(aka 'The Professor and the Burlesque Queen )

Directed by Howard Hawks
USA 1941

 

  Marvelous performance from Stanwyck, all snap, crackle and pop as the brassy nightclub entertainer Sugarpuss O'Shea who seeks refuge with seven crusty old professors (plus Cooper) to escape unwelcome attentions from a gangster, and whose vocabulary (not to mention charms) excite delighted wonderment in the professors since they have just reached 'Slang' in the encyclopedia they are compiling. Rather surprisingly, Hawks slightly muffs the sequence in which the gangster and his aides get their comeuppance; otherwise his handling of the sparkling Brackett-Wilder script and its subversions of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is pure joy.

Excerpt from Time Out Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 2nd, 1941

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

HBO Home Video - Region 0 - NTSC vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC

(HBO Home Video - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

Distribution HBO Home Video - Region 0 - NTSC MGM - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:51:32  1:51:24
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.94 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.7 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 HBO

Bitrate:

 MGM

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUBs: French, German, Spanish, Italian English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital mono), DUBs: Spanish,
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None English, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: HBO Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Cast bios (text screen)

DVD Release Date: August 25th, 1998

Snapper Case
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: May 22nd,  2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 24

 

 

Comments:

ADDITION: MGM - Region 1- NTSC: Well, this coveted film is finally available again on DVD after the extensive out-of-print period of the HBO edition.

For the most part they are the same - single-layered, progressive - duplicate image - perhaps a few less artifacts on the new MGM. There is the same light damage marks - and same framing. Differences include:

1) Subtitle color and no French option on the new MGM.

2) MGM offers original mono audio (Stereo 2.0 channel and Spanish DUB).

3) No extras at all on the new MGM (not even text bios).

4) Keep case cover replaces old snapper case.

That is about it. Important and entertaining film - let's see - directed by Hawks, written by Wilder, original music by Alfred Newman, cinematography by Gregg Toland - Cooper, Stanwyck, Dana Andrews, Dan Duryea.... there can be no reason that this film is not in your DVD library. MGM have priced reasonably and we recommend as an essential.

****

Well, its pretty rare that a DVD that came out in 1998, is waaaay out-of-print, and is as good a film as Ball of Fire, hasn't been re-released. But here we have it... selling on auction for healthy dollars - and many would consider it well worth it!

The image is a small notch below today's standard or Warner-style restorations, but it is still very watchable. Progressive with decent contrast and occasional sharpness. Digital noise/faux grain and some infrequent damage (see last capture). Sound is similarly a little soft but entirely audile on the whole. Nicely subtitled in optional English, French or Spanish and DUB'ed in French, German, Spanish and Italian. Extras consist of some text bio screens.

What do I think this DVD is worth? well, for Stanwyck fans it is priceless, but we hope a new edition, with some restoration and valid supplements comes out soon.

***

This is part of Samuel Goldwyn Library, currently owned by MGM/Sony and Fox as their new distributor. The Best Years of Our Lives, The Bishop's Wife, Come and Get It, Dodsworth, Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Foxes, The Pride of the Yankees, The Princess and the Pirate, Stella Dallas, and Tom Jones all were re-released by MGM after HBO discs were discontinued. Still OOP are Ball of Fire, The Goldwyn Follies, The Hurricane, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, They Got Me Covered, Wonder Man, The Westerner, Wuthering Heights (latter available in UK) (Thanks Gregory!)

Gary W. Tooze

 





DVD Menus

 

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Subtitle Sample

 

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Screen Captures

 

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Damage visible...
 
(HBO Home Video - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)
 

 


DVD Box Cover

Distribution HBO Home Video - Region 0 - NTSC MGM - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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