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Dede Allen (born Dorothea Carothers Allen, 3 December, 1923, Cincinnati, Ohio) is an American film editor, well-known "film editing doctor" to the major American movie studios and one of cinema's all-time celebrated 'auteur' film editors.

Allen is best known for having edited classic films such as Dog Day Afternoon, The Hustler, Reds and Bonnie and Clyde and for having worked with filmmakers such as Arthur Penn, Sidney Lumet, Robert Wise, Elia Kazan, and George Roy Hill. She is a Member of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.



Allen worked her way up as a production runner, as a sound librarian and then as an assistant film editor at Columbia Pictures. She edited commercial and industrial films before becoming a full-fledged feature film editor. It took sixteen years working in the American film industry before Dede Allen edited her first important feature film, Odds Against Tomorrow (1959).[1] She worked closely with and was mentored by film director Robert Wise, who had also been a film editor himself (most notably having cut Orson Welles' , Citizen Kane). Wise encouraged Dede Allen to be brave and experiment with her editing.

Much like the raw editing of early dadaist filmmakers (such as René Clair) or perhaps akin to that of the French New Wave, Allen pioneered the use of audio overlaps and utilized emotional jump cuts, stylistic flourishes that brought energy and realism to characters that until that point had not been a part of classic Hollywood film editing technique. Continuity editing and screen direction (being tied to the constraints of place and time) became the low priority, while using cutting to express the micro-cultural body language of the characters and moving the plot along in an artistic, almost three-dimensional manner became her modus operandi.

One of the Top Film Editors

Variety's Eileen Kowalski notes that, "Indeed, many of the editorial greats have been women: Dede Allen, Verna Fields, Thelma Schoonmaker, Anne V. Coates and Dorothy Spencer."[2]

Passing the Torch

Dede Allen's visually stunning and compelling editing techniques have formed the jumping board for much of today's innovative film editing and has inspired many other film editors to follow. Allen has carried the torch by co-editing most of her recent films with younger film editors, providing a means to pass her editing knowledge further along in the future. Her mentoring of others has produced a new generation of Award-winning cutting edge film editors.[1]

Dede Allen is married to film director Stephen Fleischman. Her son is renowned sound re-recording mixer Tom Fleischman.

Selected filmography

The director and release date of each film are indicated in parenthesis.

Academy Awards and Nominations

Other Awards and Nominations


  1. ^ a b Faller, Greg S. (2000). "Dede Allen," in Tom Pendergast and Sara Pendergast (editors), International Dictionary of Film and Filmmakers, Edition 4 (St. James Press), ISBN 978-1558624498. Online version of article retrieved January 5, 2008.
  2. ^ (Editor) "Tina Hirsch" By Eileen Kowalski - Variety 11/14/2001 (subscription)
  3. ^ "Past Recipients". Women in Film Foundation. Retrieved 2009-10-11.  

External links



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