"Charlton Heston is an axiom. He constitutes a tragedy in himself, his presence in any film being enough to instil beauty. The pent-up violence expressed by the sombre phosphorescence of his eyes, his eagle’s profile, the imperious arch of his eyebrows, the hard, bitter curve of his lips, the stupendous strength of his torso - this is what he has been given, and what not even the worst of directors can debase. It is in this sense that one can say that Charlton Heston, by his very existence and regardless of the film he is in, provides a more accurate definition of the cinema than films like Hiroshima mon amour or Citizen Kane, films whose aesthetic either ignores or repudiates Charlton Heston. Through him, mise en scène can confront the most intense of conflicts and settle them with the contempt of a god imprisoned, quivering with muted rage.”
-Michel Mourlet, “In Defense of Violence” (‘Apologie de la violence, Cahiers du Cinema 107, May 1960), translated by David Wilson. From Cahiers du Cinéma, The 1960s: New Wave, New Cinema, Reevaluating Hollywood, Jim Hillier, ed.
A tease for more text (original) and images (quoted) from Anthony Mann’s 1961 film El Cid, soon to be released on DVD.