Monta Belll (Washington D. C., 1891 – February 5 Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, February 4, 1958) was a producer, screenwriter, film editor, American film director, specializing in light comedies whose style recalls the of the first Cecil B. DeMille or Ernst Lubitsch. Bell is especially famous for directing the torrent drama, the first film that shot Greta Garbo in Hollywood after his stage in Sweden. He worked both silent and sound. Between 1924 and 1945 he directed twenty films, produced other twenty and wrote nine screenplays. Not all movies that rolled have been preserved. Had a brief marriage to actress Betty Lawford, cousin of actor Peter Lawford.

Film director

After having worked as a journalist in Washington, Bell participated as an actor in The Pilgrim (1923) Charles Chaplin, which was his only appearance as an actor on the big screen. Chaplin employed him as editor and in 1924 Bell is became director of spicy tone comedies. In 1926 he directed the torrent, based on the novel among Orange Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, starring Greta Garbo and Ricardo Cortez. This was the first film by Garbo in America. The film was a success both critics and audience. Bell’s film is characterized by female characters of great character, bold and determined, versus general passivity of the male characters, characterized as antiheroes. The film which best reflects this subversion of the traditional roles is After midnight, film 1927 starring Norma Shearer.


Bell left the direction of films in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to devote to production at the Kaufman Astoria studios in New York, owned by Paramount Pictures. Later, he returned to directing sound films.