7.3/10
6,857
95 user 43 critic

Desk Set (1957)

Trailer
2:17 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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 »
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Pat and Mike (1952)
Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Pat is a women's sports sensation unless her fiancé is around. Her new shady manager Mike keeps them apart and develops feelings for her.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Aldo Ray
Adam's Rib (1949)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Domestic and professional tensions mount when a husband and wife work as opposing lawyers in a case involving a woman who shot her husband.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Holliday
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Rival reporters Sam and Tess fall in love and get married, only to find their relationship strained when Sam comes to resent Tess' hectic lifestyle.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Fay Bainter
Without Love (1945)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In World War II Washington DC, Jamie Rowan, enters a loveless marriage with scientist Pat Jamieson and becomes his assistant. Struggles bring them closer together.

Director: Harold S. Bucquet
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Lucille Ball
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An industrialist is urged to run for President, but this requires uncomfortable compromises on both political and marital levels.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Van Johnson
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Richard Whorf
Holiday (1938)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Nolan
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The father of a young woman deals with the emotional pain of her getting married, along with the financial and organizational trouble of arranging the wedding.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor
Stage Door (1937)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A chronicle of the ambitions, dreams, and disappointments of aspiring actresses who all live in the same boarding house.

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Adolphe Menjou
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart
Morning Glory (1933)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When a naively innocent, aspiring actress arrives on the Broadway scene, she is taken under the wing of several theater veterans who mentor her to ultimate success.

Director: Lowell Sherman
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Adolphe Menjou
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A couple's attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African-American fiancé.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first film that Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn did in color and the eighth of the nine films they starred in together. Their next (and last), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), came ten years later. 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

Bunny Watson: Just for kicks. You don't have to answer it if you don't want to. I mean, don't dwell on the question, but I warn you there's a trick in it: If six Chinamen get off a train at Las Vegas, and two of them are found floating face down in a goldfish bowl, and the only thing they can find to identify them are two telephone numbers - one, Plaza Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh, and the other, Columbus Oh-1492 - what time did the train get to Palm Springs?
Richard Sumner: Nine o'clock.
Bunny Watson: Now, would you mind telling me how you happened ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Tracy and Hepburn Fall in Love...with a Primitive Computer as Matchmaker
13 June 2004 | by lawprofSee all my reviews

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.

9/10.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 95 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed