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When The Shooting Stops ... The Cutting Begins: A Film Editor's Story

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  238 ratings  ·  25 reviews
The story of one of the most important and least-understood jobs in moviemaking-film editing-is here told by one of the wizards, Ralph Rosenblum, whose credentials include six Woody Allen films, as well as The Pawnbroker, The Producers, and Goodbye, Columbus. Rosenblum and journalist Robert Karen have written both a history of the profession and a personal account, a highl ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 22nd 1986 by Da Capo Press (first published October 30th 1979)
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Bill Kerwin
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: movies, biography, history

If you are interested in the grammar and authorship of film, you should definitely check this book out. Ralph Rosenblum was in charge of editing many of the memorable movies which emerged from New York City in the late'60's and early '70's--"A Thousand Clowns," "Long Day's Journey into Night," "The Pawnbroker," "The Producers," and all of Woody Allen's features from "Take the Money and Run" to "Annie Hall."

As you might have guessed, he quarrels with the "auteur theory" (which asserts that the d
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A collaborative art, successful filmmaking depends on your
film editor, cinematographer, along with talent and script.
The director supervises the celluloid circus and often has
an overall vision like Hitchcock. (Today every nitwit wants
to be called an "auteur"). The film editor is the star of an
anonymous world -- and that's where the industry wants
him (or her) to stay.

This challenging memoir by a top editor details how footage
is selected, tightened, paced, arranged, embellished and, in
some cases,
Rex New
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I rarely review things, but it's been a while since a book made such an impression on me. This is a great memoir by Woody Allen's first editor (from TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN to INTERIORS). Ralph also had a fascinating life--he got one of his first big breaks as an assistant editor on LOUISIANA STORY, amongst other things, and reading about Robert Flaherty was fascinating to me, too.

An absolute must-read for any Woody Allen fan (the account of editing ANNIE HALL is fascinating), anyone who wants t
Chuck Kollars
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very readable and interesting description of what working on films is really like. Also a much more detailed description than usual of what "film editing" is all about, and the relationship between a director and an editor.

It's not terribly long, and it's not written in any obscure style, so it's an easy read. I find it interesting that although I (and apparently most others) have never even heard of it, it was quite popular at the time of its initial publication.

Sort of a "memoir" of one pers
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it
It's a shame I'm not familiar with Ralph Rosenblum's body of work but his evocative writing was enough to describe the cuts he incorporated in his films. I'm not sure how interesting the book would be to a non-editor but there's definitely some choice bits about the relationship between an editor and director and the general rules of storytelling. Ralph has a lot of stories to tell and no filter. ...more
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: film-et-al
A page turner by an artist at the top of his game. Rightly praised for the chapters on Annie Hall, the book is in fact fascinating from start to finish, as the authors relentlessly build the argument that a film is "made" in the cutting room--you get to see how, with a clarity rarely seen in books on filmmaking. And if the stories do not convince you that editing is the primary function responsible for driving a story forward, the pace of the book will. ...more
Jason Béliveau
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Les chapitres sur sa collaboration avec Woody Allen sont excellents. Remet le montage à l'avant-plan. ...more
Phillip Ramm
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was recommended by Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's Film Reviews podcast on BBC 5Live. The most knowledgeable (Mark) and witty (Simon) podcast you could imagine - I recommend that everyone become members of their Church Of Wittertaintment.

Anyway, after reading this book you'll never look at a movie and say "What a great director!" ever again. And when they bring out "The Director's Cut" you'll merely laugh, and wonder what the film editor has done this time. You should only look at a good
Aaron Haspel
Jul 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Rosenblum edited many famous movies, including The Pawnbroker, The Producers, A Thousand Clowns, Annie Hall (each of which gets a chapter), and half a dozen other Woody Allen films. It is especially enlightening to read Rosenblum's account of editing a movie that you already know well, and the book in general is highly informative. My favorite bit; Rosenblum is talking about his stint making propaganda films for the Office of War Information: "Once when I brought him a script, I asked Max [anoth ...more
Tate Quinton
Jun 14, 2013 rated it liked it
I had read that this was a classic-or at least must read-book about the movies. Because of those assumptions I was a little disappointed but it is still a worthwhile read. Rosenblum is most famous for editing Woody Allen's first six films (through Interiors) and he gives a detailed and convincing account of what an editor does (or at least did up through the 70's). He goes through the editing process on a number of films that he worked on, including Annie Hall, which in popular lore was an initi ...more
Apr 29, 2009 rated it liked it
A must read for any editor and/or fan of Woody Allen. The early parts about the history of editing read like a textbook and I reacted understandably bored. But once Rosenblum talks about all the early Woody Allen films, he worked on, things pick up steam. Annie Hall would have won the editing Oscar if the Academy knew what Rosenblum had to start with. Other chapters concerning other films are interesting but the Annie Hall section is the primary reason to read this book. It's a reminder that edi ...more
Paul Lyons
Jun 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Very interesting book by the man who edited most of the great Woody Allen movies in the 70's, as well as other notable films such as THE PAWNBROKER and THE PRODUCERS. Rosenblum's brutally honest, and personal take on his life, and his dealings with both calm (Woody Allen, Sidney Lumet), and temperamental (Mel Brooks, William Friedkin) movie directors is a fun read. Better still, Rosenblum and Karen also provide an in-depth look at the history of film editing, and give the reader great insight in ...more
Marc Maxmeister
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-writers
Really good, personal account of how a film editor brings a terrible pile of footage from the brink if suckitude. He talks about "The night they raided Minsky's" shot by shot, and I felt inspired to go edit my Nanowrimo drafts. I realized from his account of editing film that there's a lot more flexibility to get to the heart of something. Just because a scene falls short doesn't mean the game is over - he provides lots of ideas on how to recover the essence, and inject some clever originality i ...more
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Rosenblum's career autobiography sheds great light onto the film-making process, truly establishing how vital and overlooked the role of film editor is - through the recounting of the making and shaping of several key films of his professional life he demonstrates how his own career progressed and how collaborative the film-making process is, even when dealing with auteurs such as Woody Allen.

An essential film book.
Nov 09, 2008 rated it liked it
Several chapters outline Rosenblum's process editing specific films - generally ones which were transformed through editing. These are really engrossing - especially the chapter on Annie Hall. Other chapters veer into the history of editing and Rosenblum's personal autobiography, blurring the overall focus. ...more
Amy Wolf
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it
If you believe Rosenblum, HE was responsible for the success of Annie Hall -- not Woody Allen. I found the whole story to be self-serving & self-inflating. Not really recommended unless you are really into film editing.
Sep 11, 2013 added it
made me want to be an editor
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Betsy G
Jan 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Wondeful book that has the back story behind the making of some of the best films ever, including Annie Hall and The Producers.
Feb 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: movies
Very interesting memoir about the life of a movie editor.
Dec 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting account of the film editing process, by a guy who worked with Woody Allen on some of his classic films (like Annie Hall).
Nick Van
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
A great introduction to a rarely-understood craft, by one of its greatest masters. Also filled with its fair share of gossip and background material for familiar classics.
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