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The Top 25 Best Film Editing Winners So Far

Time for another one, ladies and gentlemen! Continuing a tradition I’ve been keen on for years, I’m ranking the new crop of Academy Award winners. For nearly all of the Oscar categories, you’ll see me list the top 25 recipients of that prize. Sometimes, our newest winner will appear. Other times, they’ll be relegated to the Honorable Mention category. Who knows, maybe one or two won’t even make the cut? It’s a list series that I’ll do each and every single year, in the weeks after the ceremony concludes. So, while this is a fun way to think about the Oscars in the aftermath of the latest telecast, it’s also a beginning for another column here on the site. Of course, definitely show us your own lists as well, in the comments section below. We’re definitely keen to know what you think!

This week, we’re honing in on the Best Film Editing category. I know I mention it in a handful of categories, but this is another where best can mean most sometimes. As much as that can be the case, there are some real instances where the Editing on display is just phenomenal. Of course, the queen of editors is Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese‘s longtime editor. She’s cited twice below in my top five, for The Departed and Raging Bull. Making up the top tier list of winners for me, in addition to those, is The Matrix, Saving Private Ryan, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Which one took my top spot? Where did the latest winner in Sound of Metal slot in? Read on to find out…

Here are what I consider to be the 25 best winners of the Best Film Editing Oscar, to date:

25. The Adventures of Robin Hood
24. Rocky
23. Slumdog Millionaire
22. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
21. Lawrence of Arabia
20. Jaws
19. High Noon
18. Ben-Hur
17. JFK
16. The Social Network
15. On the Waterfront
14. Star Wars
13. Traffic
12. Argo
11. Raiders of the Lost Ark
10. The Bourne Ultimatum
9. Whiplash
8. The Hurt Locker
7. Dunkirk
6. Black Hawk Down
5. The Departed
4. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
3. Saving Private Ryan
2. Raging Bull
1. The Matrix

Honorable Mention: The Apartment, Bullitt, Ford v Ferrari, Gravity, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Sound of Metal

Stay tuned for another category later on this week or early next week!


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Brian H.
Brian H.
2 years ago

Another great job with these. This time I do disagree with a few more than usual. I don’t appreciate the Matrix’s editing as much as most do and I know I’m in the minority there. Below are my 2 cents.

1. Jaws
2. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
3. Raging Bull
4. On the Waterfront
5. Departed, The
6. Raiders of the Lost Ark
7. Rocky
8. French Connection
9. Apartment, The
10. JFK
11. Saving Private Ryan
12. Sting, The
13. Bullitt
14. Sound of Music
15. Traffic
16. In the Heat of the Night
17. Platoon
18. Unforgiven
19. Social Network, The
20. Star Wars
21. Sound of Metal
22. Lawrence of Arabia
23. Argo
24. Deer Hunter
25. Whiplash

H/M – All That Jazz, Born on the 4th of July, Bourne Ultimatum, Bridge over the River Kwai, Ford V Ferrari, From Here to Eternity, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, High Noon, Schindler’s List, West Side Story

Brian H.
Brian H.
2 years ago

I know it won a few oscars if I remember right and I think it was nominated for a few more but it should have been nominated for more than it was…including best picture and director! Such a great movie in so many ways. I remember seeing it when I was 9 in the theater and loving it and I loved it more when I watched it again as an adult. Could be the best film of 88. If not it’s close.

I don’t usually ask questions for the podcast. But I’d love to hear what your alls opinions are on the top 5 Zemeckis directed films and hear him discussed a bit. It’s tough. I’ll go with 1. Back to the Future 2. Who Framed Roger Rabbit 3. Death Becomes Her 4. Cast Away 5. Flight….and right after that Forrest Gump, Contact and Back to the Future 2.



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