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Desk Set (1957)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 2 August 1957 (West Germany)
Trailer
2:18 | Trailer
Two extremely strong personalities clash over the computerization of a television network's research department.

Director:

Walter Lang

Writers:

Phoebe Ephron (screenplay), Henry Ephron (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Spencer Tracy ... Richard Sumner
Katharine Hepburn ... Bunny Watson
Gig Young ... Mike Cutler
Joan Blondell ... Peg Costello
Dina Merrill ... Sylvia Blair
Sue Randall ... Ruthie Saylor
Neva Patterson ... Miss Warriner
Harry Ellerbe ... Smithers
Nicholas Joy ... Mr. Azae
Diane Jergens ... Alice
Merry Anders ... Cathy
Ida Moore ... Old Lady
Rachel Stephens 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

Taglines:

Make the office a wonderful place to love in!

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 August 1957 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Cosas de mujeres See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo | Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While based on the research department at CBS, the exterior shots were of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, which is location of NBC. See more »

Goofs

In the opening shot of the film, at Rockefeller Center, the shot begins at ground level and tilts up the building, but it was clearly shot from the top of the building down to ground level and then reversed because all the people on the ground are walking backwards. See more »

Quotes

Peg Costello: The traditional Thanksgiving song? One of them is "Over the River and Through the Woods"!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Lassie (1954) 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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Trivial Pursuit with Emirac
1 May 2005 | by bkoganbingSee 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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