Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Ball of Fire (1941). Comedy. Cast: Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. Supporting cast: Oskar Homolka, Henry Travers, Richard Haydn, Dana Andrews, Dan Duryea and Elisha Cook J. The story was turned into a musical film, A Song Is Born(1948). Cast: Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo. Director: Howard Hawks. Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck make a wonderful on screen couple in this comedy.

I finally had the opportunity to see the film BALL OF FIRE. I thought the story of Bertram Potts, a linguistics professor and his group of quirky colleagues writing a encyclopedia, was Hilarious.

Loved watching the faces of the people that Bertram was eavesdropping on, while writing what they had to say in his little notebook.

My favorite scene is when Sugarpuss is teaching the conga to the other professors.

I also loved when the story takes a wild turn and the professor and his colleagues take on Sugarpuss's mobster boyfriend and his henchmen and wonderful scene in the nightclub.


The roles of the seven professors (besides Gary Cooper) were inspired by Disney's Seven Dwarfs. There is even a photograph showing the actors sitting in front of a Disney poster: S.Z. Sakall - Dopey; Leonid Kinskey - Sneezy; 'Richard Haydn' - Bashful; Henry Travers - Sleepy; Aubrey Mather - Happy; Tully Marshall - Grumpy, and Oskar Homolka - Doc.

Kathleen Howard (July 27, 1884 - April 15, 1956) was a Canadian-born opera singer (mezzo-soprano), magazine editor and US film character actress from the mid-1930's through the 1940's.

 She was also best known as the nagging, shrewish wife of W.C. Fields in a film, It's a Gift (1934). She performed in two other films of W.C. Fields: You're Telling Me! (1934) and Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935).


  1. I thought Ball of Fire was a riot- loved all the hip lingo. I didn't know the professors were inspired by the Seven Dwarf's--- that is a fun fact!

  2. The second of two films Cooper & Hawks did in 1941 the other film being Sgt York.

  3. Babs Stanwyck is a ball of fire in this. While she was a great dramatic actress, I love her comedies. She and Gary Cooper have great chemistry.

  4. I agree with Kim...Barbara Stanwyck was an excellent comedic actress. Plus, it had Cuddles in it! This was a fun review, Dawn. By the way, the Danny Kaye-Virginia Mayo remake A SONG IS BORNi is worth checking out, too.

  5. Thank you everyone. I really enjoyed the film. I may have to add it to my DVD collection.

  6. Rick , Howard Hawks Hated the remake. I know Your A Danny Fan. I like it for one reason. Felix Bressart as Professor Gerkikoff.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.