7.8/10
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86 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:
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Prof. Gurkakoff (as Oscar Homolka)
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Garbage Man
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Asthma Anderson
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Mary Field ...
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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:

9 January 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Professor and the Burlesque Queen  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Billy Wilder had already written the story in Germany, then brought it to the USA when he emigrated and sold it to MGM. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Professor Bertram Potts: We're working under pressure. After nine years of effort, we are, as the race track enthusiast might say, in the home stretch. Three more years and our encyclopedia will be finished. Let's not bog down in the middle of the letter S.
See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Robert Wagner (2006) 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

 
Great Cast, Dated-But-Fun Dialog
14 November 2005 | by 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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