What do you think is the best edited film of all time?
The MPEG posed this question to its 6200 members as part of its 75th anniversary observation this year. See what you think of the results, published in the May edition of “CineMontage,” the guild’s monthly magazine:
Breaking down the choices
Though the picks range from 1924-2011, they’re a bit heavy on the last few years, though interestingly, the 70s garner the most films and the top choices. Perhaps this is understandable given all of our memories, but Rope? Really? It has 10 cuts! Perhaps the movie should get a special award for cutting in the camera as Hitchcock designed it to mimic the original British stage play by filming it on one set in real time. Limited by the 10 minute length of a 35mm camera roll, Rope’s 81 minutes are actually composed of 10 reels, 10 master shots, and 10 cuts (the first of which is establishing shot of Manhattan), and no coverage.
I also missed seeing The Best Years of Our Lives (1946 Oscar winner for Best Film Editing) and The Apartment (1960) both of which garnered an Academy award for Danny Mandell who edited for William Wyler (1933–1946) a and Billy Wilder (1957–1966) and is tied with Thelma Schoonmaker, Ralph Dawson, and Michael Kahn for three Oscar editing wins.
Guild’s breakdown of choices
The magazine article notes that, “Most of the films cited are from the 1970s (17), followed by the ‘90s (16), the ‘60s (13) the ‘50s (8), the ‘00s (7), the ‘80s (5) and the ‘40s (3)” and that the 1930s gathered no selections. Another oversight! So much for Modern Times (1936), The Awful Truth (1937), Gone with the Wind (1939), Stagecoach (1939), and The Wizard of Oz (1939)!!
To read more about the nominations, including about the top sound and music editors honored by guild members’ choices, click the magazine cover.