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Monta Bell

  • Highest Rated: 95% The Cocoanuts (1929)
  • Lowest Rated: 85% Applause (1929)
  • Birthday: Feb 5, 1891
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • Because of his exotic first name, American director Monta Bell has frequently been listed as "one of the few female directors in Hollywood" -- and when the mistake is pointed out, the perpetrator usually compounds the error by respelling Bell's first name as "Monte." After several years as a journalist in his native Washington, DC, Bell went on stage as an actor, entering films in that capacity in 1923. His only on-screen acting stint was in Charlie Chaplin's The Pilgrim; Chaplin would later employ Bell as a film editor and assistant director. In 1924, Bell became a full-fledged director, usually of sophisticated Lubitsch-like sex comedies. While at MGM in 1926, Bell guided Greta Garbo through her first American film, The Torrent. Moving to Paramount, Bell was made head of production at the New York-based Astoria sound studios, where he supervised such pioneering talkies as Rouben Mamoulian's Applause (1929) and the Marx Brothers' The Cocoanuts (1929). As a director in the 1930s, Bell fluctuated between high comedy (Worst Woman in Paris? [1933]) and low melodrama (Devil and the Deep [1932]). Bell switched to producing full-time for Paramount in the mid 1930s, though his final Hollywood assignment was as director of the low-budget flagwaver China's Little Devils (1945). For a brief period, Monta Bell was married to actress Betty Lawford, mother of film star Peter Lawford.

Highest Rated Movies








No Score Yet After Midnight Screenwriter Director 2014
No Score Yet China's Little Devils Director 2012
No Score Yet Man, Woman And Sin Director 2011
No Score Yet West Point of the Air Producer 1935
No Score Yet Men in White Producer 1934
No Score Yet Student Tour Producer 1934
No Score Yet The Worst Woman in Paris? Screenwriter Director 1933
No Score Yet Downstairs Director 1932
No Score Yet Laughter Producer 1930
No Score Yet The Big Pond Producer 1930
95% The Cocoanuts Producer 1929
No Score Yet The Letter Producer Screenwriter 1929
No Score Yet Glorifying the American Girl Producer 1929
85% Applause Producer 1929
No Score Yet Torrent Director Producer 1926
No Score Yet Lady of the Night Director 1925
No Score Yet The King of Main Street Director 1925
No Score Yet The Pilgrim Policeman 1923


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