film The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked  

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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. 

Tim Burton and Orson Welles both worked with Charlton Heston over the years, as have plenty of other well-known directors. Movie fans who love Charlton Heston have also been known to enjoy films starring George Burns and Charles Bronson.

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Ben-Hur Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Griffith Ben-Hur is a 1959 American epic historical drama film, directed by William Wyler, produced by Sam Zimbalist for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Hugh ...more

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The Ten Commandments Charlton Heston, Vincent Price, Yul Brynner The Ten Commandments is a 1956 American religious epic film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, shot in VistaVision, and released by Paramount Pictures. It dramatizes the biblical story ...more

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Planet of the Apes Charlton Heston, Linda Harrison, James Whitmore Planet of the Apes is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring Charlton Heston. Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, and James ...more

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Touch of Evil Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Marlene Dietrich Touch of Evil is a 1958 American crime thriller film, written, directed by, and co-starring Orson Welles. The screenplay was loosely based on the novel Badge of Evil by Whit Masterson. Along ...more

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El Cid Sophia Loren, Charlton Heston, Herbert Lom El Cid is a 1961 historical epic film, a romanticized story of the life of the Christian Castilian knight Don Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, called "El Cid", who, in the 11th century, ...more

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Soylent Green Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Dick Van Patten Soylent Green is a 1973 American science fiction film directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Charlton Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young, and, in his final film, Edward G. Robinson. The film ...more

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The Omega Man Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Eric Laneuville The Omega Man is a 1971 American science fiction film directed by Boris Sagal and starring Charlton Heston. It was written by John William Corrington and Joyce Corrington, based on the 1954 ...more

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Ben Hur Charlton Heston Ben Hur is a 2003 animated film based on the novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, by Lew Wallace. It is the fourth film adaptation of the novel. Charlton Heston's production company, Agamemnon ...more

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The Big Country Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons The Big Country is a 1958 American epic Western film directed by William Wyler and starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston and Burl Ives. The supporting cast features ...more

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The Naked Jungle Charlton Heston, Eleanor Parker, William Conrad The Naked Jungle is a 1954 film directed by Byron Haskin, and starring Charlton Heston and Eleanor Parker. Telling the story of an attack of army ants on a Brazilian cocoa plantation, it was ...more

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Will Penny Charlton Heston, Bruce Dern, Lee Majors Will Penny is a 1968 western film written and directed by Tom Gries starring Charlton Heston and Donald Pleasence. It was based upon an episode of the 1960 Sam Peckinpah television series The ...more

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The Agony and the Ecstasy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Agony and the Ecstasy Charlton Heston, Rex Harrison, Harry Andrews The Agony and the Ecstasy is a 1965 film directed by Carol Reed, starring Charlton Heston as Michelangelo and Rex Harrison as Pope Julius II. The film was partly based on Irving Stone's ...more

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Planet of the Apes Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter, Paul Giamatti Planet of the Apes is a 2001 American science fiction film directed by Tim Burton and starring Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti, and Estella ...more

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Khartoum Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson Khartoum is a 1966 film written by Robert Ardrey and directed by Basil Dearden. It stars Charlton Heston as British Gen. Charles "Chinese" Gordon and Laurence Olivier as the Mahdi and ...more

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The Greatest Show on Earth James Stewart, Charlton Heston, Bob Hope The Greatest Show on Earth is a 1952 American drama film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, shot in Technicolor, and released by Paramount Pictures. Set in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum ...more

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The War Lord Charlton Heston, Maurice Evans, Richard Boone The War Lord is a 1965 American film about Medieval warfare in 11th century Normandy, starring Charlton Heston and directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. It is an adaptation of the play, The Lovers, ...more

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Major Dundee Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, James Coburn Major Dundee is a 1965 Western film directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, Jim Hutton, and James Coburn. Written by Harry Julian Fink, the film is about a Union ...more

