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Desk Set [DVD] [1957]

Spencer Tracy , Katharine Hepburn , Walter Lang    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Watch Desk Set instantly from £2.49 with Amazon Instant Video
Also available to rent on DVD from LOVEFiLM By Post

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Desk Set [DVD] [1957] + Tracy And Hepburn: The Signature Collection [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Gig Young, Joan Blondell
  • Directors: Walter Lang
  • Format: PAL, Colour, HiFi Sound, Anamorphic, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Italian, German
  • Subtitles: English, Dutch, French, Italian, German, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Jan 2001
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009JOQ1G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,711 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Drama based on the Broadway play by Robert Fryer and Lawrence Carr. Katharine Hepburn plays the head of a TV network research department while Spencer Tracy plays an efficiency expert, hired to modernise Hepburn's operation. When Tracy has a huge computer installed, Hepburn and her co-workers (including Joan Blondell and Sue Randall) fear that they're going to lose their jobs. Their suspicions are confirmed when the computer merrily begins issuing pink termination slips. But something is obviously wrong: the computer not only fires the ladies, but also the head of the network, as well as Tracy, who isn't even on the company payroll.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
This 1957 film directed by Walter Lang was the eighth of the nine Tracy-Hepburn films and their first in color. Based on the play by William Marchant (which had starred Shirley Booth on Broadway), Katharine Hepburn plays Bunny Watson, a reference librarian who works for a television network. Bunny becomes quite concerned when she learns that the new computer being installed by Spencer Tracy's Richard Sumner is supposed to put her and the rest of her staff out of work. Gig Young has his standard role as the nice guy who ends up losing the girl in the end, while Joan Blondell, Dina Merrill and Sue Randall make up the rest of Bunny's brainy staff.
In terms of pairing Tracy and Hepburn "Desk Set" is certainly unique because it is the only film where she gets the upper hand at the end and he gets the comeuppance. Tracy is really nothing more than a misunderstood villain; his new toy is suppose to help the girls in the reference library not replace them. But none of this really matters because in the end it is clear than the women are a lot smarter than the machine (although they do get the baseball trivia answer wrong). The one priceless scene in the film is a roof top lunch between Tracy and Hepburn. He just has a few simple questions for her that turn out to be brainteasers, and Hepburn's character disposes of each and every challenge with an ease grace and guileless naiveté that is quite charming, while Tracy sinks lower and lower as she beats him at every turn. The rest of the film is fairly pedestrian as we wait for the expected happy endings for the computer and romantic plot lines.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is something burning?" 18 Jan 2006
By bernie TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
This is an extremely well done screen adaptation of a unique play. You expect nothing less from the team of Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. However they do not distract from the performances of the other actors who are well-known in their own right. Harry Ellerbe, who plays Smithers, played the main role of Richard Sumner in the play.
Bunny and her staff and the research department are all preparing for Christmas season. But who should appear on a seen but the mysterious Richard Sumner, with a tape measure, 24 questions, and mysterious past in electronic brains. The conversation between Richard Sumner and Bunny are worth with film its self; yet it only gets better from there.
Like many plays the real worth and interest is in the dialog and interaction of the characters more than the action or the overall story. You will get wrapped up in the fun and wince once in a while.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bunny Vs EMMARAC and Richard 18 Sep 2009
Format:DVD
Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn movies are fun to watch; they are great comedies that bring quality family entertainment. Some of their movies tackle social and domestic issues. In the movie Adam's Rib, the inequality of the law; the unwritten rule of husbands shooting adulterers (but not wives) is examined. The movie Pat and Mike deals with the success of women athletes in professional sports, and how some greedy male managers try to exploit them. In Desk Set, the story is about the effect of automation at work place and how it affects the jobs and lives of workers. You get to see a lot of lighter side of office environment.

