Some, like Dorothy Arzner, who cut Rudolph Valentino’s (1922), moved up from editing to play a more visible role in Hollywood.But for the most part, the women who cut film in the silent era remained unacknowledged in film credits or the trade press.In the years before it became common practice to print key numbers on the edges of film negatives, the job of negative cutter was difficult, time-consuming, and intricate, which perhaps explains why it fell so often to women.
Some, like Dorothy Arzner, who cut Rudolph Valentino’s (1922), moved up from editing to play a more visible role in Hollywood.
She worked briefly at Paramount, assembling tinted films for the studio before she found better work at Louis B.
informed readers that “one of the most important positions in the motion-picture industry is held almost entirely by women” whose job it was to assemble “thousands of feet of film so that it tells an interesting story in the most straightforward manner” (B7).
Assembling reels and cutting negatives was tedious work that often fell to young working-class women.
With no key numbers references, Booth and Morra had to match the negative to the positive print by eye.
As she recalled to Kevin Brownlow: “It was very tedious work.