Desk Set (1957)

Desk Set (1957)

Another entertaining Katharine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy pairing the one is about an efficiency expert (Tracy) assigned to "secretly" investigate implementing an electronic brain (e.g. a computer system) in the reference department of a television network. The head of the department (Hepburn) and her employees (Joan Blondell Sue Randall and Dina Merrill in her first film) who currently "look everything up" manually naturally feel threatened. Gig Young plays Hepburn’s long time love interest an up-and-coming employee at the network whose job interferes with their relationship. Harry Ellerbe appears as a company lawyer who also serves as its "grapevine"; Nicholas Joy is the executive in charge that’s hired Tracy; Neva Patterson plays a computer operator. Serves as a commercial of sorts for IBM though having spent more than 15 years in the business it always amuses me how Hollywood displays computer hardware with excessive blinking lights and constantly spinning tape drives.

This above average comedy was directed by Walter Lang The King and I (1956) based on the William Marchant play and adapted (screenplay) by Phoebe and Henry Ephron (Captain Newman M.D. (1963)) parents of Nora Delia and Amy. The film’s funniest scenes are the ones between its two stars: one is a rooftop luncheon in which Tracy learns of Hepburn’s extraordinary mind & retention; the other occurs in her character’s apartment.

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