Ball of Fire
Ball of Fire (1941)

Professor Bertram Potts is the youngest of eight bookish academics assembling a dictionary of slang. They find a perfect "research associate" in the curvaceous form of strip-tease dancer Kathryn "Sugar Puss" O'Shea,… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Release Date: January 1, 1941
DVD Release Date: May 22, 2007
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: A splendidly funny twist on the story of Snow White, Ball of Fire boasts a pair of perfect leads in Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck.

Charles Taylor
Village Voice

Ball of Fire came out five days before Pearl Harbor. You can imagine Americans listening to its flood of slang and knowing exactly what they were fighting for.

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Don Druker
Chicago Reader

A delight.

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

Great, deep, humane, well-built comedy. But throw in Barbara Stanwyck's unbelievable act of character creation, and that's when Ball of Fire becomes its best self.

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TIME Magazine

Actor Cooper plays his Mr. Deeds role with the authority of long familiarity, and Miss Stanwyck (once Ruby Stevens, of Brooklyn) is equally at home in hers.

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Time Out

Pure joy.

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John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

'I've gone goofy, completely goofy,' Cooper says, as the chaos of slang overwhelms his orderly vocabulary: 'Bim-buggy, slap-happy.' Watching 'Ball of Fire,' you feel similarly liberated.

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Variety Staff

Casting is meticulously perfect to make every character a caricature of itself.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

Mr. Cooper may be a little loose-tooth in spots, but he gives a homespun performance such as only he can give. Miss Stanwyck is plenty yum-yum (meaning scorchy) in her worldly temptress role.

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Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television

One of the best screwball comedies.

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More reviews for Ball of Fire

Flixster Audience Score: 90% Flixster User Reviews
Jim Hunter
A grammarian who is toiling away at an encyclopedia meets a nightclub singer who teaches him slang. In the Hollywood's mind, making a film often involved… More
Ken Stachnik
Written by Billy Wilder and Directed by Howard Hawks. How can you go wrong?
Aj V
Not only is this movie hilarious, unique, and witty, but you learn a lot about slang words too. This movie is really fun, great cast and story and everything,… More
Michael Gildea
Such a fun movie with a hell of a lot of talent stuffed into it. Barbara Stanwyck plays a burlesque queen hiding out from the cops in the company of 8… More
Jennifer D
Ah. A dilemma every English dork struggles with. Kinda reminded me of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs but modern. Very cute and funny. Gary Cooper kinda… More
Red Lats
I don't understand why these old movies are rated so highly. It is a predictable story -- good girl - going to marry a crook - meets a nice guy and falls… More