falderal : a moving images blog
Ball of Fire ; 1941  ·  Posted by Tallulah

Director: Howard Hawks
Actors: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck
Country: U.S.A.

I expected this film to be really good and had high expectations since I adore films written by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder and films directed by Howard Hawks, but I was a tad bored with this film. Something about it felt really dry and even in scenes that I would have usually been amused by, such as the scene when the professors are trying to figure out the conga, I wasn’t. I was almost amused, but in the end, I felt indifferent about it just like I felt with the rest of the film. The gangster sub-plot was not interesting to me at all, and on top of that, the main story between Sugarpuss (Stanwyck) and Professor Bertram Potts/”Pottsie” (Cooper) was… well… boring! I watch old comedies even if I know how it’s going to end because they’re fun and the dialogue is good, but I didn’t think there was anything redeemable about Ball of Fire. I admit that I was extremely tired when I watched it (and still am), and when I was looking forward to a good laugh and didn’t get any, I was disappointed. I thought Stanwyck was a great actress like always (I’m sure that you’ve picked up by now that I adore her), but there was something just lacking. I felt that the film had potential when I read the intertitle that introduces the film, but in the film, there wasn’t that extra “oomph” that made it funny or anything special. The dialogue was good at times, but I felt as if Cooper just didn’t match up to Stanwyck’s caliber, which is probably why I felt that something was missing.

Now that I look at the screencap I took of it, it does look like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which is mentioned, except that Prince Charming is actually one of the dwarfs. Or maybe not since Pottsie is the youngest one among the group of professors and there are eight of them, thus I guess Pottsie isn’t a dwarf. I wonder if this film is like a remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs because I did watch another film called Midnight, which was a remake of Cinderella.

Perhaps I just need to rewatch it when I’m not tired, but when I finished the film, my response was, “Oh… okay.” and just drank a cup of tea without much thought about it.

IMDb Link: Ball of Fire
Where to buy: Amazon.com

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