Ball of Fire

“I LOVE HIM because he doesn't know how to kiss—THE JERK!”

Comedy Romance Crime
111 min     7.365     1941     USA


A group of academics have spent years shut up in a house working on the definitive encyclopedia. When one of them discovers that his entry on slang is hopelessly outdated, he ventures into the wide world to learn about the evolving language. Here he meets Sugarpuss O’Shea, a nightclub singer, who’s on top of all the slang—and, it just so happens, needs a place to stay.


CinemaSerf wrote:
This is a cracking little comedy with Gary Cooper as the unlikely boffin "Prof. Potts" who, alongside a group of equally eminent academics has been working on an encyclopaedia for the previous 9 years - and they've only got to "S". Enter the mailman who is doing a radio quiz just as our professor is concluding his section on slang - only for him to realise that their studious isolation has left them so out of touch as to render his slang definition worthless. Off he sets into the city to learn more where he alights on night-club singer "Sugarpuss O'Shea" (Barbara Stanwyck) and her colleagues who offer him a fascinatingly new vernacular. Turns out that she is the moll of wanted gangster "Joe Lilac" (Dana Andrews) so she agrees to help them develop their book whilst using their dignified home as a hideaway. A bit like Greer Garson in "Goodbye Mr. Chips" (1939), only much feistier, she melts the hearts of the old starched shirts and soon Cooper has become totally smitten.... Both leads are on top form; the writing barely comes up for breath as this pacy, engaging comedy comes to a suitably Damoclean conclusion... Great fun!