Bud Hoffman, who died this week aged 81, is believed to have been the last surviving editor of an Alfred Hitchcock film.
His sole collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock was the 1966 political thriller ‘Torn Curtain’ starring Paul Newman. It has been reported that Hoffman was an assistant editor of Hitchcock’s “The Birds’, however he did not receive a screen credit for his contribution.
In total he only edited four feature films – Torn Curtain was his first. After that he edited the 1968 film ‘The Hellcats’, a movie now more famous as being part of the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 canon of spoofed films.
He teamed up again with the director of ‘The Hellcats’ – Robert F Slatzer, to edit ‘Bigfoot’ a 1970 sci-fi schlock film about the giant monster kidnapping bikers. Slater never directed another film.But it is his editing of Torn Curtain for which Bud Hoffman will be most remembered. He edited the famous killing scene involving Paul Newman – a groundbreaking piece of film directing and editing that showed film audiences that baddies don’t neccessarily die after the briefest of struggles, or one violent act.
Hoffman, a resident of Oaklahoma at the time of his passing, was an accomplished pianist and as well served two years in the Navy.
Below is his most famous edited sequence – the killing of a german officer in ‘Torn Curtain’.
– By Rhett Bartlett