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Lloyd, Russell (1916-2008)


Main image of Lloyd, Russell (1916-2008)

Entering the film industry shortly after the coming of sound, Russell Lloyd's first job was numbering rushes at London Films while The Private Life of Don Juan (d. Alexander Korda, 1934) was in production. Lloyd was one of several young British assistants working for the American editors Korda employed in the 1930s. The quality and extent of his contribution to The Squeaker (d. William K. Howard, 1937) was such that his senior colleagues Jack Dennis and William Hornbeck gave Lloyd an editing credit on the finished film, even though he had started on it as an assistant.

The outbreak of war interrupted Lloyd's features editing career, although he worked on naval documentaries during this period, including Close Quarters (Jack Lee, 1943). After the war he spent several years as a senior editor at Korda's reconstituted London Films, where he also co-directed The Last Days of Dolwyn (1949) with Emlyn Williams.

From the 1950s onwards Lloyd edited a number of films for American directors working on Hollywood-financed productions in Britain, and established a good working relationship with Fox's Darryl Zanuck. Beginning with Moby-Dick (UK/US, 1956), Lloyd's collaboration with John Huston became one of the longest- running editor-director relationships of the post-war period. It put him in a select category, along with contemporaries such as Bert Bates and Ralph Kemplen, of British editors who worked primarily on Hollywood-financed productions with sometimes very sizeable budgets. For example, Lloyd began editing Cleopatra (UK/US, d. Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1963) before it was relocated from Pinewood to Hollywood.

His preference was always for a smooth, graceful style of editing as opposed to more abbreviated cutting, and he disliked editing that might even momentarily confuse an audience. One indication of Lloyd's classical approach is the elegant use of dissolves to signal the passing of time throughout The Man Who Would Be King (US, 1975).

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

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Thumbnail image of Close Quarters (1943)Close Quarters (1943)

Gripping WWII propaganda film, re-enacted by a real submarine crew

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