2. Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison were major mid-twentieth century actors.

2. Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison were major mid-twentieth century actors. (Please note that they nevertheless appear not to have been the first casting choices for this film!). As it turns out, they did not get along during the making of the film. Think about the film as a star vehicle and the need for there to be (plot-driven) tension between the characters of Michelangelo and Pope Julius II, but also eventual resolution. Do you think the two men’s actual dislike for one another helped the character development in the film? How does Rex Harrison represent Julius II – as generous, as militaristic, as proud, as a believer? How does Charlton Heston portray Michelangelo – as proud, driven, a loner, a believer? How does the cinematography capture these traits in both cases? (HINT: Harrison as Julius II on his horse and the Papal throne vs. Heston as Michelangelo silhouetted against the sky in the mountains around Carrara (at 59 minutes). Finally: What do you make of the camera angle and sweeping view of the completed Sistine Chapel at 2 hours, 9 min.? Does the ceiling – rather than the actors – end up being the star of the show?

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