7.8/10
8,650
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.

Director:

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

Lucille Ball was set to play Katherine 'Sugarpuss' O'Shea, but once producer Samuel Goldwyn found out that Barbara Stanwyck was available he gave her the part instead. See more »

Goofs

When the gangsters visit the professors' house, they beckon to Sugarpuss to come out by the front door. After speaking to them, she is seen from inside the house returning via the front door. But when the camera moves outside, instead of seeing her on the steps that lead to the door of the brownstone, we see her emerging into a narrow alley, and the door has changed from the large, elaborate front door to a much smaller and plainer one. See more »

Quotes

Sugarpuss O'Shea: [about Potts] Yes, I love him. I love those hick shirts he wears with the boiled cuffs and the way he always has his vest buttoned wrong. Looks like a giraffe, and I love him. I love him because he's the kind of a guy that gets drunk on a glass of buttermilk, and I love the way he blushes right up over his ears. Love him because he doesn't know how to kiss, the jerk!
See more »

Connections

References Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Great Cast, Dated-But-Fun Dialog
14 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wow, what a cast! Let's see, there's Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Richard Haydn, Oscar Homolka, Henry Travers, S.Z. Sakall, Tully Marshall, Dana Andrews, Allen Jenkins and more! Classic film fans know all these names.

What's more, it's a fun movie, fun to see and especially fun to hear. Stanwyck is her usual fascinating self, but in this movie it's the men

  • the seven old bachelors and the younger Cooper in the "club" - that
are the most entertaining.

When you have directors and writers such as Howard Hawks and Billy Wilder behind the film, you know it's a winner.

Because the story dealt with a bunch of encyclopedia writers trying to find out the latest slang words, the dialog in here is really funny. The expressions of the day are dated and humorous and there are so many you can't count them all. Some are stupid; some are hilarious...which is what you get with most comedies anyway. Not every line hits the mark, but a lot do in this one.

Tack on some action and some romance and it's corny-but-cute film , entertaining all the way.


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