Journalist Steve O'Malley wants to write a biography of a national hero who died when his car ran off a bridge. Steve receives conflicting reports and tales that make him question what the truth about the hero is.
A young man in love with a girl from a rich family finds his unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long-suffering brother.
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 <email@example.com>
Katharine Hepburn was very impressed with the performance of young Lee Remick in A Face in the Crowd (1957) and invited her to her home with Spencer Tracy to discuss appearing in "Desk Set." Tracy did not feel that the role was good enough for the young actress, however, and Remick declined it, which was then given to Dina Merrill. Tracy's advice later proved correct, as Merrill received little attention in the role. See more »
Early in the film, Joan Blondell says that Ty Cobb played his entire career with the Detroit Tigers. In fact, his last two years were with the Philadelphia Athletics. See more »
Tracy and Hepburn Fall in Love...with a Primitive Computer as Matchmaker
I showed "Desk Set" to my fourteen-year-old computer guru and for him the "Brain" in this charming Tracy/Hepburn romantic comedy might as well as have been used in a Flintstones flick.
Spencer Tracy is efficiency expert Rich Sumner, hired to introduce computerization to a TV station. While several departments will "benefit" from modernization his focus is on the all-female research department headed by Bunny Watson, Katharine Hepburn. Bunny is a spirited manager whose staff clearly adores her. Veteran character actress Joan Blondell is especially good as Peg, the older member of the library team.
Through confusion and wrong deduction, Bunny fears that Rich's eagle-eye observation of the department's functions adumbrates the severance of all and their replacement by a soulless machine. Of course underlying the heightened anxiety of the librarians is a budding romance between Rich and Bunny. And any growing attraction between Hepburn and Tracy is first-class entertainment (in real life they were sort of close, too).
When the computer and its sterile female operator arrive, the scene is set for a bit of slapstick cyber-comedy, years ahead of the actual havoc that humans create (and still do).
"Desk Set" is pure fun with the finest cinema couple of all time interacting assuredly and amusingly.
One distraction was my kid interjecting why the computer couldn't have been based on a real model of the times. This stopped when I reached for my ever-handy roll of duct tape.
The special features here - some commentary - add little. So what? The movie on DVD is well worth the price.
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