Margaret Booth

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Margaret Booth
Born(1898-01-16)January 16, 1898
DiedOctober 28, 2002(2002-10-28) (aged 104)
OccupationFilm editor, producer
RelativesElmer Booth (brother)

Margaret Booth (January 16, 1898 – October 28, 2002) was an American film editor.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Los Angeles, she started her Hollywood career as a "patcher", editing films by D. W. Griffith, around 1915. Her brother was actor Elmer Booth. Later she worked for Louis B. Mayer when he was an independent film producer. When Mayer merged with others to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1924, she worked as a director's assistant with that company. She edited several films starring Greta Garbo, including Camille (1936).

Booth edited such diverse films as Wise Girls (1929), Mutiny on the Bounty (1935, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award), A Yank at Oxford (1938), The Way We Were (1973), The Sunshine Boys (1975), The Goodbye Girl (1977), The Cheap Detective (1978), and Seems Like Old Times (1980). She was supervising editor and associate producer on several films for producer Ray Stark, culminating with executive producer credit on The Slugger's Wife (1985) when she was 87.

However, her list of official credits represents just a fraction of Booth's film work. In her role as MGM's supervising film editor from 1939 to 1968, the Village Voice described her as "the final authority of every picture the studio made for 30 years."[1] Upon her death, the Guardian wrote, "All the filmmakers had to go through her in order to have a final editing of sound and vision approved," while describing her approach:

She was a pioneer of the classic editing style, the so-called "invisible cutting", the aim of which was to make the transition from one image to another as seamless as possible, so the audience was almost unaware of the flow of shots within a sequence. Narrative was dominant, maintaining a continuity of time and space, and matching cuts to action.[2]

She received an Academy Honorary Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1978 for her work in film editing. She is the second longest-lived person (after Luise Rainer) to have been given an Oscar. In 1983, she was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award for outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry.[3]

In 1990, Booth was honored with the American Cinema Editors Career Achievement Award. She died in 2002, aged 104, from complications of a stroke she suffered. She is interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood California.

Selected filmography[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Village Voice, "His Girl Friday" by Terrence Rafferty, Nov 30, 1982, pg. 83
  2. ^ The Guardian, Margaret Booth obituary, Nov 15 2002
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 20, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]