7.8/10
9,264
89 user 45 critic

Ball of Fire (1941)

Approved | | 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:

Howard Hawks

Writers:

Charles Brackett (screen play), Billy Wilder (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:
Gary Cooper ... Prof. Bertram Potts
Barbara Stanwyck ... Sugarpuss O'Shea
Oskar Homolka ... Prof. Gurkakoff (as Oscar Homolka)
Henry Travers ... Prof. Jerome
S.Z. Sakall ... Prof. Magenbruch
Tully Marshall ... Prof. Robinson
Leonid Kinskey ... Prof. Quintana
Richard Haydn ... Prof. Oddly
Aubrey Mather ... Prof. Peagram
Allen Jenkins ... Garbage Man
Dana Andrews ... Joe Lilac
Dan Duryea ... Duke Pastrami
Ralph Peters ... Asthma Anderson
Kathleen Howard ... Miss Bragg
Mary Field ... Miss Totten
Edit

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:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 January 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Professor and the Burlesque Queen See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was Gary Cooper who recommended Barbara Stanwyck for the role of Katherine "Sugarpuss" O'Shea. See more »

Goofs

During the walk through central park, the camera shadow is visible on Professor Gurkakoff's torso. See more »

Quotes

Joe Lilac: [as the professors draw guns on Joe and his men] What is this?
Prof. Oddly: I believe... I think it is known as an "up-stick."
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Once upon a time - in 1941 to be exact - there lived in a great, tall forest - called New York - eight men who were writing an encyclopedia.

They were so wise they knew everything: the depth of the oceans, and what makes a glowworm glow, and what tune Nero fiddles while Rome was burning.

But there was one thing about which they knew very little - as you will see . . . See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
In the score as the professors go to New Jersey for the wedding
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
.....ONCE AGAIN, THE ORIGINAL RULES... ..... ...... THE RE-MAKE DOESN'T DO IT
29 September 1999 | by renfield54See 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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