Gene Ruggiero

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Gene Ruggiero
Born Gene S. Ruggiero
(1910-06-20)June 20, 1910
Long Island, New York
Died February 19, 2002(2002-02-19) (aged 91)
Ogden, Utah
Occupation Film editor
Spouse(s) Eva Nohavka (1966–1988, divorced)

Gene S. Ruggiero (June 20, 1910 – February 19, 2002) was an American film editor. Originally a golf caddy at an exclusive New York country club, Ruggiero was fired from his job and later went to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer where he was assigned the job of editing. He was initially unhappy with his job and would often skip working to play golf, demoted to assistant editor due to this.

Ruggiero came to prominence after editing the 1939 film Ninotchka. As nobody else would edit the film due to Ernst Lubitsch's reputation, the job was assigned to Ruggiero. He received his first credit on the film, and continued as an editor for the rest of his career. Ruggiero earned an Academy Award for Best Film Editing in 1956 for his work on Around the World in 80 Days, which he shared with Paul Weatherwax. He was also nominated for an Academy Award in 1955 for his editing on Oklahoma!, which he shared with George Boemler.

Early life[edit]

Gene S. Ruggiero was born in Long Island on June 20, 1910, the son of Phillip and Teresa Ruggiero. He grew up in Manhasset, New York with his seven siblings. During World War II, he served in the army.[1] Ruggiero enjoyed the sport of golf and, before becoming a film editor, he worked as a caddy at a New York country club. Ruggiero often caddied for American film studio executive Nicholas Schenck. On days where Schenck's group was lacking a fourth player, they often invited Ruggiero to play. However, after playing a game with the group one day, Ruggiero returned to the clubhouse find the head angry with him for neglecting his caddy duties. Ruggiero was fired from his job.[2]

Career[edit]

Ruggiero approached Schenck, and requested assistance in becoming employed. Since Schenck was head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on the east coast division, he decided to send Ruggiero there, with a letter written by Schenk that would ensure Ruggiero would earn a job at the studio. When Ruggiero arrived, he was assigned the job of film editor. Ruggiero found himself displeased with the menial work, and often did not show up at the studio, choosing to play golf instead. He was demoted to assistant editor when his skipping was found out, and worked on several Johnny Weissmuller films.[2]

Ruggiero received his first film credit in 1939, on the film Ninotchka.[3] Ernst Lubitsch, the director of the film, had a reputation with the studio which made the other editors refuse to cut the film. Ruggiero was picked as the last option. The film brought Ruggiero to prominence and he worked as a main editor for the rest of his career.[2] After Ninotchka, he edited Richard Thorpe's action film Tarzan Finds a Son! with Frank Sullivan,[4] while editing the comedy Joe and Ethel Turp Call on the President by himself.[5]

In 1940, he edited The Shop Around the Corner, another Lubitsch film. Two Dr. Kildare films Strange Case and Crisis were also edited by Ruggiero this year, along with the George B. Seitz film Sky Murder and W. S. Van Dyke's comedy I Love You Again. The next year saw Ruggiero edit Blonde Inspiration by Busby Berkeley and Washington Melodrama by S. Sylvan Simon. He also cut another Tarzan picture by Thorpe entitled Tarzan's Secret Treasure. Ruggiero edited the 1942 films A Yank on the Burma Road, Tarzan's New York Adventure, Andy Hardy's Double Life, and Jackass Mail. His next credit came in 1946 on the film Three Wise Fools, which he co-edited with Theron Warth. He edited the actor Robert Montgomery's Lady in the Lake in 1947. That same year, Ruggiero was the editor for Edward Buzzell's Song of the Thin Man, and the final Dr. Kildare film Dark Delusion.

