10 Great Movies That Were Almost Ruined By Bad Editing

When films succeed despite an editor who refused to cut the sh**.

New Line Cinema

Orson Welles once said that "the notion of directing a film is the invention of critics - the whole eloquence of cinema is achieved in the editing room.”

The role of the film editor has always been something of a mystery to those looking in at Hollywood from the outside, with the finer details of what the job actually entails and how much importance it holds often up for debate.

Generally speaking, it will fall to the editor to select the shots, angles, and takes that will eventually make the completed movie. They have to choose when to cut away from one actor to another, decide what the focus of the scene should be, and rearrange/remove lines, exchanges, and entire sequences that don't work.

With that in mind, it's hard to argue against the importance of a good editor. While it may not be the most rewarding job in terms of recognition (good editing by definition isn't meant to be noticed), the editor has a direct influence on every aspect of a movie, from the look and the overall pace of the story to the impact of each individual performance.

They shoulder a great deal of responsibility, and when they get it wrong it is normally fatal for the film, though not always. Sometimes, if a film is based on a strong script, contains enough memorable performances, and has a director with an express vision, it can achieve greatness despite a botched editing job.

From Spielbergian cult films to modern Scorsese classics, here are 10 great films that were almost ruined by bad editing...


Phil still hasn't got round to writing a profile yet, as he has an unhealthy amount of box sets on the go.