You Should Know: Thirteen Pioneering Female Film Editors

Inspired by my most recent post – women have been editing films at least since the 1910s, making many notable contributions to cinema history. You might not have realized that many classics, including Red Dust, Camille, The Wizard of Oz, All About Eve, An American in Paris, Singin’ in the Rain and The Ten Commandments, were edited by these trailblazing women. (The list doesn’t go past the 1950s and lists movies for which the women were the sole editors, rather than collaborations.)

Anne Bauchens (1882-1967)The Sign of the Cross (1932), Cleopatra (1934), The Crusades (1935), Samson and Delilah (1949), The Ten Commandments (1956)

Irene Morra (1893-1978) – Oliver Twist (1922), Captain January (1936), Road to Morocco (1942), Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943), Calamity Jane (1953)

Viola Lawrence (1894-1973)Craig’s Wife (1936), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), In a Lonely Place (1950)

Margaret Clancey (1897-1989) – Four Sons (1928), Bad Girl (1931), Cavalcade (1933), History Is Made at Night (1937), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938)

Margaret Booth (1898-2002) – The Mysterious Lady (1928), Bombshell (1933), Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), Romeo and Juliet (1936), Camille (1936)

Blanche Sewell (1898-1949)Grand Hotel (1932), Red Dust (1932), Queen Christina (1933), The Wizard of Oz (1939), The Pirate (1948)

Barbara McLean (1903-1996) – Les Misérables (1935), The Song of Bernadette (1943), Nightmare Alley (1947), Twelve O’Clock High (1949), All About Eve (1950)

Alma Macrorie (1904-1970) – To Each His Own (1946), Knock on Wood (1954), The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954), The Trouble with Harry (1955), Teacher’s Pet (1958)

Adrienne Fazan (1906-1986) – An American in Paris (1951), Singin’ in the Rain (1952), Lust for Life (1956), Gigi (1958), Some Came Running (1958)

Dorothy Spencer (1909-2002) – To Be or Not to Be (1942), Heaven Can Wait (1943), Lifeboat (1944), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), My Darling Clementine (1946)

Madeleine Gug (1913-1971)Devil in the Flesh (1947), Diabolique (1955), Four Bags Full (1956), Les Espions (1957), Love Is My Profession (1958)

Marjorie Fowler (1920-2003) – Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid (1948), Man in the Attic (1953), The Three Faces of Eve (1957), Stopover Tokyo (1957), Fräulein (1958)

Anne V. Coates (1925- )The Pickwick Papers (1952), To Paris with Love (1955), Tears for Simon (1956), The Truth About Women (1957), The Horse’s Mouth (1958)


3 thoughts on “You Should Know: Thirteen Pioneering Female Film Editors

    • Thanks! I think I’m going to make a couple more posts showing the 60s up to the present day because it’s a fascinating bit of study. I really had no idea just how many of my favorite films were edited by women. It’s pretty amazing that even though there were barely any women directing mainstream films for so long, there was a notable number literally piecing together some of the most important films of the last century.

  1. Pingback: You Should Know: Female Film Editors, Part 2 | The Iron Cupcake

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