And here we are for the eighth pairing of that famous screen team of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, the 1957 comedy Desk Set.
In this movie, Katharine Hepburn plays Bunny Watson, the head of the reference library at the Federal Broadcast Network and Spencer Tracy plays Richard Sumner, the creator of a computer called EMERAC (short for Electromagnetic Memory and Research Arithmetical Calculator). He is brought in to observe how Bunny and the other ladies work in the reference library, while he also figured out how to install EMERAC there. Bunny and the rest of the ladies working there are all worried that EMERAC will end up replacing them, although Richard tries to assure them that won’t be the case. Bunny has been going with Mike Cutler (Gig Young) for nearly seven years, but she finds herself falling for Richard.
Now, I would say this movie kind of qualifies as a Christmas movie. Most of the last part of the movie takes place around Christmastime. Mostly, it’s just an office Christmas party, with many of the workers partying together and getting drunk. And then, of course, they are hit with questions about the words to “Twas The Night Before Christmas” and the names of Santa’s reindeer (with Spencer Tracy’s Richard Sumner getting the question the second time and getting them mixed up with the dwarves from “Snow White”).
I think this is a fun movie. I admit, the EMERAC computer in some ways dates this movie, considering this was the age when computers took up most of a room, as opposed to the much smaller PCs, laptops, tablets, etc. that most of us are used to by this time. Of course, the worry about technology replacing people is still around, so that still keeps the movie somewhat current. But to see the reference library in action is kind of fun. I enjoyed seeing the ladies able to rattle off some information off the top of their heads, while going off in the library to find other information (of course, it’s nice to see how patient people were back then, as I can’t see people being as happy today if Google were to take that long to answer any questions like that). But, my point here is that I enjoy this movie, and would heartily recommend it to anybody!
The movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Twentieth Century Fox.
Film Length: 1 hour, 44 minutes
My Rating: 8/10
List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections
Pat And Mike (1952) – Spencer Tracy
Pat And Mike (1952) – Katharine Hepburn
The Opposite Sex (1956) – Joan Blondell