Elmo Williams, the Academy Award-winning editor of the classic western High Noon, died yesterday, November 25. He was 102. Among the films he edited were 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954), The Vikings (1958), and Design For Death (1947).
He did a remarkable job on High Noon (1952), acclaimed to this day for ratcheting up the tension in the relatively action-free film, using clocks and other devices to note the passage of time as the town Marshall played by Gary Cooper awaits the arrival of killers bent on revenge. He won the Oscar for editing, and received another nomination two years later for his work on 20,000 Leagues.
Williams was also a producer, working on The Longest Day (1962), Cleopatra (1963), and Tora! Tora! Tora!, among others. He directed a small number of films as well, including The Tall Texan (1953).
From 1971 to 1974, Williams was head of production at 20th Century Fox. An interesting fact that is worth mentioning is that at the time of his death Williams was the oldest living Oscar-winner. His family announced they will hold a private service for him, but has planned a public memorial event on December 12, scheduled, appropriately, at Noon.