Jaws: Everett Collection
July 09, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

Can you name a few movies that an editor saved a film?

Can you name a few movies that reveal how an editor saved a film? — Tami
I don’t know about saving, but two emblematic tales of editing, both from the ’70s, show just how potent and creative this most taken-for-granted of cinematic arts really is. Verna Fields, the editor of Jaws, was largely responsible for deciding to display the killer shark in teasing quick cuts, all because the prop shark looked so fake. And it was editor Ralph Rosenblum, scrutinizing a multi-hour rough cut of a new Woody Allen film, who suggested to Allen that his freewheeling comedy of a neurotic’s progress would be better off if whittled down to its romantic subplot. Thus, it became Annie Hall.

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