A group of ivory-tower lexicographers realize they need to hear how real people talk, and end up helping a beautiful singer avoid police and escape from the Mob.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »
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Just before Christmas, Lee Leander is caught shoplifting. It is her third offense. She is prosecuted by John Sargent. He postpones the trial because it is hard to get a conviction at ... See full summary »

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Oskar Homolka ...
Prof. Gurkakoff (as Oscar Homolka)
...
...
Prof. Magenbruch
...
Prof. Robinson
Leonid Kinskey ...
Prof. Quintana
...
Prof. Oddly
Aubrey Mather ...
Prof. Peagram
...
Garbage Man
...
Joe Lilac
...
Duke Pastrami
Ralph Peters ...
Asthma Anderson
Kathleen Howard ...
Miss Bragg
Mary Field ...
Miss Totten
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Storyline

Sexy, wisecracking nightclub singer Sugarpuss O'Shea is a hot tomato who needs to be kept on ice: mobster boyfriend Joe Lilac is suspected of murder and Sugarpuss' testimony could put him away. Naive Professor Bertram Potts meets Miss O'Shea while researching an article on slang and in true romantic comedy fashion the two worlds collide. When Miss O'Shea hides out with Potts and his fellow professors, everyone learns something new: the professors how to cha-cha and Potts the meaning of "yum-yum"! Written by A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"I LOVE HIM because he doesn't know how to kiss -- THE JERK!" See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 December 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Professor and the Burlesque Queen  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When one of the hoods tells Sugarpuss to stay near the "Ameche", this is a reference to Don Ameche, who played Alexander Graham Bell in The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939). See more »

Goofs

When Potts declares himself "mystified" at the slang he has heard, his arm changes position between shots. See more »

Quotes

Miss Totten: Father had just one reason for ever starting this unfortunate enterprise: vanity. He broke a blood vessel because he found his name was omitted from the Encyclopedia of Britannica, because thirty pages were devoted to Thomas Alva Edison, seventeen to Alexander Graham Bell, but not one line to Daniel S. Totten, the inventor of the electric toaster.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 54th Annual Academy Awards (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Gaudeamus Igitur
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by the professors
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Stanwyck is the Devil
15 April 2005 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

A mixture of innocence and passion make up what Ball of Fire is about. At times, this is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with a giant ball of fire. Even for 1941, there are moments of sexy conduct that would make a modern day priest blush. Gry Cooper is the book worm as well as the snow white character. A 30 year old virgin professor, Cooper plays the role like he should, soft and quiet. Barbara Stanwyck, on the other hand, is as sexy as ever. Stanwyck had the reputation as the bad girl or the girl you do not bring home to mom. The two actors are exact opposite but in some way they fall for one another as the fairy tale has a happy ending. For the time period of World War 2, this is as good as it gets.


17 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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