Bauchens, Anne (1881–1967)

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Bauchens, Anne (1881–1967)

American motion-picture editor. Born in Saint Louis, Missouri, on February 2, 1881; died on May 7, 1967, in Woodland Hills, California, at the Motion Picture Country Hospital; never married; no children.

Filmography:

The Squaw Man (1918); Till I Come Back to You (1918); Don't Change Your Husband (1919); For Better or Worse (1919); Male and Female (1919); We Can't Have Everything (1919); Something to Think About (1920); Why Change Your Wife (1920); The Affairs of Anatol (1921); Fool's Paradise (1921); Forbidden Fruit (1921); Manslaughter (1922); Saturday Night (1922); Adam's Rib (1923); The Ten Commandments (1923); Feet of Clay (1924); Triumph (1924); The Golden Bed (1925); The Road to Yesterday (1925); The King of Kings (1927); Chicago (1928); Craig's Wife (1928); Dynamite (1929); The Godless Girl (1929); Ned McCobb's Daughter (1929); Noisy Neighbors (1929); Lord Byron of Broadway (1930); Madam Satan (1930); This Mad World (1930); The Great Meadow (1931); Guilty Hands (1931); The Squaw Man (1931); Beast of the City (1932); The Sign of the Cross (1932); The Wet Parade (1932); Cradle Song (1933); This Day and Age (1933); Cleopatra (1934); Four Frightened People (1934); Menace (1934); One Later Hour (1934); The Crusades (1935); The Plainsman (1937); This Way Please (1937); The Buccaneer (1938); Bulldog Drummond in Africa (1938); Hunted Men (1938); Sons of Legion (1938); Television Spy (1939); Union Pacific (1939); Northwest Mounted Police (1940); Women without Names (1940); Commandos Strike at Dawn (1942); Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1942); Reap the Wild Wind (1942); The Story of Dr. Wassell (1944); Tomorrow, the World! (1944); Love Letters (1945); Unconquered (1947); Samson and Delilah (1952); The Greatest Show on Earth (1952); The Ten Commandments (1956).

Anne Bauchens' 40-year career in the motion-picture industry began with the dream of becoming an actress. Soon after the turn of the century, she left her native St. Louis, where she had worked as a telephone switchboard operator for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and headed for New York and the Broadway stage.

Though her acting career never materialized, in 1912 she was hired as secretary to then-play-wright William C. DeMille. The position eventually led her to Hollywood and a meeting with DeMille's brother, Cecil B. DeMille, at that time a nascent film director. At one of their first encounters, Bauchens, who had become an assistant editor, said to the young auteur: "Some day I'm going to cut your pictures." According to his autobiography, DeMille replied, "No one will ever cut one of my pictures but me." Two months later, Bauchens was an assistant editor on DeMille's 1919 film We Can't Have Everything. From that day until the 1956 remake of The Ten Commandments, Bauchens edited every DeMille film. That she edited both versions of DeMille's Ten Commandments is unusual, perhaps the only time a director-editor team has collaborated on the same movie project filmed decades apart.

Nicknamed "Trojan Annie" by her Paramount colleagues because she handled so much work, Bauchens was also known as the only one who could say no to DeMille. "In every contract I sign to produce a picture one essential clause is that Anne Bauchens will be its editor," wrote DeMille. "That is not sentiment … she is still the best film editor I know." Bauchens returned the respect, claiming that DeMille told a story "better than anyone else." Bauchens was a technician's technician. Before becoming an editor, she had created the job of script supervisor, a position that combines secretarial skills with a knowledge of the editing room. During shooting, the script supervisor makes complicated script notations to guide the editor as the film is assembled.

Bauchens considerable contributions to DeMille's work did not go unrecognized. In a September 8, 1935, The New York Times review of DeMille's film, The Crusades, the critic wrote: "The picture is worth seeing a second time to study the technical skill of Anne Bauchens." Devoted to her work, she never married and, according to a 1957 interview with the Christian Science Monitor, lived with a housekeeper, "a wonderful woman who lives with me and takes care of my every need."

Bauchens was nominated for best editing Academy Awards for Cleopatra (1934), The Greatest Show On Earth (1952), and The Ten Commandments (1956) and received the Oscar for Northwest Mounted Police (1940). She was also the first recipient of the Life Achievement Award given by her colleagues, the American Cinema Editors (ACE). Anne Bauchens died on May 7, 1967, in the Motion Picture Country Hospital, a retirement home for members of the film industry, in Woodland Hills, California, a community just outside Hollywood.

sources:

Hayne, Donald, ed. The Autobiography of Cecil B. DeMille. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1959.

DeMille, William. Hollywood Saga. NY: Dutton, 1939.

Sammis, Constance Sharp, "Film Editor Indefatigable," in Christian Science Monitor. February 11, 1957.

Variety Obituaries. Volume 6, 1964–1968. NY: Garland, 1988.

Deborah Jones , Studio City, California

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