Ball of Fire

Selected by the Writers Branch. Special guest: Introduction by Howard A. Rodman, Academy Governor, former president of the WGAW.

Selected by the Writers Branch. 

The only collaboration between screenwriter Billy Wilder (working with Charles Brackett and Thomas Monroe) and director Howard Hawks is a classic screwball romance inspired by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Barbara Stanwyck is Katherine “Sugarpuss” O’Shea, a nightclub singer and gangster’s moll who finds herself hiding from the police with a group of scholars—led by a mild-mannered, bookish Gary Cooper as Professor Bertram Potts—researching modern slang. The script’s dialogue is filled with delightful lingo, and the film received nominations for Stanwyck’s typically expert performance, Wilder and Monroe’s original story, Alfred Newman’s score, and the sound recording. 

DIRECTED BY: Howard Hawks. WRITTEN BY: Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder. STORY BY: Billy Wilder, Thomas Monroe. WITH: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Dana Andrews, Oscar Homolka. 1941. 111 min. USA. B&W. English. 35mm. Preservation print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Academy Museum film programming generously funded by the Richard Roth Foundation.