Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Godspeed Anne V. Coates

Anne V. Coates, the editor on such films as Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Becket (1964), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), and The Elephant Man (1980) died on May 8 2018 at the age of 92.

Anne V. Coates was born on December 12 1925 in Reigate, Surrey. As a little girl she loved horses and she thought that she might want to be a horse trainer when she grew up. Her goal in life changed when she saw Wuthering Heights (1939) and fell in love with the cinema. For a time she worked as a nurse at Sir Archibald McIndoe's plastic surgery hospital in East Grinstead. Afterwards she got a job with her uncle J. Arthur Rank's Religious Films division, which made short films to be sent out to churches. Miss Coates did projection, sound, and editing work on the shorts.

Anne V. Coates then got a job as an assistant film editor at Pinewood Studios. She did uncredited work in this capacity on such films as The End of the River (1947), The Red Shoes (1948), The Chiltern Hundreds (1949), and The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952). Her first credit as an editor was on The Pickwick Papers in 1952. In the Fifties she edited the films Grand National Night (1953), Forbidden Cargo (1954), To Paris with Love (1955), Lost (1956), The Truth About Women (1957), The Horse's Mouth (1958), and Tunes of Glory (1960).

In the Sixties Miss Coates edited the films Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Becket (1964), Young Cassidy (1965), Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 hours 11 minutes (1965), Hotel Paridisio (1966), Great Catherine (1968), and The Adventurers (1970). She won the Oscar for Best Film Editing for Lawrence of Arabia and was nominated for the same award for Becket.

In the Seventies she edited the films Friends (1971), Follow Me! (1972), Bequest to the Nation (1973), Conflict (1973), 11 Harrowhouse (1974), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Man Friday (1975), Aces High (1976), The Eagle Has Landed (1976), The Legacy (1978), and The Elephant Man (1980). She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing for The Elephant Man. Anne V. Coates also did editing for television in the Seventies, editing the TV movie A War of Children and the episode "Catholics" of ITV Saturday Night Theatre.

In the Eighties she edited the films The Pirates of Penzance (1983), Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984), Lady Jane (1986), Raw Deal (1986), Master of the Universe (1987), Farewell to the King (1989), Listen to Me (1989). and I Love You to Death (1990).

In the Nineties Anne V. Coates edited the films What About Bob? (1991), Chaplin (1992), In the Line of Fire (1993), Pontiac Moon (1994), Congo (1995), Striptease (1995), Out to Sea (1997), Out of Sight (1998), Passion of Mind (2000), and Erin Brockovich (2000). She was nominated for Oscars for Best Film Editing for In the Line of Fire and Out of Sight.

From the Naughts into the Teens she was the editor on the films Sweet November (2001), Unfaithful (2002), Taking Lives (2004), Catch and Release (2006), The Golden Compass (2007), Extraordinary Measures (2010), and Fifty Shades of Grey (2015).

Anne V. Coates was truly a pioneer. In an interview she said that at the time she entered the film industry there were not that many jobs available to women in which she was interested. She chose editing because it was one of the few jobs that women were allowed to do. Even then, there was not a large number of female editors in the business, nor is there now. Anne V. Coates then truly paved the way for women in the movie industry.

What is more, she was a truly remarkable film editor. With Lawrence of Arabia she dealt with a huge amount of footage shot by Sir David Lean. This would be a daunting tasks for most editors, but Anne V. Coates produced some of the most impressive edits in film history on the movie. Even in her films of lesser note (such as Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 hours 11 minutes) she could create some very impressive cuts. Anne V. Coates was both a pioneer and a great editor, and for those things she will always be remembered.

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