7.8/10
9,792
94 user 48 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 »
Reviews
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:

The New Year's red-hot comedy! 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

Barbara Stanwyck's Best Actress Oscar nomination was the only one in the category that was not in a Best Picture nominee that year. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where the professors meet with Miss Totten and her assistant Mr. Larson in the library ( at about 13 mins. ), they are interrupted by the garbage man, after which Miss Totten and Mr. Larsen seemingly vanish, without being shown to leave. See more »

Quotes

Sugarpuss O'Shea: [needing help with a stubborn zipper] You know, I had this happen one night in the middle of my act. I couldn't get a thing off. Was I embarrassed!
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

Featured in The 54th Annual Academy Awards (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
One of Barbara Stanwyck's best performances in a very funny film and role
24 January 2001 | by llltdesqSee all my reviews

This film (remade in 1948 as a musical with Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo with the title, "A Song Is Born") is a hilarious vehicle for Barbara Stanwyck, who was nominated for Best Actress for her performance here. Anyone who has only seen Ms. Stanwyck in film noir such as "Double Indemnity" or in television's Big Valley should watch this or "Christmas In Connecticut" to see a fine comedic talent at work. She blows Gary Cooper off the screen! Most Recommended.


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