Monday, October 25, 2010

RIP Geoffrey Foot

British film editor Geoffrey Foot died on September 9, 2010, Over his legendary career he worked with such notables as David Lean, Walt Disney and Peter Sellers. He was among the last of his breed: the gentleman editor, a man whose passion for cinema and whose knowledge of film technique immeasurably aided every picture he worked on. His name and achievements were little known to the picture-going public. Born Geoffrey Macadam Foot on May 19, 1915 in Putney, southwest London. His mother was a teacher and his father Evelyn Foot was editor of the Daily Herald. Always interested in film he was hired by Bill Lott at Ealing Studios and quickly became a cameraman and soon a second assistant to editor Thorold Dickinson where he worked on Gracie Fields “Sing as We Go” (1934). He perfected the process of cutting to actors in transitional shots and eliminating time-passing dissolves. After leaving Ealing Foot worked on “Lady X” (1938) and a series of films for Mayflower such as “Vessel of Wrath” (1938), “St. Martin’s Lane” (1938) and “Jamaica Inn” (1939).

During World War II and Foot joined the Crown Film Unit where he edited film and directed documentaries.
After the war he worked on “Take My Life” (1947) and “Blanche Fury” (1948). He then began a long professional relationship with David Lean, working on “Madelein” (1950), “The Sound Barrier” (1952), “Rob Roy” for Walt Disney followed. Foot was given the task by Iring Allen to get the film “The Trials of Oscar Wilds (1960) out in nine weeks before a rival film was released. Foot was able to edit the pre-recorded score by Ron Goodwin and the quickly finished filming sequences by director Ken Hughes. The production was an all-around triumph and paved the way for a distinguished international career for Foot. He then worked on such films as “Another Time, Another Place” (1958), “Stolen Hours” (1963), “The Long Ships” (1964), “Genghis Kahn” (1965) and “The Prisoner” TV series with Patrick McGoohan. Other top notch films were “The Watcher in the Woods” (1980) “The Black Arrow” (1985) both for Disney. Among his films were two Euro-westerns “The Desperados” (1969) with Jack Palance and Vince Edwards, “Man in the Wilderness” (1971) with Richard Harrison and John Huston.

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