Home Movies Sally Menke, Quentin Tarantino’s Film Editor, Dies in Accident

Sally Menke died overnight in Los Angeles at age 56. She apparently went hiking in Griffith Park with her dog in the crushing heat, and was found hours later.

Sally edited all of Quentin Tarantino‘s films, which quite an achievement. If you’d seen “Inglourious Basterds” at Cannes, you’d know I mean it. At the AmFAR dinner that year, Sally sat next to me and told me all about what was left on the cutting room floor and what she still wanted to do to make the film better. In the next two months, before “Basterds” was released, she turned it into a crowd pleaser. This was no small task.

Her death is a tragedy and a real shame. I just think of Pam Grier coming into that hallway in “Jackie Brown” as Bloodstone’s “Natural High” starts to play. It gives me goose bumps. So cool. Thanks Sally.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
3 replies to this post
  1. Adding to the tragedy I think is the fact that because it was so hot on Monday 9/27, there were not as many other people on the trails that day as normal, which could have perhaps led to her being found sooner. Also, an AP report says she managed to phone her director husband Dean Parisot in Canada on business at 10:15am PST on the morning of the day she died. RIP.

  2. Behind every good film is a great editor.
    Thank you so much for reporting on the passing of a woman who made it possible for so many of us to continue to believe in the art of film. I, for one, will not forget her name. MMH

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