OSS officer in charge of compilation & editing The Nazi Plan, also writer of English inter-titles.
UFA film editor
UFA film editor
Assistant Film Editor
German film director
Hitler’s still photographer
NEW YORK TIMES
Robert Parrish, 79, Film Editor-Director, Dies
By LAWRENCE VAN GELDER
Published: Wednesday, December 6, 1995
Robert Parrish, an Academy Award-winning film editor whose career in motion pictures took him from childhood acting in Chaplin's "City Lights" to the director's chair, died on Monday at Southampton Hospital on Long Island. He was 79 and lived in Sag Harbor.
Besides being an actor, editor and director, Mr. Parrish was a raconteur and writer whose recollections of his long career in Hollywood and abroad and wide range of friends among the most prominent names in film nourished two volumes of well-received memoirs.
Film is magic," he said once as he discussed his career as an editor. "It will do anything you want it to do. I always believed in the director because Hollywood was a director's town. I always tried to work as closely to what he wanted as I could.
"I knew that sweat was a lot of it. I had a cot put in my cutting room. I would recut something maybe five times in a night and run it again and again and again. I just knew it was sweat. I had no special touch or anything like that."
As an editor, Mr. Parrish won an Oscar for "Body and Soul," the 1947 Robert Rossen film that starred John Garfield as a money-grubbing, two-timing boxer on the make. Mr. Parrish and Rossen teamed again on "All the King's Men," an account of the rise and fall of a Louisiana politician that won the Academy Award for best picture in 1949.
Mr. Parrish was fond of noting that he won his Oscar -- which he shared with Francis Lyon -- in his first venture as a full-fledged feature-film editor. "I thought I'd get one every year," he said.
As a director, Mr. Parrish earned plaudits for films like "Cry Danger," a 1951 tale of revenge that starred Dick Powell; "The Purple Plain," an Eric Ambler thriller that starred Gregory Peck in 1954, and "The Wonderful Country," a 1959 western with Robert Mitchum.
As an actor, Mr. Parrish appeared in such films as the classic "City Lights" (1931); Lewis Milestone's "All Quiet on the Western Front," the winner of Academy Awards for best film and best director of 1930, and "The Informer," which won John Ford an Oscar as best director in 1935.
After "The Informer," Mr. Parrish became infatuated with the idea of becoming an editor. With Ford's encouragement, he served his apprenticeship on such Ford classics as "Stagecoach," "Young Mr. Lincoln" and "Drums Along the Mohawk" in 1939; "The Grapes of Wrath and "The Long Voyage Home" in 1940, and "Tobacco Road" in 1941.
He and Ford worked together again as members of the Navy's Field Photographic Branch during World War II. Mr. Parrish was the editor of two Navy documentaries directed by Ford, "Battle of Midway" and "December 7th," which won Academy Awards in 1942 and 1943 respectively.
When he returned from the war, Mr. Parrish won a promise from Harry Cohn, who led Columbia Pictures, that he would be given a film to direct if "All the King's Men" proved successful. When it became a hit, Cohn reneged. But Dick Powell, at the time one of Hollywood's few producer-directors, gave Mr. Parrish his chance with "Cry Danger."
Mr. Parrish, one of four children, was born in Columbus, Ga., on Jan. 4, 1916. When he was 8, his family moved west and settled in Hollywood, "about 400 yards from Paramount Studios," Mr. Parrish said.
"It was a small town," he recalled, "and all the business was the movies. It was a factory, and the factory made movies. A lot of kids worked in the movies, because that's where you could make some extra money."
Mr. Parrish described his mother, the former Laura Virginia Reese, "as a card-carrying movie mother -- she had four kids that worked in the movies." She sent them out with some advice: "Say yes, no matter what," Mr. Parrish remembered being told. "If they ask if you own a horse, say yes. If they ask if you are a horse, say yes. And you'll learn how to do it that night."
When he grew older and his parents' marriage broke up, Mr. Parrish earned money dismantling sets after school and always found jobs as an extra.
Discussing his memoirs, "Growing Up in Hollywood" (1976) and "Hollywood Doesn't Live Here Anymore" (1988), published by Little, Brown, Mr. Parrish remembered how Chaplin directed him and another youngster when they played newsboys tormenting the Little Tramp in "City Lights."
"Charlie promptly stopped being the tramp and became two newsboys shooting peashooters," Mr. Parrish related. "He would blow a pea and then run over and pretend to be hit by it, then back to blow another pea. He became a kind of dervish, playing all the parts, using all the props, seeing and cane-twirling as the tramp.
"We all watched as Charlie did his show," he added. "Finally, he had it all worked out and reluctantly gave us back our parts. I felt he would much rather have played all of them himself."
In addition to his wife, the former Kathleen Thompson, he is survived by a son, Peter, of Rockport, Tex., and a daughter, Kathleen Bottijliso of West Babylon, L.I.