Great Film Pioneer, Dede Allen, Dies

A great light has gone out in the film world. This past Saturday, pioneering film editor, Dede Allen, passed away. Dede Allen nearly single-handedly revolutionized the whole notion of film editing with the 1967 “Bonnie & Clyde.”

I had the privilege of interviewing Dede Allen in the mid-80’s, first when I worked as a producer for NBC’s “Today Show”, and later for my DVD series, “Filmmakers on Film: The Reel Women Archive Video Series.”

Allen was an innovator in so many ways, not the least of which was freely sharing what she knew with younger editors. After “REDS” in 1981, Allen almost without exception shared her editing credit with younger editors. “You have to pass on what you know,” she said to me in 1986, “because we’re here, then we’re gone.”

Through the miracles of modern internet fare, here is an excerpt from the interview I did with Dede Allen:

As writer Greg Faller notes in

Although Allen was nominated for the Oscars many times, she never won, nor was she ever awarded life-time achievement acclaim by the Academy. Don’t get me started on the misogyny of the whole damn system.

Anyway, we’re all gonna miss you, Dede. A great screen light has gone dark.



The wonders of new media. Ten to twenty years ago, when I was interviewing pioneering women filmmakers in Hollywood, I needed a crew and hefty equipment to imprint their images on this new fangled medium called videotape.

Now, by the wonders and miracles of new media, the Reel Women Media Archives presents to you video podcasts, highlighting some of the great pioneering filmmakers I was so lucky and privileged to meet in my travels.

As the great editor and role model, Dede Allen said, you have to pass on what you know, because we’re here, then we’re gone.

Here are some pearls of filmic wisdom from many of cinema’s greats. We begin with Margarethe von Trotta.

I was lucky to spend two illuminating days with Ms. Von Trotta conducting this interview in New York in the mid-80’s. At a time when there were few, if any women behind the director’s chair in Europe, Ms. Von Trotta was already becoming an auteur. Beginning as an actress in her husband, Volker Schlöndorff as well as Fassbinder’s films, Von Trotta became impatient waiting around the set and was quick to learn what her husband was up to. She soon abandoned the actor’s role altogether to direct.

Von Trotta was born in Berlin in 1942. The illegitimate child of Elisabeth von Trotta and the painter Alfred Roloff, she relocated to Paris in the 1960s, where she worked for film collectives.

Von Trotta has become one of Europe’s most preeminent director’s male or female.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts

Reely Yours, Ally