Legendary Hollywood director Martin Scorsese, best known for his violent gangster films, has used the same female editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, on every movie he’s made since Raging Bull in 1980.

Raging Bull, Cape Fear, Goodfellas… the woman behind Scorsese’s classics

Tonight many of the actors walking up the red carpet to the Bafta awards ceremony in the Albert Hall will be wearing a ribbon in a show of support for the Time’s Up campaign, launched to promote and protect women working in film.

It is clearly a cause still in need of champions, given that half the cinema audience is women and only 4% of major films are directed by them.

But this is not the whole story. For among the major award recipients tonight will be film editor Thelma Schoonmaker, cinema’s ultimate backroom heroine, who has worked alongside Martin Scorsese since he made Raging Bull in 1980.

Schoonmaker, 79, is to be honoured with a Bafta fellowship in recognition of a 50-year career that is testament to the hidden legacy o… Continue Reading (7 minute read)

9 thoughts on “Legendary Hollywood director Martin Scorsese, best known for his violent gangster films, has used the same female editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, on every movie he’s made since Raging Bull in 1980.”

  1. AudibleNod

    When asked how it was that such a nice lady could edit Scorsese’s violent gangster pictures, Thelma replied with a smile: “Ah, but they aren’t violent until I’ve edited them.”

  2. selkiesidhe

    Like in writing, if you find a good editor, try to keep the good editor.

  3. b1lli0naire

    George Miller who directed Mad Max Fury Road also enlisted the help of Margaret Sixel (who happens to be his wife) to edit his movies.

    Sixel won the best editing Oscar for Fury Road.

  4. SignifyingMonkey

    I think Tarantino had the same editor up until they died. Some say his films are too bloated now as a result.

  5. Kylo-The-Optimist

    Thelma is awesome, she was also married to Michael Powell of Powell and Pressburger. I’ve always loved Scorsese precisely because his violent gangster films were never really about violent gangsters. They were often about exploring the concept of masculinity and challenging established ideas about how a man relates to other men, to women and to himself. His movies are way more progressive in terms of gender politics than he is often given credit for.

  6. Abdul_Exhaust

    Thanks for clarifying *which* Martin Scorsese

  7. hsvsunshyn

    That summary would mean the exact same without the word “female”.

  8. blkid

    Besides the weird title. Her [Wikipedia](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thelma_Schoonmaker) page is quite interesting, although her Dutch surname piqued my interest first. Schoonmaker meaning cleaner in Dutch.

    But especially her stance on political issues (only read Early Life part regarding her family).

  9. bustedbuddha

    See what you’ve done with your wording is you have turned this woman into a passive used by Scorsese. You could say:

    “The same woman, Thelma Schoonmaker, has edited every Scorsese hit since 1980’s “Raging Bull”.”

    that would make Thelma the subject (active focus) of the sentence, and highlights her importance grammatically instead of highlighting the importance of Scorsese.

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