It has often been said that sculptors don’t create great art from marble, they simply “release the art that already exists within the stone.” The same could be said of film editors, who take a large, undefined collection of film stock, and cut, shape, and mold the elements to create a specific artistic interpretation of the story.
An editor’s sense of pace, shot flow, and story helps create classic movies that are entertaining, innovative, and when the magic is just right, unforgettable.
Eclectic and unpredictable films such as The Graduate, Cool Hand Luke, Catch-22, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? helped usher in what many historians and film buffs call, The Golden Age of Cinema. As diverse as these films were, they had one thing in common. They were all edited by one man, Sam O’Steen.
Sam O’Steen was a legendary film editor with impeccable taste and elegance who helped sculpt and shape some of the most influential movies in the history of cinema.
This groundbreaking book takes the reader behind the closed doors of the editing room where Sam O’Steen along with Hollywood’s greatest directors controlled the fate of many legendary films.
The book shares his editing tales spiced with juicy anecdotes about exotic locations, colorful producers, dynamic directors and Hollywood’s biggest stars such as Jack Nicholson, Paul Newman and Liz Taylor. As told to Bobbie O’Steen (Sam’s wife and assistant editor), who works in New York as a successful writer and editor.
What people say
“Cut to the Chase is a kick! So lively and loaded with gossip and gusto and straight talk…a brilliant book!”
“Sam O’Steen had a skill and imagination that takes my breath away. He was a wonderful colleague, a wonderful friend. Everything I know about film editing I learned from Sam. Cut to the Chase reads like a thriller.”
Director: Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown, Frantic
“Sam O’Steen was listening to the currents that flow underneath human events. With film and the myriad choices that it offers he was a master at making manifest the thousands of small non-verbal clues to a person’s nature, to a relationship, to a story.”
Director: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The Graduate, Catch-22