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Joel Cox
Born (1942-04-02) April 2, 1942 (age 78)
Los Angeles, California, United States
OccupationFilm editor
Years active1969–present

Joel Cox (born April 2, 1942) is an American film editor. He is best known for collaborating with Clint Eastwood in over 30 films.

Life and career

Cox has been working in film since appearing as a baby in Random Harvest (1942).[1] He started in the mailroom at Warner Bros. in 1961. Rudi Fehr, a well-known editor and executive at Warner Bros., made Cox an apprentice editor about 3 years later. As was common in the era, Cox worked as an uncredited assistant for several years. His first credit as an assistant editor was for The Rain People, which was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and edited by Barry Malkin.[2][3][4] His first credit as the editor was for Farewell, My Lovely (1975), which was directed by Dick Richards and co-edited by the veteran editor Walter A. Thompson. Cox had just finished working as Thompson's assistant on Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins (1975), which was also directed by Richards. Cox worked on two more of Richards' films, March or Die (1977 - as assistant editor) and Death Valley (1982).

Cox has had a notable collaboration with Clint Eastwood that commenced with the 1976 film The Outlaw Josey Wales, for which Cox was Ferris Webster's assistant. Cox and Webster were co-editors on The Gauntlet (1977) and on several more of Eastwood's subsequent films. Starting with Sudden Impact (1983), Cox became Eastwood's principal editor. Cox has been quoted as saying that, over their 30-year partnership, Eastwood has re-cut only a single scene that Cox put together.[1] Gary D. Roach, who worked as Cox's assistant from the mid-1990s, became Cox's co-editor on Eastwood's films with Letters from Iwo Jima (2006). Cox's long streak editing each of Eastwood's films ended with Sully, which was edited by another of his former assistants, Blu Murray.[5]

In addition to his career in the film industry, since 2000 Cox and his family have owned and managed a vineyard and winery near Paso Robles, California.[6]

Cox won the 1992 Academy Award for Best Film Editing for Unforgiven.[1] He has been elected as a member of the American Cinema Editors.[7] On November 25, 2008, Clint Eastwood presented Cox the first Ignacy Paderewski Lifetime Achievement Award, which is named in honor of the piano virtuoso who called Paso Robles home, at the first Paso Robles Digital Film Festival.[8][9][10] He received a nomination for the 2009 BAFTA Award for Best Editing for Changeling[11] and for the 2015 Academy Award for Best Film Editing for American Sniper.


The 2008 Paso Robles Digital Film Festival provides a full filmography of Joel Cox as part of his Lifetime Achievement Award.[12]


Year Film Director Notes
2019 Richard Jewell Clint Eastwood
2018 The Mule Clint Eastwood
2018 Den of Thieves Christian Gudegast with David S. Cox, Nathan Godley
2017 All Eyez on Me Benny Boom
2014 American Sniper Clint Eastwood with Gary D. Roach
2014 Jersey Boys Clint Eastwood with Gary D. Roach
2013 Prisoners Denis Villeneuve with Gary D. Roach
2012 Trouble with the Curve Robert Lorenz with Gary D. Roach
2011 J. Edgar Clint Eastwood with Gary D. Roach
2010 Hereafter Clint Eastwood with Gary D. Roach
2009 Invictus[13] Clint Eastwood with Gary D. Roach
2008 Gran Torino[14] Clint Eastwood with Gary D. Roach
2008 Changeling[15] Clint Eastwood with Gary D. Roach
2007 American Masters Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends[16] Bruce Ricker (TV)
Clint Eastwood Producer
2006 Letters from Iwo Jima[17] Clint Eastwood with Gary D. Roach
2006 Flags of Our Fathers[18] Clint Eastwood with Gary D. Roach.
2005 Budd Boetticher: A Man Can Do That[19] Bruce Ricker (TV)
2004 Million Dollar Baby[20] Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood as Frankie Dunn
2003 The Blues: Piano Blues Clint Eastwood
2003 Mystic River[21] Clint Eastwood Original Music by Clint Eastwood
2002 Blood Work[22] Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood as Terry McCaleb
2000 Space Cowboys[23] Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood as Frank Corvin
1999 True Crime[24] Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood as Steve Everett
1997 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil[25] Clint Eastwood
1997 Absolute Power[26] Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood as Luther Whitney
1997 Eastwood After Hours: Live at Carnegie Hall Bruce Ricker (TV)
1995 The Stars Fell on Henrietta[27] James Keach
1995 The Bridges of Madison County[28] Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood as Robert Kincaid
1993 A Perfect World[29] Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood as Chief Red Garnett
1992 Unforgiven[30] Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood as William 'Bill' Munny
Won the 1992 Academy Award for Best Film Editing
1990 The Rookie Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood as Nick Pulovski
1990 White Hunter Black Heart Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood as John Wilson
1989 Pink Cadillac Buddy Van Horn Clint Eastwood as Tommy Nowak
1988 Bird Clint Eastwood
1988 The Dead Pool Buddy Van Horn Supervising editor; Eastwood as Insp. 'Dirty' Harry Callahan
1986 Heartbreak Ridge Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood as Gunnery Sgt. Tom 'Gunny' Highway
1986 Ratboy Sondra Locke
1985 Pale Rider Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood as Preacher
1984 Tightrope Richard Tuggle Clint Eastwood as Capt. Wes Block
1983 Sudden Impact Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood as Harry Callahan
1982 Honkytonk Man Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood as Red Stovall; with Ferris Webster and Michael Kelly.
1982 Death Valley Dick Richards
1980 Bronco Billy Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood as Bronco Billy McCoy; with Ferris Webster.
1978 Every Which Way but Loose James Fargo Clint Eastwood as Philo Beddoe; with Ferris Webster.
1977 The Gauntlet Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood as Ben Shockley; with Ferris Webster.
1976 The Enforcer James Fargo Clint Eastwood as Insp. 'Dirty' Harry Callahan; with Ferris Webster.
1975 Farewell, My Lovely Dick Richards co-edited with Walter Thompson

