Barbara Stanwyck plays a nightclub singer whose snappy street slang attracts the attention of bookish encyclopaedia editor Gary Cooper and his aged bachelor colleagues who devote their lives to compiling the perfect encyclopeadia. At first, their interest in her is strictly professional, but she soon charms the old men into letting her hide from the police (and her gangster boyfriend) in their mansion, Initially, she resents her forced stay, but after a while she falls for the charm of bookworm Cooper, and makes him realise there is more to life than books.
A civilised joy in these times, Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett's script for Ball of Fire: a reclusive team's encyclopedia work stalls at S, including Gary Cooper's entry on Slang, as he realises after a visit from a Sanitation worker. Words beginning with S echo throughout, often uttered by Stanwyk (Barbara), and there is neat use of lines from Shakespeare's Richard III.
To say nothing of a performance by Gene Krupa and his band. Sensational.