David Bretherton was an American film editor with more than 40 credits for films released from 1954 to 1996.
Bretherton, the son of editor/director Howard Bretherton and actress Dorothea McEvoy, was born in Los Angeles. He served with the United States Air Force during World War II. After World War II he joined the editing department at Twentieth Century-Fox, at first helping other editors, including Barbara McLean, Robert L. Simpson, Louis R. Loeffler, James B. Clark, William H. Reynolds, and, in later years, Dorothy Spencer and Hugh S. Fowler. His first project as a film editor was An Affair to Remember in 1954. In 1995, Bretherton received the American Cinema Editors Career Achievement Award. Bretherton died of pneumonia in Los Angeles in 2000.
Bretherton's most noted work was the editing of the film Cabaret, which was directed by Bob Fosse. Bretherton received the Academy Award for Film Editing, an ACE Eddie Award, and a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Editing for this film. In his 1972 review, Roger Greenspun gives some insight into Bretherton's achievement:
... the film has a musical part and a nonmusical part, and if you add this to the juxtaposition of private lives and public history inherent in the scheme of the Berlin Stories, you come up with a structure of extraordinary mechanical complexity. Since everything has to do with everything else and the Cabaret is always commenting on the life outside it, the film sometimes looks like an essay in significant crosscutting, or associative montage. Occasionally this fails; more often it works.