Before They Were Stars: 17-Year Old Charlton Heston in a Silent Film

Every year on Easter weekend, it’s an annual tradition for millions of people to tune in to watch Charlton Heston chewing the scenery when The Ten Commandments is shown on television. However, 15 years before he was Moses, Charlton Heston made his acting debut in an experimental silent film called Peer Gynt. Heston was only a 17-year old high school student when he was cast in the title role of this 1941 adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Norwegian play, and it’s a trip seeing him act without any dialogue. Incidentally, the director of Peer Gynt was David Bradley, who would later give Heston his first Hollywood role in the 1950 screen adaptation of Julius Caesar. Heston’s career soon took off while Bradley went on to direct They Saved Hitler’s Brain.

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