Desk Set (1957) - Rotten Tomatoes

Desk Set (1957)

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Movie Info

Based on the Broadway play by Robert Fryer and Lawrence Carr, Desk Set represents the eighth screen teaming of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Hepburn plays the head of a TV network research department; Tracy plays an efficiency expert, hired to modernize Hepburn's operation. When Tracy has a huge computer installed, Hepburn and her co-workers (including Joan Blondell and Sue "Miss Landers" 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 amiss: the computer not only fires the ladies, but also the head of the network--and Tracy, who isn't even on the company payroll! At this point, Tracy explains that the computer was designed to help Hepburn and her staff and not replace them; he also confesses that, given the pink-slip incident, this might not have been such a hot idea. But Hepburn, who has fallen in love with Tracy, is in just the right mood to forgive him--and doesn't need to consult her research files to come up with this decision. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Spencer Tracy
as Richard Sumner
Katharine Hepburn
as Bunny Watson
Gig Young
as Mike Cutler
Joan Blondell
as Peg Costello
Neva Patterson
as Miss Warringer
Harry Ellerbe
as Smithers
Ida Moore
as Old Lady
Rachel Stephens
as Receptionist
Sammy Ogg
as Kenny
King Mojave
as Board Member
Charles Heard
as Board Member
Harry Evans
as Board Member
Hal Taggart
as Board Member
Jack M. Lee
as Board Member
Bill Duray
as Board Member
Jesslyn Fax
as Mrs. Hewitt
Shirley Mitchell
as Myra Smithers
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News & Interviews for Desk Set

Critic Reviews for Desk Set

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (2)

[Miss Hepburn and Mr. Tracy] can tote phone books on their heads or balance feathers on their chins and be amusing -- which is about the size of what they do here.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

The least, perhaps, of the Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn collaborations...this 1957 comedy is nevertheless a bright and witty vehicle for its stars, directed well and anonymously by that fine old hack Walter Lang.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A winning comedy that's as leisurely as the Eisenhower years, with just a hint of the rebellion that's coming down the pike.

Full Review… | December 10, 2013
Movie Metropolis

Mildly amusing but not great comedy, penned by the Ephrons from a stage play, this eighth teaming of Tracy and Hepburn places the battle of the sexes in the workplace against the threat of new technology.

Full Review… | July 6, 2007
EmanuelLevy.Com

Desk Set is a big, shiny, doohickey coasting on the warm offerings of earlier triumphs.

Full Review… | May 26, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

The Spence & Kate show starts to show its age.

November 23, 2005
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Audience Reviews for Desk Set

What I really appreciated in this movie was that Hepburn was like - what, 50? - and Tracy approaching 60, and they could still create a magic movie that never, ever alludes to their age (which modern studio execs, particularly Nancy Meyers, would absolutely leap on). Also, I think that Joan Blondell is a ton of fun. It's nice to know she held onto her spark til the end.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

Even people today can relate to the problems of modernization in the workplace, which is what this movie deals with, but in a humourous way. Hepburn and Tracy are great together as always, and this movie is a lot of fun.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

It is always fun to watch Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Imagine a movie about a computer replacing staff researchers! Actually, the movie is a bit silly. Of course, Tracy and Hepburn fall for each other, so the computer story-line is only a side issue.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

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