When efficiency expert Richard Sumner (Spencer Tracy) is assigned to the research department of the Federal Broadcasting Company to evaluate work patterns, his eccentric behavior catches the imagination of researchers Bunny Watson (Katharine Hepburn), Peg Costello (Joan Blondell), Sylvia Blair (Dina Merrill) and Ruthie Saylor (Sue Randall). They begin to worry when Sumner informs Bunny that his mission is to improve the efficiency, but actually Mr. Azae (Nicholas Joy), the head of the network, approves a project to computerize the department and asks Richard to keep the project a secret.

Bunny admires a gown she purchases and all excited in the hope that Mike Cutler (Gig Young), her boss and suitor of seven years will invite her to a country club dance. However, circumstances prevent that from happening, and in the mean time Bunny start dating Richard. The date turns into business meetings for them as Bunny finds out that Richard is the inventor and patent holder of EMMARAC, an electronic brain.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bunny Vs EMMARAC and Richard 18 Sep 2009
Format:DVD
Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn movies are fun to watch; they are great comedies that bring quality family entertainment. Some of their movies tackle social and domestic issues. In the movie Adam's Rib, the inequality of the law; the unwritten rule of husbands shooting adulterers (but not wives) is examined. The movie Pat and Mike deals with the success of women athletes in professional sports, and how some greedy male managers try to exploit them. In Desk Set, the story is about the effect of automation at work place and how it affects the jobs and lives of workers. You get to see a lot of lighter side of office environment.

When efficiency expert Richard Sumner (Spencer Tracy) is assigned to the research department of the Federal Broadcasting Company to evaluate work patterns, his eccentric behavior catches the imagination of researchers Bunny Watson (Katharine Hepburn), Peg Costello (Joan Blondell), Sylvia Blair (Dina Merrill) and Ruthie Saylor (Sue Randall). They begin to worry when Sumner informs Bunny that his mission is to improve the efficiency, but actually Mr. Azae (Nicholas Joy), the head of the network, approves a project to computerize the department and asks Richard to keep the project a secret.

Bunny admires a gown she purchases and all excited in the hope that Mike Cutler (Gig Young), her boss and suitor of seven years will invite her to a country club dance. However, circumstances prevent that from happening, and in the mean time Bunny start dating Richard. The date turns into business meetings for them as Bunny finds out that Richard is the inventor and patent holder of EMMARAC, an electronic brain.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars .
Enjoyed this since the first time I saw it a few years ago :-) Now I can watch it as often as I want to
Published 4 months ago by Rose N
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't rate it as can't play it.
Sorry, Dueto my own stupidity I cannot play it as the DVD is only for playing in USA or Canada. Be car eful which type DVD you order.
Published 11 months ago by Sheina
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated but Sparkling Comedy....
To viewers, some 40 years after this sparkling comedy, of wit and office manners was made, it might look a little staid and trite. Read more
Published on 23 Mar 2012 by Tim Kidner
5.0 out of 5 stars TRACY & HEPBURN "COMPLETE AND ABSOLUTELY DEFINITIVE."
It is said that opposites attract. This was never truer than in the teaming of Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. Read more
Published on 17 Mar 2012 by Paul Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars A '50s Classic Charmer
"Desk Set" is one of the best Hepburn-Tracy films. Set during the Christmas season, it is the story of the computer genius with few social graces and the smart-as-a-whip reference... Read more
Published on 20 Nov 2010 by Lisa K. Schaffnit
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Generally, my admiration for Tracy and Hepburn knows no bounds (whether together or apart), but this 'froth' of a film is no vehicle for either of their considerable talents. Read more
Published on 19 Nov 2009 by Shmorganzola
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tracy/Hepburn rarity
Slick, beautifully mounted comedy-drama featuring the always priceless, highly versatile team of Tracy and Hepburn. Read more
Published on 30 Sep 2006 by David Benson
5.0 out of 5 stars "Is something burning?"
This is an extremely well done screen adaptation of a unique play. You expect nothing less from the team of Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. Read more
Published on 3 Mar 2005 by bernie
4.0 out of 5 stars The one Tracy & Hepburn match where she gets the upper hand
This 1957 film directed by Walter Lang was the eighth of the nine Tracy-Hepburn films and their first in color. Read more
Published on 4 July 2004 by Amazon Customer
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