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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Mike Cutler
...
...
Sylvia Blair
...
Ruthie Saylor
Neva Patterson ...
Miss Warriner
...
Smithers
Nicholas Joy ...
Mr. Azae
...
Alice
...
Cathy
Ida Moore ...
Old Lady
Rachel Stephens ...
Receptionist
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Storyline

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

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Make the office a wonderful place to love in!

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

2 August 1957 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Cosas de mujeres  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The United States government's ENIAC machine, which EMARAC was based on, had the slogan "Making Machines Do More, So That Man Can Do Less." See more »

Goofs

Reference librarian Miss Costello (Joan Blondell) says, in response to a question about baseball star Ty Cobb, "He played only with the Detroit Tigers for 21 years." In fact, Cobb played major league baseball for 24 years - 22 years with the Tigers and two years with the Philadelphia Athletics. See more »

Quotes

[Richard gives Bunny a personality test]
Richard Sumner: Now what is the first thing you notice in a person?
Bunny Watson: Whether the person is male or female.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
(uncredited)
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Lyrics by Charles Wesley
Sung by a chorus during the shot of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree
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User Reviews

 
Life before Google
18 January 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

This comedy keeps turning on cable any now and then. When faced with the prospect of watching substandard fare, the clear choice is to go to something that is amusing, as well as to entertaining, which is why "Desk Set" is a good bet to watch.

"Desk Set", directed by Walter Lang, evokes those bygone years before automation and the arrival of the computers into one's life. The comedy, adapted from the stage with great care by Henry and Phoebe Ephron, accomplishes all the requisites for a nice way to spend a couple of hours.

The time is the late 50s in Manhattan. The cost controlling expert, Richard Sumner, is hired to make changes in the way the New York firm can cut costs in all areas of business. Mr. Sumner's solution is to start automation in several areas, such as in the payroll department. He faces a formidable task when he takes to task making the research department more efficient, in the days before Google.

Mr. Sumner has to deal with the smart Bunny Watson, who has more facts and figures at her fingertips than any contraption could find at any given moment. Thus begins a tug of war between the man who is perceived as the "terminator of jobs" and the four women in research. They'll teach him a thing, or two.

The best part of the film is the interplay between the two principals, Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. Its a tribute to them, as actors, they could work so well together. Also, toward the end of the movie, at the company's Christmas party, we see a playful, and drunk Bunny singing Cole Porter's "Night and Day" to the beat of the bongo playing of Richard Sumner. That scene shows a playful Katherine Hepburn having a great time in front of the cameras.

This delicious movie will certainly please anyone looking for a good time. Ms. Hepburn does excellent work as the spinsterish Bunny. Mr. Tracy is equally her match as the efficiency expert who is not in touch with reality.

The women in the research department, Joan Blondell, Dina Merrill and Sue Radall, are quite good. Gig Young has the thankless task of being a man interested in Katherine Hepburn, when it's obvious her heart clearly belongs to Spencer Tracy.

Enjoy the movie, but better yet, enjoy the magic created by Kate and Spencer!


22 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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