Golden Age of the Silver Screen

Ball of Fire (1941)

Episode #14

RKO Radio Pictures released Ball of Fire to theaters on December 2, 1941. Howard Hawks directed film which starred Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, and Oskar Homolka.

‘Ball of Fire’ Movie Summary

In New York City, a group of professors, all of whom are bachelors, live in a mansion together. They are busy compiling an encyclopedia of all human knowledge. While they are mostly old men, the youngest one is Professor Bertram Potts is not. He’s a handsome 30-something grammarian.

The professors lead a mostly secluded lifestyle with their prim and proper housekeeper, Miss Bragg, keeping things tidy for them. Although they work at a leisurely pace, their financial backer, Miss Totten, grows impatient with them, and demands they finish their work soon.

On an outing to a nightclub to research American slang, Bertram becomes enamored with the sassy performer Sugarpuss O’Shea, and the way she speaks. Since Bertram is too stodgy for her tastes, she initially declines his request to assist him in his research. However, Sugarpuss soon finds she needs a place to hide from the cops. They want to question her about her mob boss/boyfriend, Joe Lilac.

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RKO Radio Pictures released Ball of Fire to theaters on December 2, 1941. Howard Hawks directed film which starred Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, and Oskar Homolka.

User Rating: 5 ( 1 votes)
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  1. Great podcast. Stanwyck is probably my favorite actress. Is The Lady Eve planned for any future podcasts? I think it’s my favorite performance of hers.

    1. I have not seen that movie yet. It’s been on my list for a long time though. We will be reviewing it on the Golden Age though.

    2. “The Lady Eve” is a Criterion title (YAY!!!!!). Not to tip my hand but it “may” come out as one of my picks in the near future. Just don’t tell Patrick or Shane A. 😉 Agreed, I believe “The Lady Eve” and “Ball of Fire” are my two favorite Barbara movies I’ve seen but she’s great in anything – including “The Big Valley” tv series. She was one-of-a-kind. Probably why we had such a hard time coming up with a modern day version of her. There will never be another like her. :'(

      1. Lady Eve is a top 100 for sure. Several Preston Sturges films are worthy of that. I’m curious to see another Gary Cooper Stanwyck film, Blowing Wild, it sounds intersting. A great choice for a future Xmas podcast is Remember the Night, starring Stanwyck and Fred McMurray(made before Double Indemnity)
        Btw Shane said Dana Andrews was in Day the Earth Stood Still, not sure who he confused him with, but he’s definitely not in that film.

  2. Message to Shane Adam: were you like me and watched Bill Collins Golden Age of Hollywood on Saturday nights? He finally retired and I watched the tribute to him on Foxtel by Graham Blundell…. so sweet

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