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The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked

Updated September 21, 2019 5.1k votes 758 voters 51.3k views88 items

List RulesYour 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. 

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  • 1
    Ben-Hur is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    227
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    Ben-Hur

    Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins

    Released1959

    Directed byWilliam Wyler

    Ben-Hur is a 1959 American epic historical drama film, directed by William Wyler, produced by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 2
    Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    202
    30

    Planet of the Apes

    Charlton Heston, Linda Harrison

    Released1968

    Directed byFranklin J. Schaffner

    Planet of the Apes is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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    #237 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies#75 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

  • 3
    The Ten Commandments is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    220
    41

    The Ten Commandments

    Charlton Heston, Vincent Price

    Released1956

    Directed byCecil B. DeMille

    The Ten Commandments is a 1956 American religious epic film produced and directed by Cecil B.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 4
    Soylent Green is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    117
    29

    Soylent Green

    Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson

    Released1973

    Directed byRichard Fleischer

    Soylent Green is a 1973 American science fiction film directed by Richard Fleischer and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 5
    Touch of Evil is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    102
    22

    Touch of Evil

    Charlton Heston, Orson Welles

    Released1958

    Directed byOrson Welles

    Touch of Evil is a 1958 American thriller film, written, directed by, and co-starring Orson... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 6
    El Cid is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    129
    27

    El Cid

    Sophia Loren, Charlton Heston

    Released1961

    Directed byAnthony Mann

    El Cid is a 1961 historical epic film, a romanticized story of the life of the Christian... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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    #117 of 161 The Best Movies of the '60s#76 of 178 The Best Historical Drama Movies Of All Time

  • 7
    The Omega Man is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    99
    25

    The Omega Man

    Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe

    Released1971

    Directed byBoris Sagal

    The Omega Man is a 1971 American science fiction film directed by Boris Sagal and starring... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 8
    The Agony and the Ecstasy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    76
    19

    The Agony and the Ecstasy

    Charlton Heston, Rex Harrison

    Released1965

    Directed byCarol Reed

    The Agony and the Ecstasy is a 1965 film directed by Carol Reed, starring Charlton Heston as... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 9
    The Greatest Show on Earth is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    67
    23

    The Greatest Show on Earth

    James Stewart, Charlton Heston

    Released1952

    Directed byCecil B. DeMille

    The Greatest Show on Earth is a 1952 American drama film produced and directed by Cecil B.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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    #2 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes#33 of 50 The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s

  • 10
    The Naked Jungle is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    76
    19

    The Naked Jungle

    Charlton Heston, Eleanor Parker

    Released1954

    Directed byByron Haskin

    The Naked Jungle is a 1954 film directed by Byron Haskin, and starring Charlton Heston and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 11
    Khartoum is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    68
    21

    Khartoum

    Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier

    Released1966

    Directed byBasil Dearden, Eliot Elisofon

    Khartoum is a 1966 film written by Robert Ardrey and directed by Basil Dearden. It stars... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 12
    The Greatest Story Ever Told is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    63
    26

    The Greatest Story Ever Told

    John Wayne, Charlton Heston

    Released1965

    Directed byGeorge Stevens, Jean Negulesco, David Lean

    The Greatest Story Ever Told is a 1965 American epic film produced and directed by George... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 13
    Midway is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    66
    30

    Midway

    Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston

    Released1976

    Directed byJack Smight

    Midway, released in the United Kingdom as Battle of Midway and in the US on video as The... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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    #35 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#10 of 214 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time

  • 14
    The Three Musketeers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    40
    8

    The Three Musketeers

    Raquel Welch, Christopher Lee

    Released1973

    Directed byRichard Lester

    The Three Musketeers is a 1973 film based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas, père. It was... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 15
    Earthquake is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    52
    23

    Earthquake

    Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner

    Released1974

    Directed byMark Robson

    Earthquake is a 1974 American ensemble disaster film directed and produced by Mark Robson. The... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 16
    The Four Musketeers is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    29
    11

    The Four Musketeers

    Raquel Welch, Christopher Lee

    Released1974

    Directed byRichard Lester

    The Four Musketeers is a 1974 Richard Lester film that is a sequel to The Three Musketeers,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 17
    The Buccaneer is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    32
    16

    The Buccaneer

    Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner

    Released1958

    Directed byAnthony Quinn

    The Buccaneer is a 1958 War film, made by Paramount Pictures like the 1938 version, starring... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 18
    Beneath the Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    41
    23

    Beneath the Planet of the Apes

    Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall

    Released1970

    Directed byTed Post

    Beneath the Planet of the Apes is a 1970 American science fiction film directed by Ted Post... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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    #131 of 164 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies#55 of 94 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies

  • 19
    Will Penny is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    83
    14

    Will Penny

    Charlton Heston, Bruce Dern

    Released1968

    Directed byTom Gries

    Will Penny is a 1968 western film written and directed by Tom Gries starring Charlton Heston... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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    #73 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#24 of 47 The Greatest Western Movies of the 1960s

  • 20
    The Call of the Wild is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    33
    18

    The Call of the Wild

    Charlton Heston, Michèle Mercier

    Released1972

    Directed byKen Annakin

    The Call of the Wild is a 1972 family adventure film directed by Ken Annakin and starring... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 21
    The Big Country is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    87
    23

    The Big Country

    Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck

    Released1958

    Directed byWilliam Wyler

    The Big Country is a 1958 American epic Western film directed by William Wyler and starring... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 22
    True Lies is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    32
    18

    True Lies

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eliza Dushku

    Released1994

    Directed byJames Cameron

    True Lies is a 1994 American action-comedy film written and directed by James Cameron, and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 23
    The War Lord is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    71
    14

    The War Lord

    Charlton Heston, Maurice Evans

    Released1965

    Directed byFranklin J. Schaffner

    The War Lord is a 1965 American film about Medieval warfare in 11th century Normandy, starring... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 24
    Ben Hur is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    87
    28

    Ben Hur

    Charlton Heston

    Released2003

    Directed byWilliam R. Kowalchuk Jr.

    Ben Hur is a 2003 animated film based on the novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, by Lew... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 25
    Major Dundee is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
    67
    14

    Major Dundee

    Charlton Heston, Richard Harris

    Released1965

    Directed bySam Peckinpah

    Major Dundee is a 1965 Western film directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Charlton Heston,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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