Oscar winning editor Anne Coates recalls the making of Becket.

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Oscar winning editor Anne Coates recalls the making of Becket.

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2007 (USA)  »

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One of the 11 Oscar-nominated "also-rans" . . .
26 March 2014 | by (The Gutters of Baltimore) – See all my reviews

. . . from the incredible "Best Picture" race upset of 1964, in which her 8.1 IMDb-rated BECKET was topped by the 7.9 valued MY FAIR LADY musical, film editor Anne Coates rues the day she was born--NO, that's not accurate: she castigates "cheapskate" producer Hal Wallis for essentially filming BECKET as the stage play it originally was, and cutting corners by avoiding EVERY action scene possible. You can win Oscars with a musical in which characters go around singing, Ms. Coates implies, but you CANNOT win an armload of golden statuettes by submitting a knight-with-swords "epic" in which no one fights with the swords! As the ironic title of this 7 minute, 12.65-second short--ANNE COATES: EPIC EDITOR--suggests, Wallis stranded Ms. Coates high and dry as the cutting edge of the truly epic LAWRENCE OF ARABIA trying to deal with footage devoid of epic frames. (There was a saying one of my math teachers had along the lines of "garbage in, garbage out.") Despite its TWELVE nominations, BECKET waltzed off the stage with only ONE Oscar, for writing. Ms. Coates also supplies many behind-the-scenes anecdotes about "my boys," BECKET stars Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole, both nominated for "best actor" (but trounced by talk-singing Rex Harrison as a more or less tone-deaf Professor 'Enry 'Iggins in LADY). To paraphrase an old English poem, "for the want of a battle, 11 Oscars were lost."


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