Chris Nashawaty
April 11, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Ten Commandments
(1956) The climax of Cecil B. DeMille’s glorious career — and the kickoff of Heston’s. There are few scenes in film history more indelible than his Moses parting the Red Sea.

Touch of Evil
(1958) In Orson Welles’ wonderfully perverse border-town noir, Heston’s Mexican drug agent tries (and fails) to shield wife Janet Leigh from danger.

Ben-Hur
(1959) William Wyler’s epic set in ancient Rome nabbed 11 Academy Awards (including Best Actor for Heston). The chariot race may be the greatest action sequence ever.

Major Dundee
(1965) Sam Peckinpah’s Western, butchered but still great, teams two Civil War enemies (Heston and Richard Harris) on a quest for Apache vengeance.

Planet of the Apes
(1968) The sci-fi classic features a Rod Serling twist ending and Heston’s most famous line: ”Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!”

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