Viola Lawrence
Viola Mallory
Viola Lawrence is often credited as Hollywood’s first female film cutter.
DOB: 12/02/1894

Viola Lawrence

December 2, 1894 - November 20, 1973
Also Known As:
Viola Mallory
Worked as:
editor, film cutter
Worked In:
United States
by Kristen Hatch

Viola Lawrence is often credited as Hollywood’s first female film cutter. She began working in film at the age of twelve when she held title cards at the Vitagraph studio in Flatbush. Six years later, she edited her first film, a Vitagraph three-reeler, O’Henry (1912). In 1917, Lawrence moved to Hollywood, where she worked at Universal, First National, and Gloria Swanson Productions before arriving at Columbia Pictures, where in 1925 she became the supervising editor, and where she was still editing until the late 1950s.

 Erich von Stroheim and Viola Lawrence. Foolish Wives (1922). PCRK

Erich von Stroheim and Viola Lawrence (e/o). Foolish Wives (1922). PC

  See alsoHettie Grey BakerAnne BauchensMargaret BoothWinifred DunnKatherine HillikerJane LoringIrene MorraBlanche SewellRose Smith

Selected Bibliography


This essay does not have a selected bibliography. Please see the Cutting Women: Margaret Booth and Hollywood's Pioneering Female Film Editors essay and bibliography for more resources.

Complete Project Bibliographies


A. Archival Filmography: Extant Film Titles:

1. Viola Lawrence/Viola Mallory as Editor

Blind Husbands. Dir. Erich von Stroheim, sc.: Erich von Stroheim, Lillian Ducey, ed.: Viola Mallory, Eleanor Fried (Universal Film Mft. Co. US 1918) cas.: Francelia Billington, Sam De Grasse, Erich von Stroheim, si, b&w, 35mm. Archive: CAQ, BEB, SES, AUC, ROB, DEI, PLW, USM, CAO, ATM, ITN, USL, ESM, USR, DEW, GBB, DKK, USI, ITT, YUB, FRL.

The Heart of Humanity. Dir. Allen Holubar, sc.: Allen Holubar, Olga Scholl, ed.: Viola Mallory (Universal Film Mfg. Co. US 1919) cas.: Dorothy Phillips, William Stowell, si., b&w, 35mm. Archive: USW, CAO, USL, USF, USR.

The Virgin of Stamboul. Dir. Tod Browning, sc.: Tod Browning, William Parker, ed.: Viola Mallory (Universal Film Mfg. Co. US 1920) cas.: Priscilla Dean, Eugenie Ford, si., b&w. Archive: BEB, GBB, USL.

Fighting the Flames. Dir.: B. Reeves Eason, sc.: Douglas Z. Doty, ed.: Viola Lawrence (Columbia Pictures Corp. US 1925) cas.: William Haines, Dorothy Devore, David Torrence, si, b&w, 35mm. Archive: USW.

Queen Kelly. Dir. Erich Von Stroheim, sc.: Erich Von Stroheim, Marion Ainslee, ed.: Viola Lawrence (Gloria Swanson Productions, Inc. US 1928) cas.: Gloria Swanson, Walter Byron, si., b&w, 35mm. Archive: BEB, DEI, USR, ITN, MXN, ESM, DEW, GBB, ITT, FRC, AUC, YUB.

This is Heaven. Dir. Alfred Santell, sc.: Hope Loring, Arthur Mantell, George Maurion Jr., ed.: Viola Lawrence (Samuel Goldwyn, Inc./Advance Trailer Service Corp. US 1929) cas.: Vilma Banky, James Hall, si&so, b&w, 35mm. Archive: USW.

B. Filmography: Not Extant Titles:

1. Viola Lawrence/Viola Mallory as Editor

Within the Law, 1917; An Alabaster Box, 1917; His Divorced Wife, 1919; Loot, 1919; Once to Every Woman, 1920; Fighting the Flames, 1925; The Devil Dancer, 1927; The Awakening, 1928; Two Lovers, 1928.


Hatch, Kristen. "Viola Lawrence." In Jane Gaines, Radha Vatsal, and Monica Dall’Asta, eds. Women Film Pioneers Project. Center for Digital Research and Scholarship. New York, NY: Columbia University Libraries, 2013. Web.   September 27, 2013.   <>


Below are lists of other pioneers that are related to Viola Lawrence by occupation or geography.

Occupation: editors

Occupation: film cutters

Place: United States