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An evening pause: From the 1941 Howard Hawks classic, Ball of Fire, about eight professors who hire a burlesque dancer to explain slang to them. Hat tip to Phil Berardelli, author of Phil’s Favorite 500: Loves of a Moviegoing Lifetime, who notes, “Barbara Stanwyck demonstrates the art of seduction, complete with luminously backlit hair, opposite the uncharacteristically prim Gary Cooper.”

“I’m going to show you what yum-yum is!”


One comment

  • Phil Berardelli

    Thanks, Bob. “Ball of Fire,” directed by Howard Hawks and written by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett, represents one of the pinnacles of what used to be known as “screwball comedy,” with lots of pratfalls, rapid-fire dialogue and double entendres galore. Stanwyck was at the peak of her allure. Her character, named Sugarpuss (speaking of double entendres), proved a perfect foil for Cooper’s appealing but mild-mannered linguistics professor. Plus, Dana Andrews as a hood, Dan Duryea as a henchman named Joe Pastrami, and a string of the best character actors around? Fugetaboutit!

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