Big City was Ruggerio's only 1948 credit. He served as editor for The Bribe the following year, as well as That Midnight Kiss; Ruggerio remembered that the film's star Mario Lanza would not do a film unless Ruggerio would edit it.[6] In 1950 he cut Stars in My Crown and The Toast of New Orleans. The following year he was the editor for Lanza's film The Great Caruso, as well as Norman Taurog's Rich, Young and Pretty and John Sturges' The People Against O'Hara.[7][8][9] The 1952 film Glory Alley was Ruggierio's next credit, and in 1953 the films The Clown, Rogue's March, and Easy to Love were edited by him. He edited Men of the Fighting Lady, Athena, and The Student Prince in the following year. Along with George Boemler, Ruggiero edited the 1955 film Oklahoma!. Ruggiero earned his first Academy Award for Best Editing nomination for his work on the film; he and Boemler lost to William A. Lyon and Charles Nelson for Picnic.[10]

I told [Todd] to go away for two weeks and leave us alone. And then we cut the monster down to something that made sense.
Ruggiero on the editing process of Around the World in 80 Days.[6]

In 1956 he edited The Catered Affair alongside Frank Santillo,[11] and Around the World in 80 Days with Howard Epstein and Paul Weatherwax. Ruggiero and Weatherwax won the Academy Award for Best Film Editing. The Oscar statuette Ruggiero earned for his work on the film was tarnished; its gold coat was removed when Ruggiero sent it out for cleansing and he never had it replated when he was able to afford doing so. Ruggiero said in March 1994 that he considered the film his best work.[6]

The films Ruggiero edited in 1957 were The Seventh Sin and Seven Hills of Rome. He also edited John Ford's The Wings of Eagles that year. Ruggiero recalled Ford as a "cheapskate" and that he offered Ruggiero a new putter to appease him.[6] The following year, he edited Torpedo Run, and in 1959 he edited For the First Time and Tarzan, the Ape Man. In 1960, Ruggiero did Platinum High School and Revak the Rebel, and edited The Thief of Bagdad and The Wonders of Aladdin the next year. His next credit came on the film The Last Man on Earth, released in 1964, which he edited with Franca Silvi. That year he also edited Panic Button and Dog Eat Dog.

Ruggiero's next film was Cast a Giant Shadow by Melville Shavelson which was released it 1966; he edited the film alongside Bert Bates. He edited Marlowe and Hell's Angels '69 in 1969, and in 1972 he served as editor on William Girdler's Asylum of Satan. The 1974 television pilot Wonder Woman was his next credit; he also edited Black Eye that same year. He edited the 1975 film Boss Nigger; he also worked with Eva on 1976's Adiós Amigo. He worked on The World through the Eyes of Children in 1975 and Paco in 1977. Ruggiero's final editing credit came in 1977 for his work on Gus Trikonis' Moonshine County Express.

