A revised Snow White/Seven Dwarfs story that has nice moments of comedy. It even is good at playing against the Snow White tale. Sugarpuss is the opposite of Snow White in her personality. Prof Potts makes for a clumsy, shy Prince Charming. He has more of the characteristics of Snow White than Sugarpuss. There is some wonderful chemistry in Ball of Fire(1941) between Cooper and Stanwyck. Actor-actress chemistry is an aspect that is one of the enjoyable things about a Hawks film. The interactions between Cooper/Stanwyck are done with some charm. Cooper and Stanwyck are excellent in their scenes together. Like in the contrast between a confident Sugarpuss and the awkward Potts. A film filled with colorful characters and names. People like the doting Professor Oddly or the other eccentric professors. Then there is the garbageman who comes to ask help for radio trivia questions. I like the name of the henchmen with Duke Pastrami and Asthma Anderson. Of course, there is also a name like Professor Oddly which perfectly says a lot about the character. There are some good classical comical moments. Like the escape from the two henchmen and the scene preceding it. Ball of Fire has the characteristics of both a Howard Hawks and Billy Wilder film. Has a small zanniness that is part of the film's entertainment value. More of a romantic comedy than a screwball comedy.
Well written by co-writer Billy Wilder who adds his own touches into the mix. I feel Ball of Fire seems more like a Billy Wilder film during some scenes. Has some of the qualities and touches of a film by Billy Wilder. A satiric approach is another Wilder element presented here. Wilder was as good a writer as he would be a director. Howard Hawks proved to be adept in the comedy genre. Specifically the screwball comedy which the director was a success at. Hawks is very good in the direction of the humorous scenes in Ball of Fire(1941) and other comedies of his. My favorites of Hawks films are comedies like Ball of Fire, His Girl Friday or Twentifith Century. Another genre besides the western and action that he did well in. Sugarpuss O'Shea is one of a long line of confident, sensual, street wise women who occuply. a lot of Hawk's films. A female protagonist who overwheims the film's main male character with her confident, flirting manners. Her nickname suggests something alluring and sweet. The character's personality and qualities are wonderfully carried out by Barbara Stanwyck. She is excellent in bringing her character to life. Gary Cooper gives a solid, humorous portrayal of a meek, shy, awkward professor. I think he is very good in his role. He could do comedy roles as well as roles for other genres. He makes for a wonderful opposite match to Stanwyck. With a terrific director at tow, Cooper could give some very good to excellent performances.