Sally Menke

Intro American film editor
Was Film editor
From United States of America
Type Film, Television, Stage and Radio
Gender female
Birth 17 December 1953, Mineola, USA
Death 27 September 2010, Bronson Canyon, USA (aged 56 years)
Star sign Sagittarius

Sally JoAnne Menke (December 17, 1953 – September 27, 2010) was an American television and film editor. She had a long-time collaboration with director Quentin Tarantino, editing all of his films until her death. Menke was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing for Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds and Pulp Fiction, of which Variety's Todd McCarthy wrote, "Sally Menke's editing reps the definition of precision."

Early life

Menke was born in Mineola, New York, the daughter of Charlotte, a teacher, and Dr. Warren Wells Menke, a professor of management at Clemson University. Menke graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Film Program. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film in 1977.


Menke edited documentaries for CBS in her early career. She received more film work in the 1990s, working on such films as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Heaven & Earth and Mulholland Falls. Menke met Quentin Tarantino when he held interviews for an editor. Tarantino sent her the script for Reservoir Dogs and she said that she thought it was "amazing". Menke was hiking in Canada when she learned she got the job. Menke continued working with Tarantino, editing eight films altogether. Tarantino summarized their working relationship in 2007, saying that "The best collaborations are the director–editor teams, where they can finish each other's sentences", and that Menke was his "only, truly genuine collaborator". Menke's final editing credit was on the thriller Peacock (2010), directed by Michael Lander. She was selected as a member of the American Cinema Editors. On the Motion Picture Editors Guild 2012 listing of the 75 best-edited films of all time, Pulp Fiction was listed 18th.

Personal life

Menke married director Dean Parisot in 1986 and the couple had two children, Lucas and Isabella.


Menke had gone hiking the morning of September 27, 2010, with a friend and her dog. Menke's friend left her after an hour when she started to feel unwell in the heat. When Menke failed to come home, her friends alerted the police. Search dogs, a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter, and officers from patrol units spent hours in Griffith Park searching for her. Her locked car was found in a Griffith Park parking lot. Menke's body was found at the bottom of a ravine near 5600 block of Green Oak Drive on September 28, 2010. Her dog was found alive, sitting next to her body. The coroner's office later determined that Menke's death was heat-related. It was 113 °F (45 °C) in downtown Los Angeles the day she died.


The Sundance Institute created a memorial fellowship in film editing to honor Menke. Tarantino's film Django Unchained (2012) was dedicated to her memory due to their long partnership.

Awards and nominations

1995 – Pulp Fiction (nominated) – Academy Award – "Best Film Editing" 1995 – Pulp Fiction (nominated) – American Cinema Editors ACE Eddie Award – "Best Edited Feature Film" 1995 – Pulp Fiction (nominated) – BAFTA Film Award – "Best Editing" 2003 – Kill Bill: Volume 1 (won) – San Diego Film Critics Society Awards – "Best Editing" 2004 – Kill Bill: Volume 1 (nominated) – BAFTA Film Award – "Best Editing" 2004 – Kill Bill: Volume 1 (won) – Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards – Sierra Award for "Best Editing" 2005 – Kill Bill: Volume 2 (nominated) – American Cinema Editors ACE Eddie Award – "Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic)" 2005 – Kill Bill: Volume 2 (nominated) – Online Film Critics Society OFCS Award – "Best Editing" 2010 – Inglourious Basterds (nominated) – Academy Award – "Best Film Editing"

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