Ball of Fire

Ball of Fire

Streaming Video - 1941
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A band of scholars set out to write a new encyclopedia. By their ninth year, the grumpy grammarian of the group, Bertram Potts, is up to "S" for slang. To brush up on modern lingo, he attends a bawdy nightclub, where he meets a burlesque queen who spices up his language and steals his heart. But he's not the only one pursuing her|and now he and his gang of professors must outwit the mob!
Publisher: [United States] : Miramax, 1941.
Branch Call Number: eVideo hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (approximately 111 min.)) : sd., col.
video file,rda


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Aug 20, 2019

A great "corny" movie!

Jul 08, 2019

Howard Hawks did two of the classic screwball comedies, "His Girl Friday" and "Bringing Up Baby." 1941's "Ball of Fire" is not in their league and not as screwy, but a fizzy romantic comedy nonetheless with winning performances. As she did in "The Lady Eve," the great Barbara Stanwyck plays the sexy free spirit to a buttoned up guy (Gary Cooper). The whole gangster plot is pretty silly, but you're not watching this for narrative cohesion. The incredible behind the camera talent included Billy Wilder, who worked on the script, Edith Head, who did the costumes, and Greg Toland, who shot "Citizen Kane," as the cinematographer. Dana Andrews, Dan Duryea, and two guys from "It's a Wonderful Life" co-star. Hawks and Cooper also did "Sgt. York," which came out the same year. Oh, Gene Krupa and band appear in a nightclub sequence.

Sep 29, 2016

GREAT 1941 screwball comedy film with fab Kathryn Stanwyck (at age 34) and tall, handsome Gary Cooper (at age 40).
The film involves a group of bachelor academics, led by Cooper) who haven't been directly involved in popular culture but are writing a contemporary 'encyclopedia'. When they meet the Stanwyck burlesque character who is involved with a mob boss, they become fascinated with her constant 'slang' talk and they decide to add slang analysis to their work.
It's lots of fun to hear the constant 40's slang 'Sugarpuss' Stanwyck character uses as she talks. What an entertaining film; yum, yum with lots of hoy-toy-toy!
This is the film that was later remade as 'A Song Is Born'. That film is quite good (and available from KCLS), but I can now understand why many people thinks it's weak compared to the original 'Ball of Fire'. I am glad I saw 'A Song is Born' first so I wouldn't have any comparison to weigh against it. And now I'm glad I've also seen the original.
I do recommend seeing 'A Song is Born' first, and then 'Ball of Fire' later to maximize your entertainment, um, dollar, buck, dough, bread, tamales, scratch, moolah, cheddar, smackers, simoleons, ducats, and spondulix.
And here's a fun slang-infested blurb by one of the other characters:
“Well, I certainly am obliged to ya. I could use a bundle a scratch right now on account of I met me a mouse last week. What a pair o’gams! A little in, a little out, and a little more out. Well, with this dish on my hands and them given out twenty five smackaroos on that quizzola…we’ll be stubbin’, me and the smooch – I mean the dish – I mean the mouse. You know, hit the jiggles for a little Rhumboogie? Brother, we’re gonna have some hoy-toy-toy!”

Oct 18, 2015

Really very funny and quaint. The talent is just bursting at the seams here: Hawks, Wilder, Cooper, Stanwyck, Andrews, Duryea, and The Seven Dwarfs.

Sep 18, 2014

Don't let the DVD box cover confuse you. This is a wonderful comedy with Gary Cooper as Professor Bertram Potts who has the responsibility to hide Barbara Stanywck as Sugarpuss O'Shea. Who is she hiding from? Well none other than mobsters by the names of Joe Lilac (Dana Andrews) and Duke Pastrami (Dan Duryea). I don't think of either Cooper and Stanywck as comic actors, but under the direction of Howard Hawks it all works out. The movie was so popular in 1941 that Howard Hawks remade it as a musical with Danny Kaye called "A Song is Born". You won't regret this choice!

Mar 19, 2014

This is a film that picks you up and warms you up with a lot of laughs. IT is hilarious and really adorable. A take of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Ball of Fire has a superb cast and great dialogue. Gary Cooper is adorable as the the professor who falls for Stanwyck's character. I loved it form beginning to end.

Jul 26, 2012

Playful banter, sexy music, lots of familiar faces -- make some popcorn and have some fun! "Where do I know that old professor from?" Barbara and Gary make a good team ... and a good set up for a part two.


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