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Monty Banks

Actor / Film Director / Screenwriter / Film Producer | * 07/15/1897 († 52, 01/07/1950) | Cesena, Forlì-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna (Italy)
Montague (Monty) Banks (18 July 1897 – 7 January 1950), born Mario Bianchi, was a 20th century Italian comedian, film actor, director and producer who achieved success in the United Kingdom and the United States. He was billed as the Thrill King of Comedy. ()

Monty Banks was a short, stocky but somehow debonair Italian-born comic actor, later also writer and director. In the US from 1914, he first appeared on stage in musical comedy and cabaret. By 1917 he was working as a dancer in New York's Dominguez Cafe. After this he turned to films, acting and doing stunt work at Keystone, Universal and for Al Christie. Changing his name from Mario Bianchi to Monty Banks may have been prompted by Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle as a passing reference to his playing '"montebanks". By 1919 Banks had moved to Vitagraph to play a villain in The Grocery Clerk (1919), foil to star comic Larry Semon. Banks first came to the fore in his own right as star of the "Welcome Comedies" made by Warner Brothers. He spent the early 1920s at Fox and Grand Asher, graduating to writing and directing two-reel comedies with himself as the star. Most noteworthy entries in regard to inventive sight gags and Mack Sennett--style madcap plots are Pay or Move (1924) and The Golf Bug (1924). The success of this series prompted Banks to create an independent production company, the Monty Banks Pictures Corporation, in conjunction with writer/director Howard Estabrook. He made several feature-length films for Pathe, including Play Safe (1927)) (generally considered his best work), which featured a climactic runaway train sequence. This style of fast-action slapstick made it inevitable that Banks suffered more than his fair share of injuries, especially since he continued to do many of his own stunts. From the late 1920s Banks worked in England and made several appearances in sound films. However, his accent proved to be something of an obstacle. He therefore decided, after 1930, to concentrate on directing and producing. He helmed four features starring the popular entertainer Gracie Fields, who became his second wife in 1940. In 1935 he directed a well-received George Formby comedy, No Limit (1935), about the TT motorcycle races on the Isle of Man, which were shot on location there. With the outbreak of World War II Banks--being an Italian citizen--would have faced internment in England as an enemy alien. He therefore deemed it necessary to flee to Canada, and from there to the neutral United States. He eventually obtained American citizenship, for which he had applied years earlier, but had forgotten to submit the necessary paperwork. Back in Hollywood he ended up at 20th Century-Fox, directing Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in Great Guns (1941), arguably one of their lesser efforts. Banks died of a heart attack during a trip through Italy in January 1950, aged just 52. Sadly, the majority of his one- and two-reelers are now considered lost films. As a result, his status as a leading comic of the silent screen may have somewhat diminished--except, perhaps, in his home town of Cesena, where a foundation was established in his honor (the "Aula Didattica Monty Banks"), offering students "practical courses on experimental aspects of video production".

Photo of Monty Banks
Most frequent genres for this person: Comedies | Music | Drama

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Movies with Monty Banks as Actor(45)

as himself1952 Elstree Story
as (archive footage)1951 The Slappiest Days of Our Lives
as Giuseppe1945 A Bell for Adano
as Antonio Lopez1941 Blood and Sand
as Orban1940 Olympic Honeymoon
as Montague Banking1936 Queen of Hearts
as Tony1935 So You Won't Talk
as Doctor1935 Man of the Moment
as Window Washer1934 The Church Mouse
as Taxi Driver1933 You Made Me Love You
as Chauffeur1933 Heads We Go
as Dandy1929 Atlantic
as Max Ammon1929 Week-End Wives
as Monty Brooks1928 A Perfect Gentleman
as Monty Adams1928 Adam's Apple
as Monty Milde1927 Horse Shoes
as Monty1927 Chasing Choo Choos
as The Boy1927 Flying Luck
as The Groom1924 Wedding Bells
as Monty1924 The Golf Bug
as The Taxi Driver1923 Taxi Please
as Mr. Newlywed1921 In and Out
as A Husband1921 A Bedroom Scandal
as A Rival1920 Don't Park Here
as Farmhand1919 Love
as Leon Dathis1919 Too Much Johnson
as The Tow Gusher, a 'He Vamp'1919 The Grocery Clerk
as Soldier1918 A Scrap of Paper

Movies with Monty Banks as Crew(46)

Directing/Director1941 Great Guns
Writing/Writer1940 Olympic Honeymoon
Directing/Director1939 Shipyard Sally
Directing/Director1938 Keep Smiling
Directing/Director1938 We're Going to Be Rich
Directing/Director1936 Keep Your Seats, Please
Directing/Director1936 Queen of Hearts
Directing/Director1935 No Limit
Directing/Director1935 18 Minutes
Directing/Director1935 Man of the Moment
Directing/Director1934 The Church Mouse
Directing/Director1934 Votre sourire
Directing/Director1933 Leave It to Me
Directing/Director1933 You Made Me Love You
Directing/Director1933 Heads We Go
Directing/Director1932 For the Love of Mike
Writing/Adaptation1932 The Tenderfoot
Directing/Director1932 Money for Nothing
Directing/Director1932 L'amour et la veine
Directing/Director1931 Old Soldiers Never Die
Production/Producer1931 Old Soldiers Never Die
Directing/Director1931 What a Night!
Production/Producer1931 What a Night!
Directing/Director1931 The Wife's Family
Directing/Director1931 Poor Old Bill
Directing/Director1930 The Musical Beauty Shop
Directing/Director1930 Not So Quiet on the Western Front
Directing/Director1930 The New Waiter
Directing/Director1930 Almost a Honeymoon
Writing/Writer1930 Almost a Honeymoon
Directing/Director1930 The Black Hand Gang
Directing/Director1930 Eve's Fall
Directing/Director1930 Amateur Night in London
Writing/Writer1930 Amateur Night in London
Directing/Director1930 The Jerry Builders
Directing/Director1930 The Compulsory Husband
Directing/Director1930 Why Sailors Leave Home
Directing/Director1930 His First Car
Directing/Director1930 Kiss Me Sergeant
Directing/Director1928 Cocktails
Production/Executive Producer1927 Horse Shoes
Writing/Screenplay1927 Horse Shoes
Writing/Story1927 Horse Shoes
Writing/Story1927 Chasing Choo Choos
Writing/Writer1925 Keep Smiling
Directing/Director1924 Hot Sands

Full Name: Monty Banks
Born: Thursday, 07/15 1897 (July) in Cesena, Forlì-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna (Italy)
Died: Saturday, 01/07 1950 (January) in Arona (aged: 52)
Zodiac sign: Cancer (Chinese zodiac sign: Rooster)
Languages: Italian (IT)
Spouses (current/former): Gracie Fields
Other names for Monty Banks (nicknames, foreign languages etc.):
"Montague Banks"
Monty Banks frequently works together with these people:
Syd Courtenay (11x, Crew)
Lola Harvey (8x, Crew)
Hal Gordon (8x, Actor)
Syd Crossley (7x, Actor)
William Blaisdell (7x, Actor)
John Maxwell (7x, Crew)
Charles Horan (6x, Crew)
Val Valentine (6x, Crew)
Leslie Fuller (6x, Actor)
WatchPlayStream ID: PEOPLE:157667, Added: 07/05/2018, Last updated: 10/06/2021