Monty Banks: Italian comedian and director (1897 - 1950) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Monty Banks
Italian comedian and director

Monty Banks

Monty Banks
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Italian comedian and director
Was Actor Film director
From Italy United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 15 July 1897, Cesena
Death 7 January 1950, Arona, Piedmont (aged 52 years)
Spouse: Gracie Fields
The details (from wikipedia)


Montague (Monty) Banks (15 July 1897 [registered on 18 July 1897] – 7 January 1950 born Mario Bianchi) was a comedian and film director.


Banks was born Mario Bianchi in Cesena, Italy. In 1914, Bianchi emigrated to the United States. By 1918, he was an actor in Hollywood with the Arbuckle Company, performing in over 35 silent short comedies by the early 1920s, and then, in such feature-length action comedy-thrillers as Play Safe (1927). A large excerpt from this movie is included in Robert Youngson's compilation film Days of Thrills and Laughter (1961).

With the arrival of sound films, Banks's strong Italian accent forced him to phase out his acting career in favor of working as a gagman and director. He directed Laurel and Hardy in their film Great Guns, under the name "Montague Banks".

Personal life

He was married to Gladys Frazin. The marriage was not a happy one and they divorced on 29 April 1932 as a result of her abusive behaviour. She subsequently committed suicide in March 1939. He met singer and actress Gracie Fields in 1935, subsequently directed her in four of her films, and they married in March 1940. As an Italian national, he would have been classified as an 'enemy alien' in Britain during World War II. Consequently, he and Fields left the UK for Canada initially, and then the neutral United States in order to prevent his internment. Italian American internment also came into place in the United States during 1941 and 1942, affecting thousands of Italians, but this was eventually relaxed.


He held dual Italian and U.S. citizenship. He died on a train outside Arona, Italy, of a heart attack, aged 52.

Aula Didattica Monty Banks

In his home town of Cesena a foundation was created in honor of Banks, entitled the Aula Didattica Monty Banks. It is "an initiative promoted by the Comune, the course is open to boys and provides the opportunity to create videos".

Selected filmography


  • A Scrap of Paper (1918)
  • The Sheriff (1918)
  • Camping Out (1919)
  • Love (1919)
  • Too Much Johnson (1919)
  • Play Safe (1927)
  • Chasing Choo Choos (1927) two-reel version of Play Safe (1927) showing only the train chase
  • Adam's Apple (1928)
  • Weekend Wives (1928)
  • Atlantic (1929)
  • You Made Me Love You (1933)
  • Heads We Go (1933)
  • The Girl in Possession (1934)
  • Falling in Love (1935)
  • So You Won't Talk (1935)
  • Blood and Sand (1941)
  • A Bell for Adano (1945)


  • Cocktails (1928)
  • Why Sailors Leave Home (1930)
  • The Black Hand Gang (1930)
  • The Compulsory Husband (1930)
  • Almost a Honeymoon (1930)
  • What a Night! (1931)
  • Old Soldiers Never Die (1931)
  • The Wife's Family (1931)
  • Poor Old Bill (1931)
  • Not So Quiet on the Western Front (1932)
  • L'amour et la veine (1932)
  • Kiss Me Sergeant (1932)
  • Money for Nothing (1932)
  • For the Love of Mike (1932)
  • Tonight's the Night (1932)
  • You Made Me Love You (1933)
  • Heads We Go (1933)
  • Father and Son (1934)
  • The Church Mouse (1934)
  • Man of the Moment (1935)
  • Falling in Love (1935) (also acted)
  • Hello, Sweetheart (1935)
  • 18 Minutes (1935)
  • No Limit (1935)
  • Keep Your Seats, Please (1936)
  • Queen of Hearts (1936)
  • We're Going to Be Rich (1938)
  • Keep Smiling (1938)
  • Shipyard Sally (1939)
  • Great Guns (1941)

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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