Elmo Williams: A Hollywood Memoir
“Fate has thrown me some interesting curves,” says Elmo Williams, the farm boy turned film editor, director and producer. As a young boy, he traveled with his family in a covered wagon to a new life in a New Mexico homestead. After struggling to help raise his siblings, in 1932 as a young teen he began working for film editor Merrill White. As White’s gopher, he spent his spare time watching and learning the art of film editing. Within three years he was a partner in an editing company with White in London. In subsequent years his career bloomed to include producing, editing and directing. In 1954 he was awarded an Academy Award for film editing for High Noon. He also worked for Walt Disney, Darryl F. Zanuck Productions, 20th Century–Fox and others. His works include the films The Tall Texan, The Longest Day, Tora! Tora! Tora!, The Poseidon Adventure, Zorba The Greek, and Caravans, and the TV series Hee Haw, Explore, Soggy Bottom U.S.A. and Man, Woman and Child. This memoir traces Williams’s life from his early childhood to his views on life at age 93. It is a story of hard work rewarded with a satisfying life, and of one man’s efforts to communicate with others in the universal language of film—and of laughter. “I intend to keep laughing,” he says, “a habit I adopted as a child. If I can keep it up, I’ll still be around to celebrate my centennial.”
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