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Blanche Sewell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Blanche Sewell
Blanche Irene Sewell

(1898-10-27)October 27, 1898
DiedFebruary 2, 1949(1949-02-02) (aged 50)
Burbank, California, USA
EducationHollywood High School
OccupationFilm editor
Years active1917–1949
Spouse(s)Leon Warren Bourgeau (September 23, 1938-February 2, 1949) (her death)

Blanche Irene Sewell (October 27, 1898 – February 2, 1949) was an American female film editor. She was known mainly for working at MGM Studios from 1925 until her death in 1949.

Early life

Sewell was born on October 27, 1898, in Oklahoma. However, she grew up in Idaho, and later moved to Los Angeles.[1]

Sewell was one of, technically, seven children. She had four older brothers, one younger brother, and two younger sisters. Although, one of her younger sisters that was born in 1907 died that same year in infancy.[1]

Her mother died in 1910 after giving birth to her youngest sister, Ida Grace.

Her father was a Methodist minister.

She graduated from Hollywood High School.[1]


At an early age, Sewell turned down acting opportunities to work behind the scenes and ended up working as a negative cutter.[1]

She started working while still in high school in 1917, and worked during her summer vacations.[1]

She then went on to work for Marshall Neilan at First National Pictures as an assistant cutter, working on his 1922 film Minnie.[1]

She also worked as an assistant with Viola Lawrence in 1921, who was considered the first female in film editing.[2]

After her days as an assistant, she became a film editor and worked on several notable films for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer including The Wizard of Oz,[2] though she did not live to see the film's spectacular success as a television perennial in 1956.[3]

Her editing style was said to have “packed a punch” as she enjoyed editing together action scenes to keep her films interesting, because of this she was in high demand.[1]

She was also consulted by Disney while the original Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was being edited and helped construct the film. [2]

Blanche was a determined woman working on new films every year up until her death.

Personal life

Sewell was married to Leon Warren Bourgeau from September, 1938 until her death in February, 1949.[3] She and Bourgeau had no children.[1]

She was Walt Disney's sister in law by marriage. Her brother, Glenn Sewell, was married to Hazel Bounds, the sister of Disney's wife, Lillian.[2] This connection influenced some opportunities she was given as a film editor.

Death and legacy

She died at age 50 on February 2, 1949.[3]

Noted by John Stanley Donaldson, protégé of Herbert Ryman, as having an “intuitive ability for cinematic pacing to strike the proper tempo and temperament.” [2]

She was an influential woman of film during her lifetime.


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Blanche Sewell". TCM Message Boards.
  2. ^ a b c d e "SEWELL, BLANCHE – Edited By". “Women.
  3. ^ a b c "Blanche Sewell". IMDb.

External links

This page was last edited on 17 January 2022, at 05:30
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