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Overview for Carol Littleton
Carol Littleton

Carol Littleton



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Birth Place: Oklahoma, USA Profession: Editing ... editor


A native Oklahoman, Carol Littleton was studying on a Fulbright scholarship in France during the mid-1960s at the height of the French New Wave cinema. After viewing "The Battle of Algiers" (1965), she decided to pursue a career in film editing and was befriended by editors Suzanne Baron and Francoise Bonnot. Returning to the USA, Littleton settled in Southern California and began editing TV commercials. Working at the American Film Institute, she began cutting short films, including Lee Grant's "The Stronger" and Karen Arthur's "To Die in California."

Littleton segued to features as assistant editor on Alan Rudolph's "Premonition" (1972) before Karen Arthur gave her her first job as editor on "Legacy" (1975). In the early 1980s, she began a collaboration with director Lawrence Kasdan that has gone on to include a total of six films to date, each providing a distinctive challenge. The film noir-inspired "Body Heat" (1981) relied on Littleton's cutting to create suspense. The rhythm of the films "The Big Chill" (1983), "Silverado" (1985), "The Accidental Tourist" (1988), "Grand Canyon" (1991) and "Wyatt Earp" (1994) was established by intricate use of editing to create relationships and highlight plot points.

Some of Littleton's best work was on Steven Spielberg's "E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982) for which she received an Oscar nomination. Her masterful editing helped propel the story and establish both the mood and look of the film. Among her other credits are Robert Benton's "Places in the Heart" (1984) and "Twilight" (1998), Luis Mandoki's "White Palace" (1990), and two films for Jeremiah Chechik, "Benny & Joon" (1993) and "Diabolique" (1996). Littleton, who was only the second female to serve as president of the editors' guild, has been married to director and cinematographer John Bailey since 1972.

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