April 24, 2019


Photograph Terry Rawlings ACE GBFE in 2006 after receiving his BAFTA Tribute, standing between his past editing assistant, Tim Grover and Phil Méheux BSC

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of one of Britain’s most revered film editors: TERRY RAWLINGS ACE GBFE.

I was fortunate to work with Terry on four of my films: No Escape (1993); Goldeneye (1995); The Saint (1996) and Entrapment (1998). He could be critical of coverage or any technical shortcomings but it was never personal and always for the good of the film and was always full of enthusiasm about what he was doing. As soon as you entered his cutting room, he would say, “Come and look at this.” Obviously pleased with a particular cut of a scene.

I remember when we were shooting the futuristic action film, No Escape, in Queensland, Australia, production had rented a house for the cutting room and his assistants with a large outdoor space where we would review rushes on a film projector (this was 1993). One weekend director, Martin Campbell, asked Terry if he had some “cut stuff” to show the crew as a reward for the previous weeks of hard work. A barbecue was organised - being Australia – and as soon as it got dark and the beer was flowing, Terry ran about 20 minutes of cut material and the whole crew gave it a standing ovation. From then on, the crew worked even harder if that was possible.

Rawlings was born in London in 1933 and began his career in the sound department, honing his craft as a dubbing editor on the Peter Sellers film Trial and Error (1962), Bryan Forbes' The L-Shaped Room (1962) and Ken Russell's Women in Love (1969), The Music Lovers (1971) and The Devils (1971).

He was dubbing editor on Ridley Scott’s The Duellists (1977) and when Ridley was about to shoot Alien (1979), he asked for Terry to be the dubbing editor. Terry replied that he didn’t want to do sound he wanted to cut it! And so he did. He worked again with Ridley on Blade Runner (1982), where Terry was required to have a “supervising editor” credit on the film because he was not a member of the Hollywood union and so had to have a “cover” which was Marsha Nakashima who actually got the screen credit although Terry did all the work. In his later years, he said he was always dissatisfied with the ending that the Studio insisted upon.

Terry was a big fan of music in films and he often said that his favourite film of his career was Yentl (1983). In a 2012 interview, he said, "To work on a musical with [Streisand] was very special. She is fantastic to be with, she is a hard-working person. She's the only person to sing in the whole picture."

Among his other credits are Watership Down (1978), Chariots of Fire (1981), Legend (1985), Alien 3 (1992), U.S. Marshals (1998) and Phantom of the Opera (2004). 

An inveterate movie lover, Terry built a small cinema in his back garden where he would run the latest screeners as well as selections from his formidable collection of classic DVDs for family and friends.

A founding member of the Guild of British Film and Television Editors, Rawlings was also elected to membership of the American Cinema Editors, and received the organization's 2006 Career Achievement Award. He was nominated for an Oscar for his work on Chariots of Fire and

BAFTA Nominated: for Best Sound Track for Isadora and Women in Love, Best Editing for Alien,

Best Film Editing for Chariots of Fire and Best Film Editing for Blade Runner.

He is survived by his devoted wife, Louise and sons, Robert, David and Simon and will be greatly missed.


Phil Méheux