Walter Murch


Editor, Sound Designer, Sound Editor

About

Also Known As
Walter S Murch
Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA
Born
July 12, 1943

Biography

This acclaimed behind-the-scenes figure has enjoyed mutually beneficial long-term collaborations with filmmakers Francis Ford Coppola and USC film school classmate George Lucas. Skilled as both a film and sound editor, Murch played an important role in the creation of some of the signature films of the 1970s including "American Graffiti" (1973), "The Godfather, Part II" (1974) and "Apoca...

Family & Companions

Aggie Murch
Wife

Bibliography

"In the Blink of an Eye"
Walter Murch

Biography

This acclaimed behind-the-scenes figure has enjoyed mutually beneficial long-term collaborations with filmmakers Francis Ford Coppola and USC film school classmate George Lucas. Skilled as both a film and sound editor, Murch played an important role in the creation of some of the signature films of the 1970s including "American Graffiti" (1973), "The Godfather, Part II" (1974) and "Apocalypse Now" (1979). Even after his ten-year association with American Zoetrope ended, Murch continued to work with Coppola and Lucas on later projects. Moreover, he has remained a leading technician in 90s Hollywood. His sound editing was central to the artistic success of Coppola's "The Conversation" (1974), an absorbing character study which ruminated expressively on the implications of high-tech eavesdropping and voyeurism. Murch earned an Oscar nod for his work on this modern classic. He won the coveted statuette for Best Sound with the hallucinatory aural design of the director's Vietnam epic, "Apocalypse Now" (1979). As a film editor, Murch garnered Oscar nominations for Fred Zinnemann's "Julia" (1977), "Apocalypse Now," Jerry Zucker's "Ghost" (1990) and "The Godfather, Part III" (also 1990). More recent credits include Zucker's Arthurian epic "First Knight" (1995) and Anthony Minghella's period romantic drama "The English Patient" (1996). For the latter, Murch performed double duty as editor and sound technician and became the first person to earn Oscars in both categories for the same film.

Murch has not limited himself to traditional theatrical films. Thousands of visitors to the Walt Disney theme parks saw his editing handiwork on "Captain Eo" (1986), a colorful sci-fi musical short in 3-D starring Michael Jackson and Anjelica Huston, produced by Lucas and directed by Coppola. Similarly, Murch served as film editor on "Call From Space" (1989), the first short film from Showscan Productions. Screened at a specially equipped theater in a French theme park, the film was shot in the patented Showscan process which photographs and projects 70mm film at 60 frames per second--faster, brighter, and larger than the feature film standard (35mm film at 24 frames per second).

Murch has also worked as a screenwriter, co-scripting (with the writer-director), as well as sound editing, Lucas' first feature "THX 1138." He made his debut as a writer-director with the poorly received "Return to Oz" (1985), a dark fantasy that eschewed recreating the tone of the 1939 MGM classic musical "The Wizard of Oz" in favor of L. Frank Baum's original stories. Reviewers were put off by the somber air, deliberate pacing and absence of musical numbers. Audiences generally steered clear.

Murch has distilled his knowledge and expertise in a book on film editing entitled "In the Blink of an Eye."

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Return to Oz (1985)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (2018)
Himself
Side by Side (2012)
Himself
Fog City Mavericks (2007)
Murch: Walter Murch on Editing (2006)

Writer (Feature Film)

Return to Oz (1985)
Screenplay
THX 1138 (1971)
Screenwriter

Editing (Feature Film)

Tomorrowland (2015)
Editor
Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012)
Editor
The Wolfman (2010)
Editor
Tetro (2009)
Editor
Youth Without Youth (2007)
Editor
Jarhead (2005)
Editor
K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)
Editor
Dumbarton Bridge (1999)
Editor
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Editor
As I See It (1997)
Editor
The English Patient (1996)
Film Editor
First Knight (1995)
Film Editor
I Love Trouble (1994)
Editor
Romeo Is Bleeding (1993)
Editor
House Of Cards (1993)
Editor
Ghost (1990)
Editor
The Godfather, Part III (1990)
Editor
Call From Space (1989)
Editor
The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)
Executive Editor
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Editor
Julia (1977)
Editor
The Conversation (1974)
Supervising Editor

Music (Feature Film)

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Music Producer

Sound (Feature Film)