Ruggiero was elected as a member of the American Cinema Editors. In 1994, he earned an American Cinema Editors Career Achievement Award, presented by Martin Scorsese. He criticized the low amount of money he was being paid each year; in 1994 the Motion Picture Industry Pension Plan was only giving him $242.71 a month - by contrast, younger editors were earning around $1,250. Ruggiero believed that since he had worked his whole life in the film industry, he was owed a higher amount.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Ruggiero married Eva Nohavka in Italy on April 9, 1966. They divorced in 1988.[1] By 1994, Eva had brought Gene back to live with her. By this time, he had been suffering from herpes zoster and nearly all of his teeth were missing.[6] He then lived in Ogden, Utah for four years before his death on February 19, 2002. Ruggiero is survived by his two children, four grandchildren, two brothers, and a sister.[1]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Director Notes
1939 Ninotchka Ernst Lubitsch [3]
1939 Tarzan Finds a Son! Richard Thorpe With Frank Sullivan[4]
1939 Joe And Ethel Turp Call On The President Robert B. Sinclair [5]
1940 The Shop Around the Corner Ernst Lubitsch [12]
1940 Dr. Kildare's Strange Case Harold S. Bucquet [13]
1940 I Love You Again W. S. Van Dyke [14]
1940 Sky Murder George B. Seitz [15]
1940 Dr. Kildare's Crisis Harold S. Bucquet [16]
1941 Blonde Inspiration Busby Berkeley [17]
1941 Washington Melodrama S. Sylvan Simon [18]
1941 Tarzan's Secret Treasure Richard Thorpe [19]
1942 A Yank on the Burma Road George B. Seitz [20]
1942 Tarzan's New York Adventure Richard Thorpe [21]
1942 Andy Hardy's Double Life George B. Seitz [22]
1942 Jackass Mail Norman Z. McLeod [23]
1946 Three Wise Fools Edward Buzzell With Theron Warth[24]
1947 Lady in the Lake Robert Montgomery [25]
1947 Dark Delusion Willis Goldbeck [26]
1947 Song of the Thin Man Edward Buzzell [27]
1948 Big City Norman Taurog [28]
1949 The Bribe Robert Z. Leonard [29]
1949 That Midnight Kiss Norman Taurog [30]
1950 Stars in My Crown Jacques Tourneur [31]
1950 The Toast of New Orleans Norman Taurog [32]
1951 The Great Caruso Richard Thorpe [7]
1951 Rich, Young and Pretty Norman Taurog [8]
1951 The People Against O'Hara John Sturges [9]
1952 Glory Alley Raoul Walsh [33]
1953 The Clown Robert Z. Leonard [34]
1953 Rogue's March Allan Davis [35]
1953 Easy to Love Charles Walters [36]
1954 Men of the Fighting Lady Andrew Marton [37]
1954 The Student Prince Richard Thorpe [38]
1954 Athena Richard Thorpe [39]
1955 Oklahoma! Fred Zinnemann With George Boemler[40]
Nomination: Academy Award for Best Film Editing
1956 The Catered Affair Richard Brooks With Frank Santillo[11]
1956 Around the World in 80 Days Michael Anderson With Howard Epstein and Paul Weatherwax[41]
Won: Academy Award for Best Film Editing[42]
1956 The Great American Pastime Herman Hoffman [43]
1957 The Wings of Eagles John Ford [44]
1957 The Seventh Sin Ronald Neame [45]
1957 Seven Hills of Rome Roy Rowland [46]
1958 Torpedo Run Joseph Pevney [47]
1959 For the First Time Rudolph Maté [48]
1959 Tarzan, the Ape Man Joseph M. Newman [49]
1960 Platinum High School Charles F. Haas [50]
1960 Revak the Rebel Rudolph Maté [51]
1961 The Thief of Bagdad Arthur Lubin [52]
1961 The Wonders of Aladdin Henry Levin
Mario Bava
[53]
1964 The Last Man on Earth Ubaldo Ragona
Sidney Salkow
With Franca Silvi[54]
1964 Panic Button George Sherman [55]
1964 Dog Eat Dog Richard E. Cunha
Gustav Gavrin
Ray Nazarro
Albert Zugsmith
[56]
1966 Cast a Giant Shadow Melville Shavelson With Bert Bates[57]
1969 Marlowe Paul Bogart [58]
1969 Hell's Angels '69 Lee Madden [59]
1970 Noon Sunday Terry Bourke [60]
1972 Asylum of Satan William Girdler [61]
1973 The Mad Bomber Bert I. Gordon [62]
1974 Wonder Woman Vincent McEveety [63]
1974 Black Eye Jack Arnold [64]
1975 Boss Nigger Jack Arnold With Eva Ruggerio[65]
1975 The World through the Eyes of Children Jimmie Rodgers
Bob Williams
[66]
1976 Adiós Amigo Fred Williamson With Eva Ruggerio[67]
1976 Paco Robert O'Neil [68]
1977 Moonshine County Express Gus Trikonis [69]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Gene S. Ruggiero". Standard-Examiner. 22 February 2002. Archived from the original on February 23, 2002. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Senensky, Ralph. "To Heinie, with Love". Ralph's Cinema Trek. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Eagan, Daniel (2010). America's Film Legacy. Continuum. p. 296. ISBN 0826429777. 
  4. ^ a b "Tarzan Finds a Son!". Variety. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Joe And Ethel Turp Call On The President". TV Guide. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Galbraith, Jane (March 21, 1994). "Calendar Goes to the OSCARS : A Lifetime of Achievements but Only a Tiny Pension". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Miller, Frank. "The Great Caruso". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Rich, Young and Pretty". TV Guide. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Erickson, Glenn. "DVD Savant: The People Against O'Hara". DVD Talk. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  10. ^ "28th Academy Award Winners". Oscars.org. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "The Catered Affair". Variety. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  12. ^ Nugent, Frank S. "The Shop Around the Corner - Movie Review". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Dr. Kildare's Strange Case - Cast and Crew". AllMovie. