He was born in London and edited his first film in 1928. Shortly after, he immigrated to the US, where he worked on such films as the W. C. Fields classic comedies The Bank Dick (1940) and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941), and Julien Duvivier’s portmanteau film Flesh and Fantasy (1943).
He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Film Editing for Robert Siodmak’s |film noir| The Killers in 1946.
Hilton migrated to television in the 1950s, where he was able to establish himself as a director. However, his attempts to direct for the big screen were fairly disastrous, with his 1953 film Cat-Women of the Moon generally being regarded nowadays as a camp classic.
Retreating back to television, and back in his editing capacity, Hilton worked on such series as Lassie, Mission: Impossible, and the 1977 mini-series Washington: Behind Closed Doors, for which he received a nomination from the American Cinema Editors Association. He died 2 years later in California.