Assistant editor

Year Film Director Job Notes
1979 Escape from Alcatraz Don Siegel assistant editor Eastwood as Frank Morris; edited by Ferris Webster.
1977 March or Die Dick Richards assistant editor
1976 The Outlaw Josey Wales Clint Eastwood assistant editor Eastwood as Josey Wales; edited by Ferris Webster
1975 Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins Dick Richards assistant editor Edited by Walter Thompson
1974 The Terminal Man Mike Hodges assistant editor Edited by Robert L. Wolfe
1973 The All-American Boy Charles Eastman assistant editor Eastman's only film as director.
1973 Cleopatra Jones Jack Starrett assistant editor
1969 The Rain People Francis Ford Coppola assistant editor Edited by Barry Malkin
1969 The Wild Bunch Sam Peckinpah assistant editor uncredited

Sound department

Year Film Director Job Notes
1969 The Learning Tree Gordon Parks sound assistant


Year Show Episode Notes
2006 HBO First Look A Moment in Time... Flags of Our Fathers
2005 Ben-Hur: The Epic That Changed Cinema Video
2002 All on Accounta Pullin' a Trigger Video
2000 American Masters Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows
1999 Hell Hath No Fury: The Making of 'The Outlaw Josey Wales' Video
1993 The 65th Annual Academy Awards Winner: Best Film Editing
1993 Clint Eastwood: The Man from Malpaso
1992 Eastwood & Co.: Making 'Unforgiven'


Year Result Award Category Recipient(s) Notes
2015 Nominated Oscar Best Film Editing American Sniper Shared with Gary D. Roach
2005 Nominated Oscar Best Film Editing Million Dollar Baby
1993 Won Oscar Best Film Editing Unforgiven
2005 Nominated Eddie Edited Feature Film - Dramatic Million Dollar Baby
2004 Nominated Eddie Best Edited Feature Film - Dramatic Mystic River
1993 Won Eddie Best Edited Feature Film Unforgiven
2006 Won Hollywood Film Award Editor of the Year
2006 Nominated Satellite Award Best Film Editing Flags of Our Fathers
2004 Nominated Golden Satellite Award Best Film Editing Mystic River
2009 Nominated British Academy of Film and Television Arts BAFTA Award for Best Editing[11] Changeling Shared with Gary D. Roach

