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Desk Set (1957)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 2 August 1957 (West Germany)
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2:17 | Trailer

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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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Will a computer put the research department of a television company out of work?

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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

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 »

Goofs

Sumner explains to his tour that he has a handful of punch cards containing Shakespeare's play Hamlet. He is holding no more than 20 cards. Since the text of Hamlet contains over 160,000 characters (62,000 if compressed) it would be physically impossible to store that much data on so few punch cards. See more »

Quotes

Bunny Watson: Did you invent something that carries the mail?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

Night and Day
(uncredited)
Written by Cole Porter
Sung by Katharine Hepburn at the Christmas Party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Office Politics - Then, Now and Forever
7 October 1999 | by KOALA-18See all my reviews

Although "computer" dated, this film is the most accurate depiction of office politics I have ever seen.

Having worked in several well-supervised office departments, the environment that a truly gifted supervisor (Hepburn's character) can create is there for all to see. The upper management attitude of keeping workers in the dark as to developmental plans for the company/department and the havoc that philosophy can wreak on morale and gossip was very satisfying and enjoying to watch. (If only management could learn from this lesson.)

Although the stereotypical "office gossip" is almost too delightfully portrayed, the "cliques" and flow of gossip is so true to today's office environment that someone just entering the work force could view this film as an education.

Of course, Tracy and Hepburn, along with a wonderful supporting cast, make this a very entertaining viewing experience.


40 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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