- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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HAIL HOWARD HAWKS !
- Will Fox
As any serious scholar or student of the studio system in Hollywood's heyday knows, Howard Hawks is in the top 3, of the most successful directors. Intelligent people worldwide are still fascinated by John Ford's westerns. Alfred Hitchcock's suspense-filled mysteries intrigue five-generations of the intelligencia. Rivaling these two aces, is the ace of aces among world-class film directors, Howard Hawks. He created more 4-star films (the highest of ratings among most critics) in many more genres than any other director in the history of film. Howard Hawks is famous as a movie-making maverick with a distinctive talent for creating sassy female characters that enchant male bosses. Please consider his hits: "A Girl in Every Port" (1928), "The Dawn Patrol" (1930), "The Crowd Roars" and "Scarface" (1932), "20th Century," "Barbary Coast," "Bringing Up Baby," "Only Angels Have Wings," "His Girl Friday," "Sergeant York," "Ball of Fire," "Corvette K -255,", "To Have And Have Not," "The Big Sleep" (1946), "Red River" (1948), "A Star Is Born," "I Was A Male War Bride," "The Thing From Another World," "The Big Sky," "Monkey Business," "Gentle Prefer Blondes," "Rio Bravo" (1959), "Hatari" (1962), and "El Dorado" (1967). Twenty-three successes. Who else compares to this heroic champion, across so many different genres, among film directors? Hail Howard Hawks!
- Elaine Lamana
I forgot to put the star rating! I'm so embarrassed.
- Elaine Lamana
So many lovely moments in this movie. It's not the greatest film ever, but it's certainly pleasant to watch--all those terrific supporting characters, for one thing. They have such chemistry together. And the "Genevieve" scene is surprisingly moving and wonderful. I just voted for them to make it available for purchase. Even my grandson (10) enjoyed watching it with me.
Am I supposed to like this?
- el debbo
Whenever they wanted Stanwyck to appear sexy, they brought out the sequins. Forget-about-it. She was smart, snappy, a great actress... but sexy? No. So when she's doing "Drum Boogie" I just feel uneasy and Gary Cooper LOOKS uneasy... throughout. Sargent York was IT for him, he is way out of his league here. The remake of this movie, with Danny Kaye, is oft put-down, but it's actually better, and with a more believable crew. Virginia Mayo onstage singing "Daddy-O" is above and beyond anything Stanwyck can do with this genre. We're supposed to like this because of Hawks and Wilder or for whatever reason, but I don't.
Ball of Fire
Overall-2 1/2 out of 5Lead Performers-3/5Supporting Cast-2/5Director-2/5Screenplay-3/5Cinematography-3/5Importance-2/5Recommendation for fans of the genre-2/5
Great balls of fire!
Pretty good screwball.. but why is Gary Cooper always punching out people in his films? Even here, where he plays a nerd, he still has to get in some fisticuff action? I guess he just plays to type. Sort of like Cary Grant getting married in almost all of his films even if it's right before the credits I guess..! LOL
Ball Of Fire
- Ralph Hamilton
This is one of those movies I can watch over and over again. The cast of supporting characters is top notch and the chemistry between Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck is wonderful to see. I love the slang of the era and its great to see Cooper play comedy so well. Great direction and editing, just a wonderful time piece of life before our entry into World War II. A must see for screwball comedy buffs!
A must see"
- Janet O'Connor
I have found this movie very humorous & have watched it time & time again. Barbara Stanwyck is wonderful as well as Gary Cooper. You have to watch it as Cooper & his co-workers see everything play out as innocent nerds, then let the magic roll over you.
It's an Okay Movie
It's kind of silly. Some of the dialogue has me embarrassed for them.
Sugarpuss and the Seven Professors
Stanwyck's wit and sex appeal as Sugarpuss is typical of her comedic characters, and the hilarious banter between the guileless elderly professors who live with Cooper's lead character is adorable--so much that Cooper actually gets lost in the milieu. Even Dana Andrews' deadpan mobster gets a nod--comedy isn't exactly what he's known for. Two memorable scenes to watch for: the "yum yum" scene between Stanwyck and Cooper, and a touching moment when the professors are gathered around a table singing "Sweet Genevieve" softly. This take on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is good fun.
