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Peter Zinner

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Title: Peter Zinner  
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Subject: BAFTA Award for Best Editing, Jim Clark (film editor), Lisa Fruchtman, Kirk Baxter, Chris Dickens
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Peter Zinner

Peter Zinner
Born (1919-07-24)July 24, 1919
Vienna, Austria
Died November 13, 2007(2007-11-13) (aged 88)
Santa Monica, California
Occupation Film editor
Spouse(s) Christa Zinner

Peter Zinner (July 24, 1919 – November 13, 2007) was an Austrian-born American filmmaker who worked as a film editor, sound editor, and producer. Following nearly fifteen years of uncredited work as an assistant sound editor, Zinner received credits on more than fifty films from 1959 - 2006.[1]

Early life

He was born in Vienna, Austria, and studied music there in the Theresianum[2][3] and at the Max Reinhardt Seminar. Following the occupation of Austria by Germany in 1938, Zinner and his parents, who were Jewish, emigrated. They went first to the Philippines, and in 1940 to the United States. As a young man, Zinner worked in Los Angeles as a taxi driver and occasionally as a pianist at screenings of silent films.[4]


In 1943 Zinner became an apprentice film editor at the 20th Century Fox Studios. In 1947 he became an assistant sound-effects editor at Universal Studios. Much of his work as an assistant sound and music editor is uncredited; he worked with composers Miklós Rózsa, Jacques Ibert, André Previn, Adolf Deutsch, and Bernard Herrmann on films including Quo Vadis (1951), Singin' in the Rain (1952), The Band Wagon (1953), Gigi (1958), and Gene Kelly's experimental Invitation to the Dance (1956).[4] His first credit as a music editor was for For the First Time (1959); his other credits for music include X-15 (1961), the US version of King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), and Lord Jim (1965).

Zinner had wanted to move into film editing, and following his music-editing work with producer-director [4] Director Frank Pierson said, "...That's the kind of thing that he was brilliant at, and it's become a classic sequence in movie history."[5]

Zinner was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing three times for his work on The Godfather (1972), The Deer Hunter (directed by Michael Cimino-1978), and An Officer and a Gentleman {directed by Taylor Hackford-1982}. He won the Oscar, a BAFTA, and an Eddie for The Deer Hunter. His work (with Barry Malkin and Richard Marks) on The Godfather Part II (1974) earned a second BAFTA nomination. Zinner was nominated four times for Emmy Awards, and won for the miniseries War and Remembrance (1988) and for Citizen Cohn (1992). His peers in the American Cinema Editors honored him with six Eddie nominations of which he won four.

His many other film editing credits include Blake Edwards' Gunn, Foolin' Around, Darling Lili, Dirty Pictures, Crazy Joe, Mahogany, A Star is Born (with Barbra Streisand) and Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture.

In 1990 he played the role of an admiral in the film The Hunt for Red October. Zinner also produced four films. He directed The Salamander (1981) with Anthony Quinn.

Personal life

Zinner was married to Christa Zinner, a German-born photographer and artist. Their daughter, Katina Zinner, is an artist and film editor.[6] He died on November 13, 2007, aged 88, in Santa Monica, California, from non-Hodgkin lymphoma. His funeral was held on January 5, 2008.


  1. ^ Peter Zinner at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ At this time in the 1930s, the Therasianum was one of the finest  
  3. ^ Zinner received his degree in 1937 (his Maturajahr); see "Mitteilungen der Vereinigung ehemaliger Theresianisten". October 2008. p. 27. 
  4. ^ a b c  
  5. ^ Mclellan, Dennis (November 16, 2007). "Peter Zinner, 88; film editor won Oscar for ‘The Deer Hunter’". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 5, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Christa Zinner - Biography". Retrieved 2010-08-28. 

External links

  • "Obituary: Peter Zinner, Film editor who helped to make The Godfather and The Deer Hunter", The Times November 20, 2007. Online version retrieved July 5, 2008.
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