Margaret Booth

by Kristen Hatch

Margaret Booth began work as a negative cutter for D. W. Griffith in 1915. After Griffith closed down his Los Angeles offices, she worked briefly at Paramount before joining Louis B. Mayer’s studio in 1919. There she began to work closely with John Stahl, who tutored her in the art of film cutting. When Mayer merged with Metro-Goldwyn, Booth joined a staff of about two dozen cutters, including Blanche Sewell. At MGM, Booth eventually became the supervising editor, where she remained until 1969.

Margaret Booth (e) at work.

Margaret Booth at work.

See alsoHettie Grey BakerAnne BauchensWinifred DunnKatherine HillikerViola LawrenceJane LoringIrene MorraBlanche SewellRose Smith


The bibliography for this essay is included in the “Cutting Women: Margaret Booth and Hollywood’s Pioneering Female Film Editors” overview essay.


A. Archival Filmography: Extant Film Titles:

1. Margaret Booth as Editor

Husbands and Lovers. Dir.: John M. Stahl, sc.: A.P. Younger, Frances Irene Reels, John M. Stahl, Madge Tyrone (Louis B. Mayer Productions US 1924) cas.: Lewis S. Stone, Florence Vidor, si, b&w. Archive: EYE Filmmuseum.

A Lady of Chance. Dir. Robert Z. Leonard, sc.: A.P. Younger, ed: Margaret Booth (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures US 1928) cas.: Norma Shearer, Lowell Sherman, si&so, b&w. Archive: George Eastman Museum.

Bringing Up Father. Dir. Jack Conway, sc.: George McManus, ed: Margaret Booth (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures US 1928) cas.: J. Farrell MacDonald, Jules Cowles, Marie Dressler, si., b&w. Archive: George Eastman Museum.

The Mysterious Lady. Dir. Fred Niblo, adp.: Bess Meredyth, ed: Margaret Booth (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. US 1928) cas.: Greta Garbo, Conrad Negal, si., b&w. Archive: Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique, Filmoteka Narodowa, George Eastman Museum, Svenska Filminstitutet.

Telling the World. Dir.: Sam Wood, sc.: Raymond L. Schrock, ed.: Margaret Booth (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures US 1928) cas.: William Haines, Anita Page, si, b&w, 8 reels; 7,184 ft. Archive: BFI National Archive.

The Enemy. Dir.: Fred Niblo, sc.: Agnes Christine Johnston, Willis Goldbeck (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer US 1928) cas.: Lillian Gish, Ralph Forbes, Ralph Emerson, si, b&w, 35mm [incomplete]. Archive: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Archives.

The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Dir. Charles Brabin, sc. Ruth Cummings, Marian Ainslee, Alice D. G. Miller, Thorton Wilder, ed: Margaret Booth (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. US 1929) cas.: Lily Damita, Ernest Torrence, Raquel Torres, si&so, b&w. Archive: George Eastman Museum.

B. Filmography: Non-Extant Film Titles:

1. Margaret Booth as Editor

Why Men Leave Home, 1924; Fine Clothes, 1925; The Gay Deceiver, 1926; Memory Lane, 1926; In Old Kentucky, 1927; Lovers?, 1927; Wise Girls, 1929.


Hatch, Kristen. "Margaret Booth." In Jane Gaines, Radha Vatsal, and Monica Dall’Asta, eds. Women Film Pioneers Project. New York, NY: Columbia University Libraries, 2013.  <>

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