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The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked 

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Updated September 21, 2019 5.4k votes 741 voters 50.8k views 88 items

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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1
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Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Griffith

Released: 1959

Directed by: William Wyler

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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Charlton Heston, Vincent Price, Yul Brynner

Released: 1956

Directed by: Cecil B. DeMille

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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3
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Charlton Heston, Linda Harrison, James Whitmore

Released: 1968

Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner

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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4
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Sophia Loren, Charlton Heston, Herbert Lom

Released: 1961

Directed by: Anthony Mann

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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5
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Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Dick Van Patten

Released: 1973

Directed by: Richard Fleischer

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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6
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Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Marlene Dietrich

Released: 1958

Directed by: Orson Welles

Touch of Evil is a 1958 American 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 with ...more

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7
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Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Eric Laneuville

Released: 1971

Directed by: Boris Sagal

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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8
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Charlton Heston

Released: 2003

Directed by: William R. Kowalchuk Jr.

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
9
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Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons

Released: 1958

Directed by: William Wyler

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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10
The Agony and the Ecstas... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked
Charlton Heston, Rex Harrison, Harry Andrews

Released: 1965

Directed by: Carol Reed

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
11
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Charlton Heston, Eleanor Parker, William Conrad

Released: 1954

Directed by: Byron Haskin

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
12
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Charlton Heston, Bruce Dern, Lee Majors

Released: 1968

Directed by: Tom Gries

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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13
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James Stewart, Charlton Heston, Bob Hope

Released: 1952

Directed by: Cecil B. DeMille

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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14
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Charlton Heston, Maurice Evans, Richard Boone

Released: 1965

Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner

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
15
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Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson

Released: 1966

Directed by: Basil Dearden, Eliot Elisofon

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
16
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Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter, Paul Giamatti

Released: 2001

Directed by: Tim Burton

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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17
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John Wayne, Charlton Heston, Angela Lansbury

Released: 1965

Directed by: George Stevens, Jean Negulesco, David Lean

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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18
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Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda

Released: 1976

Directed by: Jack Smight

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 film directed by Jack Smight and produced by Walter Mirisch from ...more

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19
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Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, James Coburn

Released: 1965

Directed by: Sam Peckinpah

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
20
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Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, David Niven

Released: 1963

Directed by: Nicholas Ray, Guy Green, Andrew Marton

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
21
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Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, Victoria Principal

Released: 1974

Directed by: Mark Robson

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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22
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Raquel Welch, Christopher Lee, Faye Dunaway

Released: 1973

Directed by: Richard Lester

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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23
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Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Charles Boyer

Released: 1958

Directed by: Anthony Quinn

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
24
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Charlton Heston, Brian Keith, John Glover

Released: 1980

Directed by: Richard Lang

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

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25
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Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Linda Harrison

Released: 1970

Directed by: Ted Post

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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