Ball of Fire Overview:

Ball of Fire (1941) was a Comedy - Romance Film directed by Howard Hawks and produced by Samuel Goldwyn.


When Cooper and his sheltered, highbrow colleagues begin work on a new encyclopedia, he enlists the aid of Stanwyck to help explain slang, unaware that she is a gangster moll being hidden by her on-the-lam boyfriend. Stanwyck's earthiness soon captivates the sheltered professor, who learns to pitch woo and fists as well as slang. Wilder and Brackett were deservedly nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Story.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Academy Awards 1941 --- Ceremony Number 14 (source: AMPAS)

Best ActressBarbara StanwyckNominated
Best Music - ScoringAlfred NewmanNominated
Best WritingBilly Wilder, Thomas MonroeNominated

BlogHub Articles:

Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck are an unlikely pair in Howard Hawks’s “Ball of Fire”

By Stephen Reginald on Aug 26, 2021 From Classic Movie Man

Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck are an unlikely pair in Howard Hawks’s “Ball of Fire” Ball of Fire (1941) is an American romantic comedy directed by Howard Hawks and starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. The screenplay was by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder. The cinema... Read full article

COMEDY GOLD #11: The conga from Ball of Fire (1941)

By Carol Martinheira on Jan 16, 2019 From The Old Hollywood Garden

COMEDY GOLD #11: The conga from Ball of Fire (1941) On January 16, 2019January 16, 2019 By CarolIn Uncategorized Ball of Fire (dir. Howard Hawks, 1941) seems to be one of those movies that everybody loves. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s sweet, it’s roma... Read full article

Ball of Fire (1942)

By Cameron on Jul 12, 2017 From The Blonde At The Film

via: ?Unless otherwise noted, all images are my own. This charming film was written by two of the best, Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder, and directed by a master of the genre, Howard Hawks. The talent onscreen is just as formidable ... Read full article

Screening of "Ball of Fire" at Daystar Center June 10

By Stephen Reginald on Jun 6, 2017 From Classic Movie Man

Screening of "Ball of Fire" at Daystar Center June 10 “Stanwyck on State Street” Series: Ball of Fire (1941) Where: Daystar Center, 1550 S. State Street When: June 10, 2017 Time: 6:45 p.m. Hosted by Stephen Reginald New York Showgirl Sugarpuss O’Shea (Barbara Stanwyck) needs ... Read full article

The Nerdiest Scene Ever: Encyclopedia Writers Trumping Gangsters in Ball of Fire

By Judy on May 16, 2015 From Cary Grant Won't Eat You

This post is part of the My Favorite Classic Movie Blogathon in celebration of National Classic Movie Day (May 16th). Click here to view the schedule listing all the great posts. Nerd alert: I used to sit in the basement, reading my parents? World Books for fun. I think it started with A Tale of Tw... Read full article

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Quotes from

Sugarpuss O'Shea: I love him because he's the kind of guy who gets drunk on a glass of buttermilk, and I love the way he blushes right up over his ears. I love him because he doesn't know how to kiss, the jerk!

Duke Pastrami: [Giving Sugarpuss O'Shea a message from Joe Lilac] He sends ya' a love message. He says to tell ya' he gets more bang outta' you than any dame he ever knew.

Sugarpuss O'Shea: [about Potts] Yes, I love him. I love those hick shirts he wears with the boiled cuffs and the way he always has his vest buttoned wrong. He looks like a giraffe, and I love him.

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Facts about

While filming the scene in which Potts declares his love for Sugarpuss in a dark hotel bungalow, Gregg Toland put Barbara Stanwyck in blackface to make sure that her eyes were shining through the darkness.
Producer Samuel Goldwyn promised director Billy Wilder a $10,000 bonus if Ball of Fire became a box office hit. When the movie was released in theaters, it was an instant success. One day, Wilder stopped by Samuel Goldwyn's office and asked for his $10,000 bonus. But Goldwyn flew into a rage. "You Hungarian thief!" he shouted at Wilder. "I never promised any such thing! Get out of here!" Wilder left the office, furious. But that night, Goldwyn's wife, Helen, awoke to find him pacing the floor of their bedroom. "I've just remembered that Wilder was right," Goldwyn told her. "I *did* promise him a $10,000 bonus." "What are you going to do?" asked Helen. "What *can* I do?" Goldwyn replied. "I'm going to sit down here and write Wilder a check for $5,000!"
When Gary Cooper is taking notes of the news boy's slang, the marquee on the theater across the street advertises Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, an inside joke that refers to the script's inspiration.
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Best Actress Oscar 1941

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