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Ferris Webster
Born April 29, 1912(1912-04-29)
Walla Walla, Washington
Died February 4, 1989 (aged 76)
Nipomo, California
Occupation Film editor
Years active 1939 - 1982

Ferris Webster (April 29, 1912 – February 4, 1989)[1], an American film editor, was nominated for Academy Awards for his work on Blackboard Jungle (1955), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), and The Great Escape (1963).

Webster edited seventy-two films, including six for director Vincente Minnelli: Undercurrent (1946), Madame Bovary (1949), Father of the Bride (1950), Father's Little Dividend (1951), The Long, Long Trailer (1954), and Tea and Sympathy (1956). In the mid 1950s, he edited three films with director Richard Brooks: Blackboard Jungle (1955), Something of Value (1957), and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958).

The film critic Bruce Eder has commented, "If ever a film editor deserved public recognition in the 1960s, it was Ferris Webster."[2] Webster edited the three films of director John Frankenheimer's "paranoia trilogy": The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Seven Days in May (1964), and Seconds (1966). Frankenheimer cast Webster in his only appearance as a film actor, as Gen. Bernard "Barney" Rutkowski in Seven Days in May.

Webster was nominated for an Academy Award for the editing of The Great Escape (1963), which was directed by John Sturges. Webster and Sturges' notable collaboration included fifteen films between 1950 and 1972, which is about half of Sturges' films in that period. It started with The Magnificent Yankee and Mystery Street (1950), and included The Law and Jake Wade (1958), The Magnificent Seven (1960), and Ice Station Zebra (1968). The final film of their collaboration was Joe Kidd (1972), which was near the end of Sturges' career.

Joe Kidd starred Clint Eastwood. In the last phase of his career, Webster edited and co-edited eight films that were directed by Eastwood, starting with High Plains Drifter (1973), which was Eastwood's second film as a director. Webster edited Breezy (1973), The Eiger Sanction (1975), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), The Gauntlet (1977), Bronco Billy (1980), Firefox (1982) and Honkytonk Man (both 1982). These latter two films with Eastwood concluded Webster's career as an editor, apparently after a falling-out between the two men.[3]

Additional credits include The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), Lili (1953), Forbidden Planet (1956), Les Girls (1957), Divorce American Style (1967).


  1. ^ Birth and death dates and place-of-death obtained from a search of the Social Security Death Index ("Social Security Death Index Interactive Search". Retrieved 2009-08-29.  )
  2. ^ Eder, Bruce (undated). "Ferris Webster", webpage of the Allmovie website, retrieved 2008-06-14.
  3. ^ McGilligan, Patrick (2002). Clint: The Life and Legend. MacMillan. pp. 349–350. ISBN 9780312290320.  

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