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Desk Set (1957)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 2 August 1957 (West Germany)
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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 ... 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

Although the technology of computerized research was only in its infancy when this film was made, the concern that computers might eventually replace most American workers (which is a major element in this film's plot) was on the minds of many an employee of the time. See more »

Goofs

Mike Cutler gives Bunny Watson an arrangement of white carnations, and she inserts one in his lapel's button-hole. At the end of the day, she and Sumner leave the office. She is carrying the white carnation arrangement as they enter the elevator. As they exit the building, the carnations are pink. See more »

Quotes

Peg Costello: You only smoke when there's a crisis. Who is he?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Harvey (1950) 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

 
Magnificent color palette and skillful acting. Great movie experience.
4 July 2011 | by davidtraversa-1See all my reviews

I watched this movie on You Tube and enjoyed it immensely. The fast wit in practically all the lines, the cleverness in the script, the utter elegance of all the women involved in it (even Joan Blondell, quite "developed" by then with several extra pounds), but specially Dina Merrill, absolutely exquisite in her (natural) ice-blond beauty, and Katherine Hepburn, with an unbelievably slender silhouette, all dressed, made up and coiffed to kill (modest employees with an average office job and complaining about their low salaries), changing outfits on practically every scene (and what outfits!!).

But that doesn't matter, it was escapist entertainment to the nth degree, so all that eye candy was completely acceptable, and so were the sets, that confronted with nowadays sets were like the Sistine Chapel Ceiling by Michelangelo.

When you consider that every single setting was painted cardboard you flip!!: The New York street with all that traffic and the heavy rain, the executive office, the girls office, later their office with the immense computer with all its lights and noises, the terrace of the skyscraper!! Fantastic sets!! and then the color palette for the whole movie.

Palette studied to the last detail, so pleasing to the eye in its entirety. Only one example: Hepburn gives Tracy a striped scarf, later on she wears the same scarf momentarily over a dress whose color matches to perfection those on the scarf. Unreal. And then last but not least, we appreciate the way these people interacted with such decent sentiments, so elegant, with such civilized maturity (so adult!!), that we instantly realize to have lost a lot comparing that generation to the present one.

The acting is sublime, by all of them, from Hepburn to the messenger boy. What a sensational movie! Top entertainment.


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