Youth Without Youth (2007)
Sound Re-Recording Mixer
Jarhead (2005)
Sound Re-Recording Mixer
K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)
Sound Re-Recording Mixer
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Rerecording
The English Patient (1996)
Re-Recording Mixer
First Knight (1995)
Re-Recording Mixer
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Sound Design
The Conversation (1974)
Sound mont and re-rec
THX 1138 (1971)
Sound mont
Gimme Shelter (1970)
Sound
The Rain People (1969)
Sound montage
Bhowani Junction (1956)
Sound Editing

Film Production - Main (Feature Film)

The Godfather (1972)
Post prod consultant

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (2018)
Other
Side by Side (2012)
Other
Ghost (1990)
Sound
The Adventures of Mark Twain (1985)
Special Creative Consultant
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Sound
The Godfather Part II (1974)
Sound
American Graffiti (1973)
Sound

Cast (Special)

George Lucas: Creating an Empire (2002)
Reconstructing Evil (1999)
Interviewee

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Finishing Heaven (2009)

Life Events

1968

First collaboration with Lucas, served as sound editor and contributed to screenplay of Lucas' sci-fi student short "The Electronic Labyrinth: THX-1138: 4EB"

1969

First feature credit ("sound montage"), Coppola's "The Rain People"

1970

Served as one of the many sound people on "Gimme Shelter", the Maysles brothers' landmark document of the Rolling Stones fateful Altamont concert

1971

Feature screenwriting debut, co-wrote (with Lucas) script for "THX 1138" (Lucas' feature directorial debut), also received sound credit

1985

Feature debut as writer-director, "Return to Oz"

1988

Served as film editor on "The Unbearable Lightness of Being"

1990

Was a film editor and sound mixer for "The Godfather: Part III"; earned Academy Award nomination for Best Film Editing

1990

Worked as film editor and sound mixer for the film "Ghost" earned Academy Award nomination for Best Film Editing

1993

Worked as an editor and sound mixer on the film "Romeo Is Bleeding"

1995

Served as film editor and sound mixer for "First Knight"

1996

First collaboration with Anthony Minghella, served as editor and sound mixer for the Oscar winning film "The English Patient"

1999

Worked on the film "The Talented Mr. Ripley"

2003

Reteamed with Anthony Minghella for "Cold Mountain," served as film editor and sound mixer; earned Academy Award nomination for Best Film Editing

Videos

Movie Clip

Conversation, The (1974) - Opening, Union Square One long complex shot (featuring Frederic Forrest and Cindy Williams)on San Francisco's Union Square is the fitting opening for Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation, 1974, starring Gene Hackman.
Conversation, The (1974) - Pioneer Glass We're just meeting Harry Caul (Gene Hackman), as he drops in on colleague Stan (John Cazale), as they monitor Cindy Williams and Frederic Forrest in San Francisco's Union Square, continuing the opening sequence in The Conversation, directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
Conversation, The (1974) - Don't Get Involved For-hire San Francisco surveillance expert Harry (Gene Hackman) is received and warned by "the director's assistant" (Harrison Ford) as the plot thickens in Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation, 1974.
Conversation, The (1974) - Room 773 Surveillance expert Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) has gone a little rogue as he runs a wiretap from a hotel bathroom. pursuing a corporate espionage case in Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation, 1974.
Conversation, The (1974) - Reconstruction Hired corporate surveillance man Harry (Gene Hackman) begins his reconstruction of the conversation between still nameless targets Cindy Williams and Frederic Forrest, with acclaimed work by editor Walter Murch, in Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation, 1974.
THX 1138 (1971) - I Need Something Stronger Opening George Lucas’ 2004 Director’s Cut of his first feature, following a prologue reference to Buck Rogers, Robert Duvall, whose character’s name is the title, at work in the 21st century building police robots, monitored by Donald Pleasence, in THX 1138, 1971, produced by Francis Coppola.
THX 1138 (1971) - Blessing Of The Masses Robert Duvall, title character, has been struggling in his highly technical manufacturing job, following what is evidently normal procedure, visiting an automated confession booth, also worried about his “mate,” LUX 3417 (Maggie McOmie), early in George Lucas’ first feature, THX 1138, 1971.

Trailer

Family

Walter Murch
Son
Beatrice Murch
Daughter
Kerry Murch
Daughter
Connie Murch
Daughter

Companions

Aggie Murch
Wife

Bibliography

"In the Blink of an Eye"
Walter Murch