Here are a few of her film credits:
* Academy Award nomination.
Film editing is a fascinating but largely unsung part of the filmmaking process. If you want a great inside look at what editing is all about, I’d recommend The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film, from novelist Michael Ondaatje. Murch is one of the great editors himself. He and Ondaatje discuss Allen along with other women editors:
Murch: In fact, many of the editors of early films—back in the silent days—were women. It was a woman’s craft, seen as something like sewing. You knitted the pieces of film together. And editing has aspects of being a librarian, which used to be perceived as a woman’s job.
Ondaatje: And the man is the hunter-gatherer, coming back with stuff for her to cook!
Murch: The men could bring it home, but they didn’t know what to do with it. But there was a big shift when sound come along in 1927. Sound was somehow a “man” thing—it was electric. It was complicated in a different way, an engineering way. A lot of men started coming into editing at that point, and women left.
But if you made a list of the ten best editors ever, Ann Coates and Dede Allen would be in there. They’ve been an inspiration to a whole generation. Dede got her start in New York. I never ran into her there, because I had moved out here to the West Coast, but Richie Marks, Barry Malkin, Steve Butler, and many other New York editors my age grew up under her guidance.
A couple of other women that Murch cites among the top editors: Margaret Booth and Thelma Schoonmaker.