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Desk Set (1957)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 2 August 1957 (West Germany)
Two extremely strong personalities clash over the computerization of a television network's research department.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Mike Cutler
...
...
Sylvia Blair
...
Ruthie Saylor
...
Miss Warriner
...
Smithers
...
Mr. Azae
...
Alice
...
Cathy
...
Old Lady
...
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

Taglines:

Make the office a wonderful place to love in!

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 August 1957 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Cosas de mujeres  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The setting for the film is mainly at the offices of the fictitious Federal Broadcasting Company. See more »

Goofs

After EMARAC had been present for a very short time, it's stated that EMARAC has had the data from all the books in the research department fed into it. In reality, it would've taken a large crew of keypunch (data entry) operators at least a year to input that much data. See more »

Quotes

Sylvia Blair: [telephone rings] Reference department, Miss Blair. Oh, yes, we've looked that up for you, and there are certain poisons which leave no trace, but it's network policy not to mention them on our programs.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are "printed" on computer paper by an IBM unit. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Young Like It Hot (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(uncredited)
Music by James Pierpont
Played on piano at the Christmas party
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.


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