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Desk Set (1957)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  2 August 1957 (West Germany)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,223 users  
Reviews: 84 user | 40 critic

Two extremely strong personalities clash over the computerization of a TV network's research department.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Mike Cutler
Sylvia Blair
Ruthie Saylor
Miss Warriner
Harry Ellerbe ...
Nicholas Joy ...
Mr. Azae
Diane Jergens ...
Merry Anders ...
Ida Moore ...
Old Lady
Rachel Stephens ...


The mysterious man hanging about at the research department of a big TV network proves to be engineer Richard Sumner, who's been ordered to keep his real purpose secret: computerizing the office. Department head Bunny Watson, who knows everything, needs no computer to unmask Richard. The resulting battle of wits and witty dialogue pits Bunny's fear of losing her job against her dawning attraction to Richard. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Make the office a wonderful place to love in!


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 August 1957 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Cosas de mujeres  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The sound effects created for EMARAC were re-used in numerous movies and TV series, notably Fantastic Voyage (1966). See more »


Mike Cutler gives Bunny Watson some flowers. As she takes them home at the end of the day, the flowers are a different color when she gets off the elevator than they were when she got on. See more »


Sylvia Blair: What do you suppose it'll be like here next Christmas when we're gone? Do you think EMERAC will throw a party?
Ruthie Saylor: Oh, don't talk that way. It's bad luck to talk like that. It's Christmas!
Bunny Watson: It's Christmas.
Peg Costello: Well, if we do get canned, we won't be the only ones to lose our jobs because of a machine.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: "The filmmakers gratefully acknowledge the cooperation and assistance of the International Business Machines Corporation." See more »


References Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) See more »


Something's Gotta Give
Written by Johnny Mercer
See more »

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User Reviews

Trivial Pursuit with Emirac
1 May 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Desk Set was the next to last teaming of Tracy and Hepburn and the first one away from MGM. It does have a different look to the product they did at MGM. Still good, but different. Probably because this was done in Cinemascope and Technicolor.

Hard to believe that Cinemascope would be used on a film essentially set indoors and on one set, the set being Hepburn's office. But that was to show the immense size of Emirac the giant computer being installed there which Katharine and her staff think is going to replace them.

Desk Set had been on Broadway two year ago and had a respectable run. It starred Shirley Booth in Katharine Hepburn's part and the rest of the cast were not names by any means. I'm sure Spencer Tracy's role had to be built up from the stage version.

Even so, the film is essentially Hepburn's. As usual in their films she has a rival to Tracy. In the past that part was played by such people as Melvyn Douglas, David Wayne, William Ching, and now Gig Young. It seemed like every movie comedy in the late 50s and early 60s had either Young or Tony Randall as the defeated rival role. Young gives his patented performance here.

A running gag throughout the film are the calls handled by Hepburn's staff at the broadcast network for inane information. Like someone up in the corporate headquarters is playing trivial pursuit.

Also look for good performances by Joan Blondell, Sue Randall, and Dina Merrill as Hepburn's staff and Neva Patterson as Emirac's installer and keeper.

A good addition to the Tracy-Hepburn pantheon.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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