Academy Award for Best Film Editing

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Academy Award for Best Film Editing
Country United States
Presented by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Currently held by Tom Cross
Whiplash (2014)
Official website

The Academy Award for Film Editing is one of the annual awards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Nominations for this award are closely correlated with the Academy Award for Best Picture. Since 1981 until 2014, every film selected as Best Picture has also been nominated for the Film Editing Oscar, and about two thirds of the Best Picture winners have also won for Film Editing.[1][2] Only the principal, "above the line" editor(s) as listed in the film's credits are named on the award; additional editors, supervising editors, etc. are not presently eligible.[3] The nominations for this Academy Award are determined by a ballot of the voting members of the Editing Branch of the Academy; there were 220 members of the Editing Branch in 2012.[4] The members may vote for up to five of the eligible films in the order of their preference; the five films with the largest vote totals are selected as nominees.[3] The Academy Award itself is selected from the nominated films by a subsequent ballot of all active and life members of the Academy. This process is essentially the reverse of that of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA); nominations for the BAFTA Award for Best Editing are done by a general ballot of Academy voters, and the winner is selected by members of the editing chapter.[5]


This award was first given for films released in 1934. The name of this award is occasionally changed; in 2008, it was listed as the Academy Award for Achievement in Film Editing.

Four film editors have won this award three times in their career...

To date, two film directors have won this award, James Cameron and Alfonso Cuaron for the films Titanic and Gravity respectively. Directors David Lean, Joel and Ethan Coen (under the alias Roderick Jaynes), and Jean-Marc Vallee (under the alias John Mac Murphy) have been nominated for editing their own films, with Cameron, Cuaron, and the Coens each being nominated for the award twice. Additionally, Best Film Editing winner, Walter Murch, although known for film editing and sound, directed the Oscar nominated Return to Oz and is, to date, the only person with Oscars for both sound engineering and film editing, winning them in the same year for his work on The English Patient.


Category Name Superlative Year Notes
Most Awards Michael Kahn
Thelma Schoonmaker

Daniel Mandell
Ralph Dawson
3 awards
3 awards
3 awards
3 awards
Awards resulted from 8 nominations
Awards resulted from 7 nominations
Awards resulted from 5 nominations
Awards resulted from 4 nominations
Most Nominations Michael Kahn 8 nominations 2012 Nominations resulted in 3 awards
Most Nominations without a Win Gerry Hambling
Frederic Knudtson
6 nominations 1996
Died in 2013
Died in 1964

Superlatives taken from a document published by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[6]

Nominations and awards[edit]

These listings are based on the Awards Database maintained by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.[7]

  indicates the winner


Year Editor(s) Film
Conrad A. Nervig Eskimo
Anne Bauchens Cleopatra
Gene Milford One Night of Love
Ralph Dawson A Midsummer Night's Dream
Robert J. Kern David Copperfield
George Hively The Informer
Barbara McLean Les Misérables
Ellsworth Hoagland Lives of a Bengal Lancer
Margaret Booth Mutiny on the Bounty
Ralph Dawson Anthony Adverse
Edward Curtiss Come and Get It
William S. Gray The Great Ziegfeld
Barbara McLean Lloyd's of London
Conrad A. Nervig A Tale of Two Cities
Otto Meyer Theodora Goes Wild
Gene Havlick, Gene Milford Lost Horizon
Al Clark The Awful Truth
Elmo Veron Captains Courageous
Basil Wrangell The Good Earth
Bernard W. Burton One Hundred Men and a Girl
Ralph Dawson The Adventures of Robin Hood
Barbara McLean Alexander's Ragtime Band
Tom Held The Great Waltz
Tom Held Test Pilot
Gene Havlick You Can't Take It with You
Hal C. Kern, James E. Newcom Gone with the Wind
Charles Frend Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Gene Havlick, Al Clark Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Barbara McLean The Rains Came
Otho Lovering, Dorothy Spencer Stagecoach


