The 12 Best Edits In Cinematic History

Editors are the glue that can hold movies together. The best edits do more than elevate a film; they can leave the audience breathless.

A recent online discussion showcases the 12 best edits in movie history.

1. Hot Fuzz

Hot Fuzz
Image Credit: Rogue Pictures.

The editing in Edgar Wright films is always top-notch. One scene in particular stands out above the others, as one fan says.

“For me it'll be the edit showing Sgt. Angel travel from London to Sandford. Most directors would just have a shot of a sign or something but he really went the extra mile with that and it adds so much.”

2. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Someone shared, “One absolute classic is blowing out the match in Lawrence of Arabia.” Several users agreed before one stated, “There's a similar fantastic match cut in The Lost City of Z of liquor flowing down the sink drain. It cuts into a train headed in the same direction I'm 100% sure was inspired by that Lawrence of Arabia cut.”

3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

“The cut between the bone and the spaceship in 2001: A Space Odyssey,” one user shared. “This is a top contender for the definitive answer,” added another. “When the monkey threw the bone in the air in 2001: A Space Odyssey,” a third concluded. 

4. Munich (2005)

Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

“One I don't see referenced ever, but I think about often is in Munich,” one person stated. “Someone is shot several times, leaving many bullet holes in a battered wall, which fades slowly to an airplane window. It has smudge marks in many places where the wall was damaged,” they elaborated. 

5. Layer Cake (2004)

Layer Cake
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

An under-appreciated/not as well-known one that I love is the diner scene in the movie “Layer Cake.” All of the editing in Layer Cake is superb, but this scene is so damn perfect. I also think the editing in Carrie during its climax is excellent.”

6. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

Image from the Godfather II
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures..

“My favorite is in The Godfather: II, when Fredo is assassinated, we see a flashback to Vito's kids at his Birthday dinner, where all the siblings leave Michael alone after his Marine Corps reveal. And then fading back to present-day Michael, whose elderly, quiet, and alone.”

7. Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

Image Credit: A24.

“There are lots of moments in Everything Everywhere All at Once with great editing. In the scene where Evelyn's mind finally breaks, and we cycle through all the multiverses, I held my breath the whole way. I don't care how soy I sound. That was some near transcendental experience—Hell of a film,” one person confessed.

8. Come and See (1985)

Come and See
Image Credit: Sovexportfilm.

Another person shared, “The ending of Come and See with Floyria shooting Hitler juxtaposed with all the death that the Nazis perpetrated. Only to cross into a picture of baby Hitler and Floyria realizing that killing Hitler wouldn't have done anything to prevent this hell from happening. As he once was as naive and innocent as he was.”

9. Pyscho

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

It should be no surprise that the Hitchcock masterpiece is recognized for its editing.

“The last couple frames of Psycho that juxtapose Bates' face, the skull, and the car in the water all at once. Gives me such an amazingly creeped out feeling”

10. Whiplash (2014)

Whiplash J.K. Simmons
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Classics.

“The ending of Whiplash. The shot of the blood and sweat on the drums in that finale is a big part of why it's one of my favorite films. Very few films make me go holy wow when the end of the credits scroll, but Whiplash never ceases to make me excited as all get out,” another person replied. 

11. Don't Look Now (1973)

Dont Look Now
Image Credit: British Lion Films.

“All of Don't Look Now,” shared one. “Whenever I think of Don't Look Now, the first thing that comes to mind is the cut where Donald Sutherland catches the ball. Great piece of editing. Roeg is one of the best editors ever.”

12. Barry Lyndon (1975)

Barry Lyndon
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

“Not an editing masterpiece, but the most emotionally impactful cut for me is in Barry Lyndon when Bryon is talking to his parents. It suddenly cuts to his funeral procession as Handel's Sarabande pummels the sorrow into your senses,' shared one. 

“The seduction scene in Barry Lyndon too. It's essentially two people looking at each other, but the shot selection and pacing go a long way,” said another. 

A thread inspired this post.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks