7.8/10
8,578
84 user 42 critic

Ball of Fire (1941)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 9 January 1942 (USA)
A group of professors working on a new encyclopedia encounter a mouthy nightclub singer who is wanted by the police to help bring down her mob boss lover.

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Prof. Gurkakoff (as Oscar Homolka)
...
...
Prof. Magenbruch
...
Prof. Robinson
...
Prof. Quintana
...
Prof. Oddly
...
Prof. Peagram
...
Garbage Man
...
Joe Lilac
...
Duke Pastrami
...
Asthma Anderson
...
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:

The New Year's red-hot comedy! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 January 1942 (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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on June 1, 1942 with Barbara Stanwyck reprising her film role. See more »

Goofs

Joe wants to marry Sugarpuss, who knows enough to get him convicted of murder, because "a wife can't testify against her husband." In fact, the law prohibits forcing a wife to testify against her husband--ie, threatening her with prison, as can be done with other recalcitrant witnesses. A wife can indeed testify against her husband if she does it of her own free will. Further, Joe tries to force Sugarpuss into marriage with threats. A marriage performed under duress has no validity in law. See more »

Quotes

Professor Bertram Potts: Before we attempt to get back to work, I'd like to say a few words. You've been very kind and very tactful. If I may say so, over-tactful. The entire ride home in the car you avoided a certain subject to make empty conversation. Now let's have it out. I made an ass of myself and I know it.
Prof. Jerome: Oh, well, we all have, Potts.
Professor Bertram Potts: Yes, but I was the lead donkey.
See more »


Soundtracks

Sweet Genevieve
(1869) (uncredited)
Music by Henry Tucker
Lyrics by George Cooper
Performed a cappella by the professors
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
.....ONCE AGAIN, THE ORIGINAL RULES... ..... ...... THE RE-MAKE DOESN'T DO IT
29 September 1999 | by (NEW JERSEY, USA) – See all my reviews

A silly farce of a story that works. The elderly academians are stereotypically perfect. Gary Cooper does his "aww, shucks", naive, signature performance in a worthy role. Barbara Stanwyck is (always) "one hot mama". Great chemistry between the street smart Stanwyck character and the shy, bashful Cooper.

A later version with Danny Kaye falls flat. Instead of slang, they are researching music. Great musical cameo's, but the four star (rated 10) version is the original. I always thought Kaye's brand of humor more suited to children.

The original is funny and cute, the re-make seems like leftover pieces squeezed together to fit a pre-established mold. It lacks charm, stick with the real thing...THIS ONE!!!


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