Khartoum; Charlton Heston; Mahdi; Laurence Olivier
While I have much to say on the death of Charlton Heston yesterday, this post will focus on what I consider to be his best movie.
Watching the video montages on network television this morning, I noted that little attention was paid to Heston's 1966 movie "Khartoum." The mini-bios focused mainly on Ben-Hur and the Ten Commandments.
For those that have never seen "Khartoum," buy or rent it. I won't provide a full review here, but the movie provides insight into Islam and the nature of the enemy that we face. The action takes place in the 1870's (generations before George W. Bush would illegally seize office, turn the entire Muslim world against the U.S. and destroy New Orleans with a hurricane). The most important part of the plot focuses on Laurence Olivier's portrayal of the "Mahdi" - the mythic Shia moslem figure that will one day appear and wreak vengeance ("justice") upon the non-moslem world.
As the climax approached, Olivier's Mahdi discussed his plans with Heston's General Gordon. The Mahdi revealed his desire to wreak havoc throughout the mideast and beyond. The Mahdi's desire to sack, pillage and dominate Khartoum was only a stepping stone. It was truly chilling to hear the Mahdi discuss this as he guided General Gordon's hand into buckets of water containing the severed heads of Gordon's allies. [While the movie is as violent as any mid-1960's war movie, the movie is tastefully done and does not contain gore. It is far less violent than your average modern Jihadi beheading video from Al Jazeera.]
Any movie with a serious discussion of the concept of the Mahdi is worth seeing - especially in light of the influence that this concept holds over the Iranian government and its plans to use the nuclear arsenal that it now prepares to build.
For the moonbats who might be reading this, Khartoum is a city in Sudan. Sudan is the country that also contains Darfur - where muslims have killed millions of Christians in modern years. Darfur is the place that you want Bush to send our troops after they have been withdrawn from Iraq.
If nothing else, the movie should remind audiences that the trouble with Islam began long before the U.S. led coalition invaded Iraq.
Michelle Malkin has more on Charlton Heston's life and work.