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In the Arena Paperback – 8 July 1996
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The autobiography of one of Hollywood’s true greats which talks candidly about his childhood, his career, his development as an actor, the reality of making the many great films in which he has starred, and about his love for his family.
From the Back Cover
Charlton Heston, like the roles he has played on both stage and screen, has had an epic influence on American and on world cinema. He is one of the few true Hollywood greats. Now, looking back on a career that has spanned over half a century, Charlton Heston reflects on what it was like to live 'In the Arena 'His book is full of stories about his great contemporaries and co-stars, who include some of the most permanently famous stage and screen names of the past fifty years, and he writes with candour and warmth of the influences that shaped his early life: of a broken home, of a shy insecure young man who found in acting a way to express himself, and of Lydia who he met and married more than fifty years ago. Frank, thoughtful and highly entertaining, his book is the life story of a man who has stood firmly in the arena, sweating, bloodied, but himself.
‘Only someone of towering presence, and epic patience, could have endured the sheer mechanics of Heston's career. This comes through well in a book that confirms its author's rarity status. As De Mille put it: ‘You can always get good actors to play hard men. Heroes are harder.’
ALEXANDER WALKER, 'Evening Standard'
‘Compulsively readable…This is a book crammed with anecdotes and insights…Still with us, still acting, his ambitions undimmed, unrepentant about his strong and often unfashionable convictions, he is a sterling example of that lost era when stars did not aim to be the boy next door. They endured beyond the hype, weathered the changing style of Hollywood, and were each possessed of qualities that could not be duplicated. No ‘luvvie’, Chuck Heston continues to give value for money, on the page as on the screen.’
BRYAN FORBES, 'Daily Telegraph'
‘Charlton Heston is a prolific, decisive, elegant and often impassioned writer…The voice is unquestionably Heston's own-clear, supremely confident, eloquent, candid but also funny and sometimes even risqué.’
LOS ANGELES TIMES
‘['In the Arena'] is orderly and detailed and as good a description of the strange business of making films as I have read. He writes without mock modesty and with a kindly if candid eye for his co-workers, most of whom he treats with a generosity rare in film memoirs.’
About the Author
Charlton Heston, like the roles he has played on both stage and screen, has had an epic influence on American and world cinema. With his career spanning over half a century, he may be regarded as one of the few true Hollywood greats.
- Publisher : HarperCollins (8 July 1996)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 592 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0006387772
- ISBN-13 : 978-0006387770
- Item Weight : 497 g
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 3.4 x 19.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #776,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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It is very interesting also because it tells very well the end of the "studio system era", as Heston got to world fame working twice with the likes of William Wyler and Cecil B De Mille into the sixties and the "independent" producers and maverick directors age.
It is a surprising read, as Heston is remembered by his roles in "peplums" and historical movies, in which he played characters like Andrew Jackson, John the Baptist, Michelangelo and Moses. However, underneath he was always a theatre lover who revered Shakespeare (and one of the actors who has played him best: Laurence Olivier, mentioned many times, always in praise, in the book). In the seventies Heston's career faltered and he became more and more stranded, but he did some "stellar" appearances. He doesn't try to hide his scorn for the frivolity and superficiality of the cinema in the nineties. But, to date, Heston is still remembered, and deservedly so, as one of the big stars of a long time gone way of doing cinema.
A moot, a note on two mistakes. Writing on The Ten Commandments, Heston mentions John Carradine as playing Moses's brother Aaron, when it was actually John Derek. And in the nineties he says he participated only with his voice in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, when he is not in that movie, but in Hercules, made six years later, also by the Disney factory. As I said, a moot (or two) in a career spanning exactly half a Century.
A very good book, a must to all lovers of the golden days of cinema and of one of its worthiest stars.
A fine book and a bargain with many distributors - I picked up a very good conditioned hard back for 1p plus postage
so all in all a 6 out of ten