Margaret Booth

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

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

Early life and careerEdit

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), Seems Like Old Times (1980), and Annie (1982). 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. Her list of official credits, however, represents only a fraction of her film work. In its 1982 article about Booth's long tenure as MGM's supervising film editor, the Village Voice describes her as "the final authority of every picture the studio made for 30 years."[1]


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1978 presented her an Academy Honorary Award 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.[2] In 1990, Booth was also honored with the American Cinema Editors Career Achievement Award.

Death and legacyEdit

Booth, at age 104, died in 2002 from complications after suffering a stroke. She is interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood California. In its obituary for Booth, the British newspaper The Guardian states, "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.[3]

She was the first "cutter" to be called a "film editor."[4]

Selected filmographyEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Rafferty, Terrance (1982). "His Girl Friday", Village Voice, November 30, 1982, p. 83.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 20, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ The Guardian, Margaret Booth obituary, Nov 15 2002
  4. ^ "Margaret Booth, 104; Film Editor Had 70-Year Career". Retrieved October 15, 2019.

External linksEdit