Year Editor(s) Film
Anne Bauchens North West Mounted Police
Robert L. Simpson The Grapes of Wrath
Warren Low The Letter
Sherman Todd The Long Voyage Home
Hal C. Kern Rebecca
William Holmes Sergeant York
Robert Wise Citizen Kane
Harold F. Kress Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
James B. Clark How Green Was My Valley
Daniel Mandell The Little Foxes
Daniel Mandell The Pride of the Yankees
Harold F. Kress Mrs. Miniver
Otto Meyer The Talk of the Town
Walter Thompson This Above All
George Amy Yankee Doodle Dandy
George Amy Air Force
Owen Marks Casablanca
Doane Harrison Five Graves to Cairo
Sherman Todd, John F. Link Sr. For Whom the Bell Tolls
Barbara McLean The Song of Bernadette
Barbara McLean Wilson
LeRoy Stone Going My Way
Owen Marks Janie
Roland Gross None but the Lonely Heart
Hal C. Kern, James E. Newcom Since You Went Away
Robert J. Kern National Velvet
Harry Marker The Bells of St. Mary's
Doane Harrison The Lost Weekend
George Amy Objective, Burma!
Charles Nelson A Song to Remember
Daniel Mandell The Best Years of Our Lives
William Hornbeck It's a Wonderful Life
William A. Lyon The Jolson Story
Arthur Hilton The Killers
Harold F. Kress The Yearling
Francis Lyon, Robert Parrish Body and Soul
Monica Collingwood The Bishop's Wife
Harmon Jones Gentleman's Agreement
George White Green Dolphin Street
Fergus McDonnell Odd Man Out
Paul Weatherwax The Naked City
Frank Sullivan Joan of Arc
David Weisbart Johnny Belinda
Christian Nyby Red River
Reginald Mills The Red Shoes
Harry Gerstad Champion
Robert Parrish, Al Clark All the King's Men
John Dunning Battleground
Richard L. Van Enger Sands of Iwo Jima
Frederic Knudtson The Window





Thelma Schoonmaker and Columba Powell at the Cannes Film Festival (2009). Schoonmaker is among the deans of film editing; Powell is the son of Michael Powell, a prominent film director to whom Schoonmaker was married until his death in 1990.


Year Film Editor(s)
Dances with Wolves Neil Travis
Ghost Walter Murch
The Godfather Part III Barry Malkin, Lisa Fruchtman, and Walter Murch
Goodfellas Thelma Schoonmaker
The Hunt for Red October Dennis Virkler and John Wright
JFK Joe Hutshing and Pietro Scalia
The Commitments Gerry Hambling
The Silence of the Lambs Craig McKay
Terminator 2: Judgment Day Conrad Buff, Mark Goldblatt, and Richard A. Harris
Thelma & Louise Thom Noble
Unforgiven Joel Cox
Basic Instinct Frank J. Urioste
The Crying Game Kant Pan
A Few Good Men Robert Leighton
The Player Geraldine Peroni
Schindler's List Michael Kahn
The Fugitive Dennis Virkler, David Finfer, Dean Goodhill, Don Brochu, Richard Nord, and Dov Hoenig
In the Line of Fire Anne V. Coates
In the Name of the Father Gerry Hambling
The Piano Veronika Jenet
Forrest Gump Arthur Schmidt
Hoop Dreams Frederick Marx, Steve James, and William Haugse
Pulp Fiction Sally Menke
The Shawshank Redemption Richard Francis-Bruce
Speed John Wright
Apollo 13 Mike Hill and Daniel P. Hanley
Babe Marcus D'Arcy and Jay Friedkin
Braveheart Steven Rosenblum
Crimson Tide Chris Lebenzon
Seven Richard Francis-Bruce
The English Patient Walter Murch
Evita Gerry Hambling
Fargo Roderick Jaynes
Jerry Maguire Joe Hutshing
Shine Pip Karmel
Titanic Conrad Buff, James Cameron, and Richard A. Harris
Air Force One Richard Francis-Bruce
As Good as It Gets Richard Marks
Good Will Hunting Pietro Scalia
L.A. Confidential Peter Honess
Saving Private Ryan Michael Kahn
Life Is Beautiful Simona Paggi
Out of Sight Anne V. Coates
Shakespeare in Love David Gamble
The Thin Red Line Billy Weber, Leslie Jones, and Saar Klein
The Matrix Zach Staenberg
American Beauty Tariq Anwar
The Cider House Rules Lisa Zeno Churgin
The Insider William Goldenberg, Paul Rubell, and David Rosenbloom
The Sixth Sense Andrew Mondshein