Off-White and the Eight Dorks (1942)
- Mr. Blandings
As a comedy this movie fizzles and falls flat, being alternately boring and tedious (not to mention plagued by campy dialogue). There is no chemistry between the leads--Stanwyck is her usual sexless, biologically-unfunny self ... and the 3-D acting of Cooper (not a compliment, btw, as the three D's in his entire acting repertoire stand for Diffident, Dopey, Determined) petrifies the movie whenever he is on-screen ... but at least he does use all three emotions. The best thing about this film is the inclusion of such ubiquitous character actors as S.Z. Sakall, Richard Haydn, and Henry Travers playing three of the dwarves, I mean, professors. Can't recommend, as there are too many good and funny classic comedies out there to enjoy instead.
Ball of Fire
- Dashiell Barnes
Not the last great screwball comedy, but it's certainly one of the funniest. Stanwyck was nominated for Best Actress, Cooper & Andrews are great & fine work from the actors playing Cooper's fellow professor's. Director Hawks & screenwriter Wilder are a winning union, making a film that's utterly funny & sensetive. An immensely hilarious film that's a worthwhile film from Hawks' filmography. I give it a 4.5/5.
Love Barbara and The Seven Dorps
Like this film,but would love to see The Adv Of Marco Polo in this salute to Coop,too.
Cooper and Stanwyck at their Best!
- Maureen Kissack
Just saw that this movie will run on August 26th! Hooray!If you are a Cooper fan, you have to see this movie to truly understand the range of his acting career. Stanwyck is a stand-out as a transformative gangster's mol; but I believe that the brilliance of this movie lies within the casting of the seven professors! The sweetness of the professors and innocent blossoming of love between Cooper's and Stanwyck's characters juxtaposes brilliantly with the world of gangsters and allows us to fall in love again with Cooper as a quirky off-beat character....
"Ball of Fire"
- JM Dempsey
Barbara Stanwyck is terrific in this, really a "ball of fire." Her confidence is a wonder to behold. Great chemistry with Gary Cooper (the "yum, yum" kissing scene ... sexier than anything you'll see in a movie today). Great cast!
I watched this film for the umpteenth time this evening and I still found something I'd not noticed before. It's just that type of film. The cast is stellar and beautifully chosen for each role. It is such a contrast for Gary Cooper to play a nerdy professor rather than his usual cowboy or man-on-the-street type of role. He is simply made for this film and, frankly, other than "High Noon," this is his very best role. Stanwyck is superb as the hotsy-totsy moll of a gangster. You just love her in this role. The other seven professors are works of art and, if you love and watch classic film, you will instantly recognize each of them. I could not possibly recommend this film any more than I do already. When people say they don't make films like they used to, you can definitely point to this one as a shining example of that adage. It is terrific!
Gretschl vos per bouvierre, schwinehunt mucho!
- Leslie Schatz
I just can't imagine any other cast in this wonderful movie with, Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper. I give this movie a 10 on a scale from 1 to 10.Plus, it will be under our Christmas tree this year for my 3 daughters, who all 3 are in their 20's.
I don't know how many times I've viewed this film but it's one I happily watch over and over again. Barbara Stanwyck was nothing short of superb in her role as the burlesque dancer hiding out with the eight dwarfs (as she refers to them). She's glib, she's fun, she's vivacious and she was at the height of her beauty. She was nominated for Best Actress for this film and she should have won, as IMO it's her best work and it was a far more difficult role than Joan Fontaine's was in Suspicion! It is a surprisingly good role for Gary Cooper and one you'd never dream he'd excel in. Hats off to Hawkes (and Wilder) for believing Cooper would work in the role of the professor! If you haven't done so, please see this film. You too will fall in love with the eight dwarfs! The supporting cast is just as good as the stars in this one!
Ball Of Fire Shines Brightly
- Chris B.
Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Oscar Homolka, Dana Andrews, Dan Duryea, S.Z. Sakall, Richard Haydn, Henry Travers, Tully Marshall, Leonid Kinsky and Gene Krupa star in the tale of a night club singer on the lam because her boyfriend (Duryea) is wanted by the police. She finds refuge with a small group of professors through a chance meeting with one of them at the club. Professor Bertram Potts (Cooper) is trying to study American slang in the quest to write a new encyclopedia on all subject matter these merry men are proficient in. Potts invites "Sugarpuss" O'Shea (Stanwyck) to join him and others he has gathered in a group discussion. Sugarpuss worms her way into the professors home and manages to talk them into letting her stay. This is a great comedy by all the actors involved. Howard Hawks directed this film and my hat goes off to him for the cast he chose. This is a delightful film you'll want to see again and again.
