Ball of Fire: Barbara Stanwyck

January 14–February 26, 2022

Barbara Stanwyck was the screen archetype of the independent woman, with her wits about her, alert, and often on the make. This spotlight showcases many of her best roles and demonstrates her remarkable talent.

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  • Ball of Fire

  • Baby Face

  • Double Indemnity

  • Upcoming
  • Past
  • Past

Past Films

  • Forty Guns

    • Saturday, February 26 7 PM
    Samuel Fuller
    United States, 1957

    Sam Fuller’s wildly Freudian Western—brilliantly blatant in its conflation of sex, violence, and power and its “perversion” of the Western’s usual treatment of all three—stars Barbara Stanwyck as a “high-ridin’ woman with a whip.

  • There’s Always Tomorrow

    • Saturday, February 19 7 PM
    Douglas Sirk
    United States, 1956

    Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray rekindle an old flame in Douglas Sirk’s melodrama that “demolishes the social fantasy of the ‘happy home’” (Time Out). Stanwyck beautifully conveys the ambivalence of an ethical person who wants what she can’t have.

  • Double Indemnity

    • Friday, January 14 7 PM
    • Saturday, February 12 6:30 PM
    Billy Wilder
    United States, 1944

    Barbara Stanwyck’s peroxide blonde is the archetype of the noir femme fatale in Billy Wilder’s gleefully cynical tale of murder and insurance fraud, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Stanwyck for Best Actress. 

  • Ball of Fire

    • Friday, February 4 7 PM
    Howard Hawks
    United States, 1941

    35mm Archival Print

    Showgirl Barbara Stanwyck gives naive encyclopedist Gary Cooper lessons in slang, and love, in Howard Hawks’s comedy classic, named to the National Film Registry in 2016.

  • The Lady Eve

    • Sunday, January 30 5 PM
    Preston Sturges
    United States, 1941

    Starring Barbara Stanwyck as a card sharp who plays naive ale heir Henry Fonda not once but twice, Preston Sturges’s comedy of innocence and experience is “one of the most liberatingly funny films ever made” (New Yorker).

  • Stella Dallas

    • Saturday, January 22 4:30 PM
    King Vidor
    United States, 1937

    In the ultimate 1930s “women’s weepie,” directed by King Vidor, Barbara Stanwyck sacrifices everything to give her daughter a shot at respectability, earning herself an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

  • Baby Face

    • Sunday, January 16 4:30 PM
    Alfred E. Green
    United States, 1933

    Barbara Stanwyck sleeps her way to the top in this notorious pre-Code saga; shown here with the censored scenes reinstated, “it has to be seen to be not quite believed” (New York Times).