Ball of Fire: Barbara Stanwyck Centennial

7/6/07 to 7/31/07

Born 100 years ago this July, Barbara Stanwyck was the screen archetype of the independent woman with her wits about her. Our tribute surveys a career that ran from scandalous pre-Code sagas and "women's weepies" through noirs, smart-mouthed comedies, and whip-cracking Westerns. "When I think of the glory days of American film, at its speediest and most velvety, I think of Barbara Stanwyck."-New Yorker

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  • Ladies They Talk About, July 31

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Past Films

  • Double Indemnity

    • Saturday, January 17

    Stanwyck's toxic peroxide blonde is the archetype of the noir femme fatale in Billy Wilder's gleefully cynical tale of murder and insurance fraud, costarring Fred MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson.

  • Ladies They Talk About

    • Tuesday, July 31 7:00pm

    Stanwyck plays a gang moll sent up to San Quentin in this preposterous and thoroughly satisfying pre-Code women-in-prison picture.

  • The Lady Eve

    • Tuesday, July 31 8:30pm

    Starring Stanwyck as a cardsharp 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

  • Clash by Night

    • Thursday, July 26 9:05pm

    Stanwyck, Robert Ryan, and a young Marilyn Monroe in Fritz Lang's noir filmed on location in Monterey. "The backwater atmosphere is as authentic as it is oppressive."-Chicago Reader

  • Baby Face

    • Tuesday, July 17 7:00pm

    Stanwyck sleeps her way to the top in this notorious pre-Code melodrama, shown in a fabulous print that reinstates censored scenes. "Even the cut version is a jaw-dropper; with its full five minutes of sleaze restored, it has to be seen to be not quite believed."-N.Y. Times

  • Remember the Night

    • Tuesday, July 17 8:35pm

    D.A. Fred MacMurray takes jewel thief Stanwyck home to Indiana for the holidays in this tender comedy scripted by Preston Sturges. "As smart-mouthed as it is stunningly compassionate."-Village Voice

  • There's Always Tomorrow

    • Thursday, July 12 7:00pm

    Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray rekindle an old flame in Douglas Sirk's wonderful, melancholy melodrama that "demolishes the social fantasy of the 'happy home.'"-Time Out

  • All I Desire

    • Thursday, July 12 8:50pm

    Sirk's period melodrama resolutely refuses nostalgia: Stanwyck returns to her small-town family and soon discovers why she left in the first place.

  • Ball of Fire

    • Sunday, July 8 5:00pm

    Nightclub singer Stanwyck gives innocent encyclopedist Gary Cooper lessons in slang, and love, in this Howard Hawks comedy.

  • Forty Guns

    • Sunday, July 8 7:15 pm

    Sam Fuller's wildly Freudian Western stars Stanwyck as a "high-ridin' woman with a whip."

  • Night Nurse

    • Friday, July 6 7:00pm

    Stanwyck and Joan Blondell expose Hippocratic hypocrisy-and plenty of skin-in this pre-Code medical melodrama, also featuring Clark Gable as the heavy.

  • Stella Dallas

    • Friday, July 6 8:40 pm

    In the ultimate 1930s "women's weepie," directed by King Vidor, Stanwyck sacrifices everything to give her daughter a shot at respectability.