21CF Oscars Countdown: Best Film Editing winner Barbara McLean for ‘Wilson’ (1944)


In the weeks leading up to the 90th Oscars on Sunday, March 4, we’ll take a look at our rich Academy Award history by sharing from the 20th Century Fox Archives.

This year Sidney Wolinsky is nominated for his achievement in film editing for “The Shape of Water.” On March 15, 1945, Barbara McLean won in this category for her work on “Wilson” (1944), a biopic based on the political career of President Woodrow Wilson.

During her long career at Fox during the 1930s-60s, Barbara earned six Academy Award nominations in addition to her win, including nominations for “Lloyds of London” (1937), “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” (1938), “The Rains Came” (1939), “The Song of Bernadette” (1943), “All About Eve” (1950), and “Les Misérables” (1952).  She also edited Fox’s first venture into Cinemascope, “The Robe” (1953).

She flourished as an editor in collaboration with Darryl Zanuck (longtime Fox producer and head of the studio from 1944-56), and she eventually went on to become the head of the film editing department at 20th Century Fox.

Here are a few pieces from our Company History photographic collection celebrating Barbara McLean:

The Fox Archives is mandated to collect, catalog, preserve and make accessible the following assets of the 20th Century Fox studios: props, set decoration, photographs, art department and publicity materials from our film and television productions, and from the 20th Century Fox studio itself. We work primarily with internal Fox groups but also from time to time with outside organizations such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.