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Posts Tagged ‘Charlton Heston’

That Time Gore Vidal Made Ben-Hur a Gay Movie

As a script doctor for the 1959 film Ben-Hur, Gore Vidal felt politics was an insufficient reason to explain a central plot point, the acrimonious falling out between dear boyhood friends, Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) and Messala (Stephen Boyd). So Vidal created a back story, a teenage love affair between the two, one that Messala was keen to rekindle and Ben-Hur was not.

The film’s director, William Wyler, approved the story, and Boyd used the homosexual history to inform his acting, but it was agreed that Heston would not be told about any of it. That little bit of gay subtext wasn’t revealed till 1995, when Vidal was interviewed for the documentary The Celluloid Closet. In the clip below you can see parts of a scene written by Vidal that include the homosexual plot line. You can also see Portuguese subtitles, and we’re working on that.

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Author Learns a Thing or Two About Hollywood Conservatives

The title of USC professor Steven Ross‘ upcoming book is hard to ignore – Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics.

The concept is equally intriguing. He chooses to examine the topic by focusing on ten individuals: Charlie Chaplin, Edward G. Robinson, George Murphy, Ronald Reagan, Harry Belafonte, Jane Fonda, Charlton Heston, Warren Beatty, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ahead of the book’s publication in September via Oxford University Press, the Australian caught up with Ross in Sydney, where he was recently a visiting professor:

Ross found two things that defied conventional wisdom. First, conservatives had a longer history in Hollywood than liberals, beginning with MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer, who developed a relationship with the Republican party in the late 1920s, effectively turning MGM studios into a publicity wing.

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Rachel Sklar Up In Arms Over Heston Age Gaffe

220px-Charlton_Heston_Civil_Rights_March_1963.jpgThe NYT said Charlton Heston died at 84. The AP called him 83. Rachel Sklar, believing the NYT, wrote a post chastising the AP and now she’s mad because the AP was right all along and the NYT messed up her perfectly cute pun.

For our part, no one’s gonna take our pun, unless they pry it from our cold, dead hands.