Movies Way Back When: A Misbehaving Monkey

By Betsy J. Green

A monkey was featured in the “Flying A” silent film “The Diamond From the Sky” but, unfortunately, this was a monkey with attitude. “He was not inclined to be friendly, in fact a few fingers have been bitten in the attempt to educate him to the film game.”

Fortunately, the “Flying A” actor who would be performing with the monkey, knew how to speak monkey, or something. The actor said, “he does not believe there is a monkey in the world that he cannot make friends with. As soon as the two were introduced [the actor] started some sort of outlandish gibberish that the monkey seemed to understand or at least take interest in. The two have become great friends, but the monkey’s attitude towards others has not changed.” – Santa Barbara Morning Press, September 9, 1915

Betsy’s Way Back When book — Movies & Million-Dollar Mansions — is now available in local bookstores and at This is the seventh book in her series on the history of Santa Barbara. Learn more at​.


Written by bjgreen

Betsy J. Green is a Santa Barbara historian and author. Her books are available in local bookstores, and at (Shop local if you can.) Learn more at

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