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  14. ^ Nixon, Rob. "I Love You Again". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Sky Murder". TV Guide. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Dr. Kildare's Crisis". TV Guide. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Blonde Inspiration - Full Cast & Crew". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Washington Melodrama - Cast and Crew". AllMovie. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Tarzan's Secret Treasure". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  20. ^ "A Yank On The Burma Road Cast Details". TV Guide. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Tarzan's New York Adventure". Variety. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  22. ^ Nixon, Rob. "Andy Hardy's Double Life". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Jackass Mail (1942)". British Film Institute. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Three Wise Fools (1946) - Full Credits". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Lady in the Lake". Variety. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Dark Delusion (1947) - Cast and Crew". AllMovie. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  27. ^ Quin, Eleanor. "Song of the Thin Man". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Big City (1948)". British Film Institute. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  29. ^ "The Bribe". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  30. ^ "That Midnight Kiss". Variety. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Stars in My Crown". AllMovie. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  32. ^ "The Toast of New Orleans". TV Guide. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  33. ^ Thames, Stephanie. "Glory Alley". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  34. ^ Miller, John M. "The Clown". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Rogue's March (1942)". British Film Institute. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Easy to Love - Full Credits". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Men of the Fighting Lady (1954)". AllMovie. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  38. ^ Arnold, Jeremy. "The Student Prince". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  39. ^ Erickson, Glenn. "DVD Savant Review: Athena". DVD Talk. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  40. ^ Erickson, Glenn. "DVD Savant Review: Oklahoma! 50th Anniversary Edition". DVD Talk. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  41. ^ Knopf, Robert (1999). The Theater and Cinema of Buster Keaton. Princeton University Press. pp. 199–. ISBN 0-691-00442-0. 
  42. ^ "The 29th Academy Awards". Oscars.org. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  43. ^ "The Great American Pastime". TV Guide. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  44. ^ Arnold, Jeremy. "The Wings of Eagles". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  45. ^ "The Seventh Sin (1957)". British Film Institute. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  46. ^ "Seven Hills of Rome". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  47. ^ Arnold, Jeremy. "Torpedo Run". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  48. ^ "For the First Time (1959) - Full Credits". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  49. ^ "Tarzan, The Ape Man Cast and Details". TV Guide. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  50. ^ "Platinum High School". TV Guide. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  51. ^ "Rivak, The Barbarian (1960)". British Film Institute. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  52. ^ "The Thief of Bagdad". TV Guide. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  53. ^ "The Wonders of Aladdin (1961) - Full Credits". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  54. ^ Stafford, Jeff. "The Last Man on Earth". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  55. ^ Faris, Jocelyn (January 1, 1994). Jayne Mansfield: A Bio-bibliography. ABC-CLIO. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-313-28544-8. 
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  57. ^ Thompson, Lang. "Cast a Giant Show". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  58. ^ Erickson, Glenn. "DVD Savant Review: Marlowe". DVD Talk. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  59. ^ "Hell's Angels '69 Cast and Details". TV Guide. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  60. ^ "NOON SUNDAY". British Film Institute. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  61. ^ "Asylum of Satan - Production Credits". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  62. ^ "The Mad Bomber Cast and Details". TV Guide. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  63. ^ "Wonder Woman (1974) - Full Credits". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  64. ^ "Black Eye - Production Credits". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  65. ^ "Boss Nigger - Production Credits". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  66. ^ "The World through the Eyes of Children". British Film Institute. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  67. ^ "Adios Amigo". TV Guide. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  68. ^ "Paco - Cast and Crew". AllMovie. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  69. ^ "Moonshine County Express - Production Credits". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]