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Gribble, Bernard (1927-2004)


Main image of Gribble, Bernard (1927-2004)

A chance encounter with John (Monck) Goldman led to Bernard Gribble securing a job at the Crown Film Unit's picture library during the Second World War. Impressed by San Demetrio London (d. Charles Frend, 1943), Gribble chased Sid Cole for a job at Ealing Studios and eventually entered the cutting rooms as third assistant to editor Michael Truman on Johnny Frenchman (d. Frend, 1945). An early break came when Truman was indisposed, allowing Gribble to put together the entire first cut of It Always Rains on Sunday (d. Robert Hamer, 1947). Truman gave Gribble the Hanover fair sequence to edit on Saraband for Dead Lovers (d. Basil Dearden, 1948), and then recommended him to edit Another Shore (d. Charles Crichton, 1948). As a relatively junior editor Gribble was loaned out by Michael Balcon to work on the lower-budget Group 3 production Laxdale Hall (d. John Eldridge, 1952). Working outside the confines of Ealing gave Gribble the confidence to become a freelancer from 1953 onwards. He credits Wolf Rilla as the first director to encourage him to exercise more creativity by preparing his own first version of a film before altering it in consultation with directors and producers.

A significant proportion of Gribble's work in features editing has been in comedy, from The Man in the White Suit (d. Alexander Mackendrick, 1951) and The Green Man (d. Robert Day, 1956) through to broader efforts such as Steptoe and Son (d. Cliff Owen, 1972) and Top Secret! (US, 1984). Gribble has also worked in diverse production contexts. During the late 1950s and early 60s he primarily edited 'B' films and several episodes in a series of Edgar Wallace mysteries. In the 1960s and 70s he edited eight films directed by the prolific Michael Winner, who had similarly spent the late 1950s and early 60s working on British 'B' films. Gribble worked on several films Winner directed in Hollywood. He also edited Samuel Fuller's White Dog (US, 1982), working closely with producer Jon Davison to condense a large amount of footage into a manageable length. Most of Gribble's subsequent work has been for American television.

Roy Perkins/Martin Stollery, British Film Editors: The Heart of the Movie (BFI Publishing, 2004)

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Thumbnail image of Green Man, The (1956)Green Man, The (1956)

Comedy thriller with Alastair Sim as an eccentric assassin

Thumbnail image of Magnet, The (1950)Magnet, The (1950)

Lesser-known Ealing comedy about a young boy with a guilty conscience

Thumbnail image of Man in the White Suit, The (1951)Man in the White Suit, The (1951)

Ealing classic with naive inventor Alec Guinness up against British industry

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