Cut to:
Editor, Actress, Screenwriter, Director

Viola Lawrence (editor), Rosalind Russell (actress), Mary C. McCall Jr. (screenwriter) and Dorothy Arzner (director) during the 1936 production of Craig’s Wife.

“My philosophy is that to be a director you cannot be subject to anyone, even the head of the studio. I threatened to quit each time I didn’t get my way, but no one ever let me walk out.”
— “Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema” edited by Melody Bridges and Cheryl Robson. The full text can be found in the Appendix.

Anne Bauchens was the editor of the 1928 version of Craig’s Wife by William C. DeMille (Cecil B.’s older brother).


Adrienne Fazan

1906 – 1986

Adrienne Fazan began cutting films in 1931. She was helped early in her career by Dorothy Arzner, who promoted her from the short film department to feature films; she edited Arzner’s The Bride Wore Red. Fazan worked on many MGM films, including The Tell-Tale Heart, Anchors Aweigh, Singin’ in the Rain, and Lust for Life. She was nominated for an Oscar for An American in Paris and won an Oscar for Gigi. Both were directed by Vincente Minnelli, with whom she collaborated on eleven films.

“After I had sequences cut, I would show them to the director, and he would make comments. With Minnelli, he would mostly say, ‘Too tight,’ especially if it was somebody walking. He would count very slowly, ‘one, twooo, threeee, fourrrrrrr, cut!’ When I got the film on the Moviola, I would count a little faster, which, of course, was all right because I could lengthen the scenes later the way he wanted them. In the final editing, Freed would come in. Then it was up to the producer and the director to argue it out, and they would tighten the picture. Margaret Booth [MGM’s supervising editor] would yell and scream. ‘It’s too slow!’  She liked everything very tight, so I would trim it down some more.”
—“The Magic Factory: How MGM Made An American in Paris” by Donald Knox. The full text can be found in the Appendix.

“The studio made a rule that we could not work overtime without special permission…So I said, ‘Oh, the hell with you.’ I worked the overtime, but I didn’t put in for it, because I hate that business: ‘You can’t do that.’ What the hell! I’m working on the picture for the picture, trying to do as good a job as possible. Then they tell me I can’t work, I have to go home when I have work to do. I didn’t go for that.”
—“The Magic Factory: How MGM Made An American in Paris” by Donald Knox. The full text can be found in the Appendix.