by: Cecil B. DeMille
  • The Wreck of the Mary Deare
    Gary Cooper, Charlton Heston, Michael Redgrave
    • Released: 1959
    • Directed by: Michael Anderson
  • 55 Days at Peking
    Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, David Niven
    • Released: 1963
    • Directed by: Nicholas Ray
  • Midway
    Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn
    • Released: 1976
    • Directed by: Jack Smight
  • The Three Musketeers
    Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch, Michael York
    • Released: 1973
    • Directed by: Richard Lester
  • Earthquake
    Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy
    • Released: 1974
    • Directed by: Mark Robson
  • The Mountain Men
    Charlton Heston, Brian Keith, John Glover
    • Released: 1980
    • Directed by: Richard Lang
  • Secret of the Incas
    Charlton Heston, Robert Young, Thomas Mitchell
    • Released: 1954
    • Directed by: Jerry Hopper
  • Three Violent People
    Charlton Heston, Anne Baxter, Robert Blake
    • Released: 1956
    • Directed by: Rudolph Maté
  • The Greatest Story Ever Told
    Max von Sydow, Charlton Heston, Carroll Baker
    • Released: 1965
    • Directed by: George Stevens