The Desk Set

Desk Setmovie

Desk Set movie

This isn’t a Christmas movie per se but does have rather extensive holiday scenes. I love the snappy dialogue between Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. Their chemistry is sizzling, and the theme is appropriate for yesterdays blog.

A research department in 1957 is going to be getting the first electronic brain, a.k.a. a computer. The four women (who manage all the research calls) start to fear that their jobs will soon be obsolete. The payroll department has already been put on the chopping block. Sound familiar?

The Desk Setresearch department

The Desk Set research department

The trouble starts when EMERAC (electronic brain) inventor, Richard Sumner (Tracy) comes to examine the research department for room for the installation of “EMEE”, raising everyone’s fears. In between the humour and anxiety is a love triangle between the head of the research department, Bunny Watson (Hepburn) and Bunny’s boss Mike (Gig Young) and Sumner. Mike is good looking and takes Bunny for granted, Sumner is hilarious and smart. I go for brains and humor every time. Looks fade fast. Bunny and Richard start having fun together, intoxicating to a lonely woman.

Roof top lunch

Roof top lunch

Bunny has an electronic brain herself and Sumner has met his match intellectually. The frigid roof-top lunch he invites her to is not to be missed, along with a hilarious dinner Bunny fixes for a drenched Sumner. Of course everything blows up in the end, literally. The research that used to take weeks for a four person office, now takes seconds on Google. Who needs people?

Dinner at Bunny's

Dinner at Bunny’s

The office Christmas party hasn’t changed much it seems when too much alcohol is involved. All the fun comes to a halt when someone shows up to remind Sumner why he is there. Misunderstandings and organized chaos result.

Christmas in the research department.

Christmas in the research department.

Bunny and Mike

Bunny and Mike

The girls and Emee, the emmense electronic brain

The girls and Emee, the emmense electronic brain

As everyone probably remembers, Tracy and Hepburn had a long love affair while he stayed married (his wife was Catholic) and Gig Young was an abusive alcoholic married to “Bewitched” star Elizabeth Montgomery. Reality. This is a light-hearted, funny, romantic comedy with Tracy and Hepburn at their best.  Back to work now…


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