What was the country like right before Pearl Harbor? FDR stimulated the economy with a huge increase in defense spending, and the country sparked and popped with nervous energy. Barbara Stanwyck as a slang-spouting stripper who teams up with Gary Cooper, a befuddled linguist, to produce "Ball of Fire," one of the last peacetime Screwball Comedies. Here she does a little boogie woogie with Gene Krupa. The film released on Dec. 2, 1941 five days before the Japanese attack on Hawaii.