Year Film Editor(s)
Traffic Stephen Mirrione
Almost Famous Joe Hutshing and Saar Klein
Gladiator Pietro Scalia
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Tim Squyres
Wonder Boys Dede Allen
Black Hawk Down Pietro Scalia
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring John Gilbert
A Beautiful Mind Mike Hill and Daniel P. Hanley
Memento Dody Dorn
Moulin Rouge! Jill Bilcock
Chicago Martin Walsh
Gangs of New York Thelma Schoonmaker
The Hours Peter Boyle
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Michael Horton
The Pianist Hervé de Luze
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Jamie Selkirk
City of God Daniel Rezende
Cold Mountain Walter Murch
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World Lee Smith
Seabiscuit William Goldenberg
The Aviator Thelma Schoonmaker
Collateral Jim Miller and Paul Rubell
Finding Neverland Matt Chesse
Million Dollar Baby Joel Cox
Ray Paul Hirsch
Crash Hughes Winborne
Cinderella Man Mike Hill and Dan Hanley
The Constant Gardener Claire Simpson
Munich Michael Kahn
Walk the Line Michael McCusker
The Departed Thelma Schoonmaker
Babel Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione
Blood Diamond Steven Rosenblum
Children of Men Alfonso Cuarón and Alex Rodríguez
United 93 Clare Douglas, Richard Pearson, and Christopher Rouse
The Bourne Ultimatum Christopher Rouse
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Juliette Welfling
Into the Wild Jay Cassidy
No Country for Old Men Roderick Jaynes
There Will Be Blood Dylan Tichenor
Slumdog Millionaire Chris Dickens
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
The Dark Knight Lee Smith
Frost/Nixon Mike Hill and Dan Hanley
Milk Elliot Graham
The Hurt Locker Chris Innis and Bob Murawski
Avatar James Cameron, John Refoua, and Stephen E. Rivkin
District 9 Julian Clarke
Inglourious Basterds Sally Menke
Precious Joe Klotz


Year Film Editor(s)
The Social Network Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
Black Swan Andrew Weisblum
127 Hours Jon Harris
The Fighter Pamela Martin
The King's Speech Tariq Anwar
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
The Artist Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants Kevin Tent
Hugo Thelma Schoonmaker
Moneyball Christopher Tellefsen
Argo William Goldenberg
Life of Pi Tim Squyres
Lincoln Michael Kahn
Silver Linings Playbook Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
Zero Dark Thirty Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg
Gravity Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
12 Years a Slave Joe Walker
American Hustle Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
Captain Phillips Christopher Rouse
Dallas Buyers Club John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
Whiplash Tom Cross
American Sniper Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach
Boyhood Sandra Adair
The Grand Budapest Hotel Barney Pilling
The Imitation Game William Goldenberg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harris, Mark (January 6, 2008). "Which Editing is a Cut Above?". The New York Times.  In 1980, Ordinary People won as Best Picture, but its editor Jeff Kanew was not nominated for Best Editing.
  2. ^ Dimond, Anna (December 13, 2013). "Why Editing Nominations Predict the Best Picture Oscar". Variety.  Interviews with prominent film editors exploring the correlation between the Academy Awards for Best Film Editing and for Best Film.
  3. ^ a b "Rule Thirteen—Special Rules for the Film Editing Award". 79th Academy Awards Rules for Distinguished Achievements in 2006. Archived from the original on 2010-07-18.  Rules are published for each year's awards. In earlier years, different rules applied; thus Robert Parrish was nominated for All the King's Men (1949), and indeed won the Oscar, with a credit as an "editorial consultant".
  4. ^ "Academy Branches". Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. February 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-02-24. 
  5. ^ "Orange British Academy Film Awards: Rules and Guidelines 2008-2009". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-07-18. 
  6. ^ "Film Editing Facts" (PDF). Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  7. ^ Listing generated by searching "The Official Academy Awards Database".  for all "film editing" awards.