3 April 2014 | boblipton
The Young Recruit is Silly
Monty Banks is a budding aviator who is talked into joining the army by a recruiter who tells him he will have a new plane every day and lunch with the Colonel. The result is a very watchable short feature, half service comedy and half thrill comedy.
Monty Banks was a very inventive screen comic of the 1920s who made the transition from shorts to features. Unfortunately, while those features were very good, they were not successful financially and he wound up behind the camera, directing some excellent comedy features in Great Britain during the sound era.
Why did Banks' starring features fail? My theory is that the years they were released, 1926 and 1927, had a lot of great comedy features, and Banks, while capable in all departments, didn't match anyone's idea of a leading man, even a comic one. Basically the competition swamped him.
It's a pity, because Monty was capable of both great pratfalls and of realistic but comic expressions. He is also aided in this effort by a startlingly young Jean Arthur as the ingénue and Kewpie Morgan in a bit of real acting as a sergeant. Usually Morgan's acting consisted almost entirely as displaying how fat he was. Here he gets to show up as a capable actor.
This movie has been recently released on DVD by Bruce Lawton and Ben Model with one of Ben's typically excellent scores. You won't find a copy of this movie a waste of time or money.