The New York Times obituary of famed film editor Anne V. Coates is very charming.
Ms. Coates vowed to find a way to make a career in cinema. She would need to overcome not only her family’s resistance but also the fact that the industry had few jobs open to women.
“Things like hairdressing didn’t really interest me,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016. “I found the most interesting job a woman could do, other than acting, was editing.”
Her [film producer] uncle relented enough to find her a job with the religious-film arm of his company, which made devotional pictures for churches.
“He thought, ‘That’ll cool her down,’ ” Ms. Coates recalled. “Didn’t work.”
After her apprenticeship there, where she ran the projector and made the tea, she caught on as cutting-room assistant at Pinewood Studios, the facility her uncle had established outside London. Early films to which she contributed included “The Red Shoes” (1948), directed by Mr. Powell and Emeric Pressburger.
At Pinewood, Ms. Coates’s boss was a white-haired editor who left each afternoon at 4 to tend his garden. “He would say, ‘You finish it,’ ” she recalled, and that was how she truly learned her craft.
By then Ms. Coates knew she had found her calling: Editing was one of the few branches of the industry relatively hospitable to women.
“Women are mostly mothers and directors are mostly children, so the two go very well together,” she said in a 2005 interview.