- Celes Harris
Love love movie
another great oldie
- richard obrien
great movie,u will not miss a minute
Bola de fogo
Um filme formidvel. Uma comdia romntica que eu daria 10 estrelas, pois o filme adorvel do comeo ao fim.
Ball of Fire (1941)
- James Higgins
Romantic/Comedy. A nerdy professor and his colleagues are writing an encyclopedia and inadvertently get involved with a group of gangsters. This is one of those films I could never tire of watching, and this is my 18th viewing. Barbara Stanwyck once again shows what flair and brilliance she has for comedy. Gary Cooper is perfectly cast, surprisingly so, as the innocent and sheltered professor. The supporting cast is outstanding, Richard Haydn, Oscar Homolka, S.Z. Sakall, Henry Travers, Dan Duryea and Allen Jenkins stand out. Stanwyck is outstanding in the "Drum Boogie" musical number. Hysterically funny, one of the best romantic comedies of all time. Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck had such chemistry together.
Original Vs. Remake
- Bruce Reber
Director Howard Hawks remade his comedy classic "Ball Of Fire" (1941) starring Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper as the musical comedy "A Song Is Born" in 1948 in color with Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo. While the remake is fairly amusing, the original is far better. In fact, Hawks himself once said that never should have remade "Ball Of Fire", probably knowing that he couldn't improve on a classic.
An Immigrant's View of American Slang
- Ann Brown
Billy Wilder's fascination with his new language's more colorful expression is evident in "Ball of Fire." He wrote the film and spent his director apprenticeship watching the great Howard Hawk's fast-paced comedy direction of two of the most appealing comedians in film. Barabara Stanwyck is the sexiest skinny girl in cinema, and for sheer animal magnetism it doesn't get any dishier than Gary Cooper. Completely enchanting, the other six professors are "squirrely cherubs" straight from Heaven. I envy anyone discovering this movie for the first time.
It's the Best!!!!
Of all the movies in the entire TCM library this is easily our favorite comedy. It's simply hilarious and the cast is amazing! From the very first time my wife and I saw it, this movie has been endeared to our hearts. They just can't make movies like this now-a-days.
Ball of Fire
Great Comedy. Also, an interesting look at the music and language of the early 40's.
Ball of Fire
This movie rocks. I love Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper and the rest of the cast.
Ball of Fire
Cooper and Stanwyck are two gems in this film!! Dana Andrews,Dan Duryea and the other support cast are all winners!! This is a must see movie and it needs to be out on DVD!!!
4th Time Just As Good As 1st!!!!
- Kenn Love
Gary Cooper continues to amaze me and here he shows he has the right stuff for Cary Grant-like comedy roles that he makes all his own. One of Coop's best performances, period.Watched "Double Indemnity" right before this one and have to say Barbara Stanwyck was one fine actress. It's hard to look anywhere else when she's on the screen.Howard Hawks's direction was good but not his best work.Screenplay very funny and exceedingly clever but, then, Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett wrote it and nuff said.One of my favorite movies, a joy from start to finish.
Dru-u-u-m Boogie! Yea!!
- Judy Willig
I love Big Band sound. "GK" lettered on the band stand indicated the band's name. What is the name of that band? Who was the drummer, Krup? And the only African-American in the whole band! Yadda-yadda-da-da!!!! Your movie "stash" is wonderful.
I had never seen this until last night,1/31/06. It was delightful. The cast of professors really added a lot to the Stanwyck/Cooper pairing.
Not airing in Canada? So sad!
- Val in Vancouver
Why oh WHY isn't this movie airing in Canada?! I printed out the schedule for January at the beginning of the month, and there it was...and I was so happy because I'm very interested in seeing more of Barbara Stanwyck's films. But for some reason, "Ball Of Fire" is NO LONGER on the January schedule! It's so disappointing to think it *would* be airing in Canada all this time, and now learn it's only in the US. Apparently it'll be on again in Feb. and April. Please clear the rights or whatever you have to do in order to show it in Canada! PLEASE! I'd buy it on DVD if you released it. I can't bear to think of it being on TCM 3 times in the coming months, but I won't be able to see it. :(