See also


  1. ^ a b c Kallay, William (2005-03-03). "American Cinema Editors: 2004 Oscar Nominees Discuss Their Craft At The Egyptian Theatre". From Script To DVD. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
  2. ^ Ohanian, Thomas; Phillips, Natalie (2013). Digital Filmmaking: The Changing Art and Craft of Making Motion Pictures (Revised ed.). CRC Press. p. 122. ISBN 9781136053542.
  3. ^ Ohanian, Thomas (April 1998). Digital Nonlinear Editing: Editing Film and Video on the Desktop, Second Edition. Focal Press. pp. 122–123. ISBN 0-240-80225-X. Not available online.
  4. ^ "Santa Clara University Hosts Academy Award Winning Editor, Joel Cox" (Press release). Santa Clara University. 2005-05-16. Retrieved 2008-02-25.[dead link]
  5. ^ Grobar, Matt (December 1, 2016). "'Sully' Editor Blu Murray On Cutting The Clint Eastwood Film And The Biggest Challenges Of His Editing Debut". Deadline Hollywood.
  6. ^ Honeycutt, Mira (January 23, 2015). "Joel Cox nabs wine awards and Oscar nomination". Paso Robles Daily News.
  7. ^ "Directory Members". American Cinema Editors. Archived from the original on 2004-08-25. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
  8. ^ Fox, Matthew (2008-08-05). "Film festival comes to Paso Robles". Paso Robles Press. Archived from the original on 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
  9. ^ "Paso Robles Digital Film Fest will honor film-editor Joel Cox". 2008-08-13. Archived from the original on 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  10. ^ Linn, Sarah (2008-11-22). "Local film editor honored: Clint Eastwood kicks off paso robles film festival". The San Luis Obispo Tribune. Retrieved 2008-11-23.[dead link]
  11. ^ a b "The full list of nominations for the Orange British Academy Film Awards in 2009". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. 2009-01-15. Archived from the original on 2009-01-17. Retrieved 2009-01-15.
  12. ^ "The Paso Robles Digital Film Festival announces the first Ignace Paderewski Lifetime Achievement Award for Contribution to the World of Music and Movies, goes to Academy Award winning editor Joel Cox" (Press release). Paso Robles Digital Film Festival November 20–25. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
  13. ^ "Clint Eastwood's "Invictus" Will Open Nationwide on December 11, 2009". Reuters. 2008-06-04. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
  14. ^ "County Roundup". 2008-08-17. Retrieved 2008-08-17.[dead link]
  15. ^ Scott Foundas (2007-12-19). "Clint Eastwood: The Set Whisperer". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
  16. ^ "Press Release: American Masters Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends". Thirteen/WNET New York. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  17. ^ McCarthy, Todd (2006-12-07). "Letters from Iwo Jima". Variety. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
  18. ^ McCarthy, Todd (2006-10-09). "Flags of Our Fathers". Variety. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
  19. ^ "Budd Boetticher: A Man Can Do That". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
  20. ^ Honeycutt, Kirk (2004-12-06). "Million Dollar Baby". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
  21. ^ Honeycutt, Kirk (2002-08-05). "Mystic River". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
  22. ^ McCarthy, Todd (2003-10-09). "Review: Blood Work". Variety. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
  23. ^ "Storyline: Space Cowboys". Warner Bros. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
  24. ^ McCarthy, Todd (1999-03-15). "Review: True Crime". Variety. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
  25. ^ McCarthy, Todd (1997-11-21). "Review: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". Variety. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
  26. ^ McCarthy, Todd (1997-02-07). "Review: Absolute Power". Variety. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
  27. ^ Turan, Kenneth (1995-09-15). "Movie Review: The Stars Fell on Henrietta". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-02-04.[dead link]
  28. ^ "Review: The Bridges of Madison County". Variety. 1995-01-01. Retrieved 2008-02-13.
  29. ^ McCarthy, Todd (1993-11-29). "Review: A Perfect World". Variety. Retrieved 2008-02-13.
  30. ^ Canby, Vincent (1992-08-07). "Review/Film: Unforgiven; A Western Without Good Guys". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-13.

Further reading

  • Chang, Justin (2012). FilmCraft: Editing. Octopus Books. ISBN 9781908150684. Chang's book includes an interview with Cox.
  • Prince, Stephen (2002). A New Pot of Gold: Hollywood Under the Electronic Rainbow, 1980-1989. University of California Press. p. 197. ISBN 9780520232662. Clint Eastwood's improvisatory approach to filmmaking, wherein he allowed the actors to find their characters and behavior on the set while shooting, found its complement in the stately, unhurried pacing supplied by Joel Cox's editing (Cox succeeding Ferris Webster for Eastwood), on Bronco Billy (1980), Sudden Impact (1983), Tightrope (1984), Pale Rider (1985), Heartbreak Ridge (1986), Bird (1988), and Pink Cadillac (1989). The pacing of the Cox-Eastwood films was at striking variance from the accelerating speed of much filmic storytelling in the eighties, especially in action films. Their eighties work anticipates and collectively points towards their supreme achievement in "real-time" editing, The Bridges of Madison County (1995).

External links

This page was last edited on 20 October 2020, at 15:05
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