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The Greatest Story Ever Told John Wayne, Charlton Heston, Angela Lansbury The Greatest Story Ever Told is a 1965 American epic film produced and directed by George Stevens. It is a retelling of the story of Jesus Christ, from the Nativity through the Resurrection. ...more

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Earthquake Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, Victoria Principal Earthquake is a 1974 American ensemble disaster film directed and produced by Mark Robson. The plot concerns the struggle for survival after a catastrophic earthquake destroys most of the city ...more

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55 Days at Peking Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, David Niven 55 Days at Peking is a 1963 historical epic film starring Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, and David Niven, made by Samuel Bronston Productions, and released by Allied Artists. The movie was ...more

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Midway Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda Midway, released in the United Kingdom as Battle of Midway and in the US on video as The Battle of Midway, is a 1976 Technicolor war film directed by Jack Smight and produced by Walter Mirisch ...more

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The Three Musketeers Raquel Welch, Christopher Lee, Faye Dunaway The Three Musketeers is a 1973 film based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas, père. It was directed by Richard Lester and written by George MacDonald Fraser. It was originally proposed in ...more

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Beneath the Planet of the Apes Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Linda Harrison Beneath the Planet of the Apes is a 1970 American science fiction film directed by Ted Post and written by Paul Dehn. It is the second of five films in the original Planet of the Apes series ...more

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The Buccaneer Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Charles Boyer The Buccaneer is a 1958 War film, made by Paramount Pictures like the 1938 version, starring Yul Brynner as Jean Lafitte, Charles Boyer and Claire Bloom. Charlton Heston plays a supporting role ...more

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The Call of the Wild Charlton Heston, Michèle Mercier, Maria Rohm The Call of the Wild is a 1972 family adventure film directed by Ken Annakin and starring Charlton Heston, Michèle Mercier, Raimund Harmstorf, George Eastman, and Maria Rohm. Based on ...more

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The Mountain Men Charlton Heston, Brian Keith, John Glover The Mountain Men is a 1980 adventure/Western film starring Charlton Heston and Brian Keith.

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Airport 1975 Charlton Heston, Myrna Loy, Linda Blair Airport 1975 is a 1974 disaster film and the first sequel to the successful 1970 film Airport. It stars Charlton Heston and Karen Black and is directed by Jack Smight.

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The Four Musketeers Raquel Welch, Christopher Lee, Faye Dunaway The Four Musketeers is a 1974 Richard Lester film that is a sequel to The Three Musketeers, and covers the second half of Dumas' novel The Three Musketeers. Fifteen years later, the cast and ...more

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True Lies Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eliza Dushku, Jamie Lee Curtis True Lies is a 1994 American action-comedy film written and directed by James Cameron, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis in the lead roles with Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, ...more

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Tombstone is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
Tombstone Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell, Charlton Heston Tombstone is a 1993 American western film directed by George P. Cosmatos, written by Kevin Jarre and starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, with Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael ...more

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Secret of the Incas Charlton Heston, Robert Young, Thomas Mitchell Secret of the Incas is a 1954 adventure film starring Charlton Heston as adventurer Harry Steele, on the trail of an ancient Incan artifact. Shot on location at Machu Picchu in Peru, the film is ...more

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Julius Caesar Charlton Heston, Christopher Lee, Diana Rigg Julius Caesar is a 1970 British independent film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play, directed by Stuart Burge from a screenplay by Robert Furnival. The film stars Charlton Heston, Jason ...more

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Gray Lady Down Charlton Heston, Christopher Reeve, David Carradine Gray Lady Down is a 1978 disaster film by Universal Studios starring Charlton Heston, David Carradine, Stacy Keach, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, and is the feature film debut of Christopher Reeve. It ...more

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Any Given Sunday Cameron Diaz, Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx Any Given Sunday is a 1999 American drama film directed by Oliver Stone depicting a fictional professional American football team. The film features an ensemble cast, consisting of Al Pacino, ...more

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Treasure Island Christian Bale, Christopher Lee, Charlton Heston Treasure Island is a 1990 TV film adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous 1883 novel Treasure Island, written & directed by Fraser Clarke Heston, and also starring several notable ...more

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Arrowhead Charlton Heston, Jack Palance, Brian Keith Arrowhead is a 1953 western film directed by Charles Marquis Warren and starring Charlton Heston and Jack Palance. The film is based on the novel Adobe Walls by W.R.Burnett. The screenplay was ...more

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Three Violent People Charlton Heston, Anne Baxter, Robert Blake Three Violent People is a 1957 American western movie starring Charlton Heston, Anne Baxter and Tom Tryon.

