The Who2 Blog

Hollywood’s Mount Rushmore

“If Hollywood had a Mt. Rushmore, [Charlton] Heston’s face would be on it… He was a heroic figure that I don’t think exists to the same degree in Hollywood today.”

-Publicist Michael Levine, quoted by the AP.

This statement got us thinking. If Hollywood did have a Mount Rushmore, would Chuck Heston really be on it? (And where would they put it — next to the HOLLYWOOD sign?)

One movie star seems like a sure thing for the Big Four: Charlie Chaplin. There’s a guy that made a name for himself in the movies. Two other names come right to mind:

Humphrey Bogart
John Wayne

Bogart is a stretch in some ways — he was in some great films, but they weren’t the same kind of epics and blockbusters that, say, Heston was in. But Bogart will probably remembered longer, if only on the strength of Casablanca alone. Plus, he was just cool. And John Wayne, well, it’s hard to argue with all those cowboy movies.

That leaves Heston battling it out for the final spot with the rest of Hollywood history.

It might help to define what would qualify one for Mount Rushmore status. If it were simply lifetime boxoffice gross, the lineup would actually be Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hanks, Eddie Murphy, and Harrison Ford. (A frightening thought, 80 feet high.) You could also make a case for ranking by innovation, appearances in “important” movies, etc, etc.

For us, as with the original Mount Rushmore, the issue is really star power. If you found yourself at a cocktail party with all the Hollywood greats, who would make you say, “Oh my gosh, there’s [blank]”?

We also take “Hollywood” to mean the American film industry, which lets us weed out Ingmar Bergman, Sophia Loren and many other worthies.

Just grabbing names offhand, here are some other candidates for the fourth spot:

Marilyn Monroe
Steven Spielberg
George Lucas
Paul Newman
Alfred Hitchcock
Katharine Hepburn
Marlon Brando
Orson Welles
Clint Eastwood
Cary Grant
Jimmy Stewart

Welles is out, of course — he’d take up the whole mountain himself.

Looking at that short list, it’s hard to see Heston taking the fourth spot. Not to say that his career wasn’t terrific. It sure was. But hey, it’s fast company.

Who would you put in slot #4? (Or in positions 1-3?)

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