Friday, 10 June 2011

Ball of Fire

I only recently realized that one of my childhood favourites, A Song Is Born , is a remake and the original movie was made in 1941 and was called Ball of Fire. I just had to find it, of course. It’s a bit funny, in my view, to do a re-make just a few years after the original movie and they are really quite similar. A Song Is Born is in colour and the professors are working on a musical encyclopedia, not an encyclopedia. Gary Cooper in Ball of Fire plays his professor straight when Danny Kaye plays his for laughs, while Barbara Stanwyck is more playful than Virginia Mayo, but the plot is basically the same.

Professor Potts (Gary Cooper) realizes that he has missed out on the recent slang. In his research he meets the gangster moll Sugar Puss (Barbara Stanwyck). She strings him along as she needs to hide from the police, he falls for her. Eventually, she falls for him. Lightweight? Yes, but also funny and very much enjoyable to watch. You also get to watch Barbara Stanwyck’s faux bangs in all directions, which I think is nice. I do think it looks a bit odd, as it starts so far back in the head, but I guess that is a matter of taste. And watch this scene for several glimpses of different hair.

Barbara Stanwyck has some really great shoes in this movie.

With the faux bang.

Later in the movie without bang, which I think is prettier. She also has really long hair, even when curled it reach quite a long way down her back.

I love this dress. Note the zippers on the sleeves!

Gratious picture of Gary Cooper.

Fun fact: Miss Totten, the woman who funds the encyclopedia, is played by Mary Field in both movie versions.

Pictures found at Dr. Macro's High Quality Movie Scans


Miss Katie said...

I remember reading about this film in a burlesque book once, Barbara Stanwyck used an exact replica of burlesque star Betty Rowland's costume for this film, the designers literally went backstage at one of her shows to study every detail. Plus Betty Rowland's burlesque name was Ball of Fire, so they even pinched her name! She was very unhappy about the whole thing, I believe she even tried to sue, after all a burlesque star's name and costumes were everything to their career. Just thought you'd be interested! :)

Isis said...

Miss Katie: You are right, I find that very interesting! Thank you for the tidbit!

GraceHunterHandbags said...

Really interesting, I've just started to follow your blog. Looking forward to reading more.

Isis said...

Welcome Grace! I hope you will have fun reading my blog!

The Zany Housewife said...

Ball of Fire is one of my all-time favorite movies! I had no idea there was a remake.

Isis said...

Zany: A Song Is Born was one of my childhoods favourite- I have always had a very soft spot for Danny Kaye. :)

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