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The Hawaiians Bette Midler, Charlton Heston, Geraldine Chaplin The Hawaiians, released in the UK as Master of the Islands, is a 1970 American historical film based on the novel Hawaii by James A. Michener. It was directed by Tom Gries with a screenplay by ...more

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Two-Minute Warning Charlton Heston, John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands Two-Minute Warning is a 1976 disaster film directed by Larry Peerce and starring Charlton Heston, John Cassavetes, Martin Balsam, Beau Bridges, Jack Klugman, Gena Rowlands, and David Janssen. It ...more

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Ruby Gentry Charlton Heston, Jennifer Jones, Karl Malden Ruby Gentry is a 1952 film, directed by King Vidor and starring Jennifer Jones, Charlton Heston and Karl Malden. The movie and the name Gentry was the inspiration for the Professional name of ...more

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The President's Lady Charlton Heston, Susan Hayward The President's Lady is a 1953 biographical film of the life of American president, Andrew Jackson and his marriage to Rachel Donelson Robards. The film was made by 20th Century Fox, directed by ...more

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Antony and Cleopatra Charlton Heston, Julian Glover, Fernando Rey Antony and Cleopatra is a 1972 film adaptation of the play of the same name by William Shakespeare made by the Rank Organisation. It was directed by Charlton Heston and produced by Peter Snell ...more

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Skyjacked Charlton Heston, Susan Dey, James Brolin Skyjacked is a 1972 disaster film, directed by John Guillermin. The film stars Charlton Heston, James Brolin, and Yvette Mimieux, along with an all-star cast primarily playing the roles of ...more

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Diamond Head Charlton Heston, Yvette Mimieux, France Nuyen Diamond Head is a film starring Charlton Heston, Yvette Mimieux, George Chakiris, and James Darren, directed by Guy Green, and released by Columbia Pictures. The original music score was ...more

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A Man for All Seasons Charlton Heston, Vanessa Redgrave, John Gielgud A Man for All Seasons is a 1988 television movie about St. Thomas More, directed by and starring Charlton Heston. It is based on the play of the same name by Robert Bolt, which was previously ...more

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Alaska Charlton Heston, Thora Birch, Vincent Kartheiser Alaska is a 1996 action-adventure film that centers on two children who search through the Alaskan wilderness for their lost father. During their journey they find a polar bear that helps lead ...more

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The Wreck of the Mary Deare Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, Gary Cooper The Wreck of the Mary Deare is a 1959 Metrocolor British-American thriller film directed by Michael Anderson and starring Gary Cooper, Charlton Heston, Michael Redgrave, Cecil Parker, Richard ...more

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The Private War of Major Benson Charlton Heston, Sal Mineo, William Demarest The Private War of Major Benson is 1955 comedy film starring Charlton Heston, Julie Adams, Sal Mineo and Tim Hovey, about a tough-talking U.S. Army Officer who must shape up the JROTC program at ...more

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The Last Hard Men Charlton Heston, James Coburn, Barbara Hershey The Last Hard Men is a 1976 film directed by Andrew McLaglen.

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Pony Express Charlton Heston, Rhonda Fleming, Forrest Tucker Pony Express is a 1953 American western film directed by Jerry Hopper and starring Charlton Heston as Buffalo Bill, Forrest Tucker as Wild Bill Hickok, Jan Sterling as a Calamity Jane type ...more