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Susan E. Morse

Susan E. Morse
Born 1952
Occupation film and television editor

Susan E. Morse (born 1952) is an American film editor with more than 30 film credits.[1] She had a notable collaboration with director Woody Allen from 1977 to 1998. Their collaboration led to a nomination for the Academy Award for Film Editing for the 1986 film Hannah and Her Sisters, and to five nominations for the BAFTA Award for Best Editing (for Manhattan (1979), Zelig (1983), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Radio Days (1987), and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)). She was recently nominated, as well, for an Emmy Award for her editing of the "Daddy's Girlfriend (Part Two)" episode of the popular FX series Louie.

Morse has been elected to membership in the American Cinema Editors[2] and was honored at the 25th Annual Muse Awards Gala for New York Women in Film and Television, along with Tina Fey, Julianne Moore and Debra L. Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET Network in 2005.

Morse was one of the first female varsity captains in Yale history and the only junior in that group, in 1972/73, when she co-captained the field hockey team with Lawrie Mifflin, former Senior Editor at the New York Times. Morse remained the team's solo captain in their 1973/74 season.

Woody Allen

Morse received a bachelor's degree in history from Yale University in 1974. In 1975, she enrolled as a graduate student at New York University to study film production and was almost immediately offered an internship on a PBS show directed by her professor Roberta Hodes, former script supervisor for Elia Kazan on On the Waterfront, among many other films.[3] Morse's editing career began in September 1976 as an assistant to Ralph Rosenblum on Annie Hall.

Rosenblum's last film with Allen was Interiors (1978), after which he worked as a director. Morse edited Rosenblum's first film, an adaptation of James Thurber's short story, The Greatest Man in the World (1980) starring Brad Davis; she was also an associate editor working with Thelma Schoonmaker on Raging Bull (1980), directed by Martin Scorsese. Starting with Manhattan (1979), she edited the next twenty of Allen's films through Celebrity (1998). Stephen Prince has summarized their collaboration as follows: "Susan E. Morse edited every Allen film of the eighties, regardless of its subject matter or visual design, and as we have seen Allen worked with a variety of cinematographers and production designers in those years. His insistent use of Morse demonstrates the essential nature of her collaboration."[4] Morse's collaboration with Allen was the subject of a 1996 documentary film for German television.[5]

Neither Morse nor Allen commented publicly on the end of their collaboration, but according to reporting in the New York Times, Morse was a victim of a cost-cutting move by producer Jean Doumanian that also severed ties with many other regular crew members on Allen's films.[6] Bernard Weinraub wrote, "What especially stirred the New York film world in recent weeks was the disclosure that Susan E. Morse, Mr. Allen's widely admired film editor for 22 years, would not be working on his new, untitled movie, which starts shooting in New York in August."[7] Alisa Lepselter succeeded Morse as Allen's editor, claiming she was inspired to go into film editing after hearing Morse speak on the subject near her childhood home in New Jersey.[citation needed]

Post-Allen editing career

Since 1998, Morse has edited films with several directors including Marc Lawrence, with whom she's worked on Two Weeks Notice (2002), Music and Lyrics (2007), and Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009). She edited Last Night (2010), which was written and directed by Massy Tadjedin. Morse was recently tapped to edit the third season of Louie, which had previously been primarily edited by its creator, Louis C.K..

See also


  1. Susan E. Morse at the Internet Movie Database
  2. "American Cinema Editors > Members". Archived from the original on 2008-03-04. 
  3. "Susan E. Morse". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2012-08-04.  In her profile, Morse notes her teachers Barry Sonnenfeld, Peter Exline, Bill Pope, Steve LaRocque, Barry Fanaro, Mort Nathan and Kevin Hinchey.
  4. Prince, Stephen (2002). A New Pot of Gold: Hollywood Under the Electronic Rainbow 1980-1989 (Volume 10 of History of the American cinema). University of California Press. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-520-23266-2. 
  5. Midding, Gerhard (1996). Filmschnitt für Woody Allen. Die Cutterin Susan E. Morse (Editing for Woody Allen: Susan E. Morse). Broadcast on Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln. See this webpage from the website for additional information about this documentary.
  6. Weinraub, Bernard (June 11, 2001). "A Friendship Founders Over Suit by Woody Allen". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  7. Weinraub, Bernard (June 1, 1998). "Deconstructing his film crew; Woody Allen's longtime staff is hit by cost-cutting efforts". The New York Times. 

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