Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Ball of Fire -1941 American comedy- Directed by Howard Hawks - Starring Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper

available on YouTube

Ball of Fire is a wonderful American comedy, great fun.

The film tells the story of a group of professors who are working on an encyclopedia of all human knowledge. They are all bachelors, except for one widower, and they have lived together for some years in a New York City residence.
The youngest professor, Bertram Potts (played by Gary Cooper), is a grammarian who is researching modern American slang. He is struggling to understand the latest slang terms, so he decides to go to a nightclub to hear how people are talking.

At the nightclub, he meets a nightclub performer named Katherine "Sugarpuss" O'Shea (played by Barbara Stanwyck). Sugarpuss is a tough-talking, wisecracking woman who knows all the latest slang. Potts is fascinated by her and invites her back to his apartment to help him with his research.

Sugarpuss agrees to go with Potts, but she has a secret: she is the girlfriend of a mobster who is wanted by the police. She is hoping to use Potts and the professors to hide out until the heat dies down.

When Sugarpuss arrives at the professors' apartment, she throws their quiet life into chaos. The professors are not used to having a woman around, and they are constantly flustered by her behavior. Sugarpuss, in turn, is not used to living with a bunch of intellectual eggheads.
Despite their differences, Potts and Sugarpuss begin to develop a relationship. Potts is attracted to Sugarpuss's toughness and independence, while Sugarpuss is softened by Potts's kindness and intelligence.

However, their relationship is complicated by Sugarpuss's past. The mobster she is involved with is not happy that she is hiding out with Potts, and he comes to the apartment to try to take her back.
"Ball of Fire" is a classic screwball comedy that is full of witty dialogue and physical humor. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Barbara Stanwyck. The film is still considered to be one of the best screwball comedies ever made.

1 comment:

Buried In Print said...

I just saw this listed on Kanopy the other night; next time I'm browsing there, I'll take a closer look!