Ball of Fire (1941) Movie Review. Starring: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck

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Review in tribute to Gary Cooper’s Birthday Today!

Movie Reviews

Directed by Howard Hawks
Starring: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck
Review by Steve Painter


A group of ivory-tower lexicographers realize they need to hear how real people talk, and end up helping a beautiful singer escape from the Mob.


In 1941, Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper were paired up for two films. The first was Frank Capra’s Meet John Doe, a huge commercial and critical success. The second was Ball of Fire, which is not as well known or as good, but still better than the remake done in 1948.

Howard Hawks directed the movie, but it was written by Billy Wilder. Wilder had thought of the original idea when he was still living in Europe. He said that the movie would have been funnier if Germans had been the professors instead of Americans, as…

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