Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Ball of Fire


I found this one while looking into Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I’d seen it many years ago, but hadn’t realized that the plot was loosely based on the fairy tale. Not exactly, as there are eight people living together, all scientists and scholars compiling a massive encyclopedia, but the Gary Cooper character is meant to be Prince Charming. He’s younger than the seven, and though he’s just as nerdy, he’s the love interest in the story. Snow White (here called Sugarpuss O’Shea, played by Barbara Stanwyck) is a chantoosie hiding from the cops, who want her to testify against her gangster boyfriend (Dana Andrews). It’s all a lot of fun, with the seven professors played by some of the best character actors working in Hollywood at the time, including Henry Travers, Oscar Homolka, and S.Z. Sakall. The story was remade in 1949 as A Song is Born, with Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo, and some of the best jazz and swing musicians of all time, including Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, and Tommy Dorsey. Both films were from a story by Billy Wilder, and were directed by Howard Hawks.