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Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Desk Set (1957)

The research department at the Federal Broadcasting Network becomes intimidated when the inventor (Spencer Tracy) of a computer begins investigating the department during the Christmas season. They, including the department supervisor (Katharine Hepburn), begin to suspect that his computer is designed to replace them. Though it's not considered one of the best of the Tracy and Hepburn collaborations, this is my personal favorite of their teamings together, probably because Hepburn isn't treated as some kind of freak for wanting to be Tracy's equal and she's not chastised for it as she is in WOMAN OF THE YEAR and ADAM'S RIB. It's a pleasant romantic comedy with Tracy and Hepburn doing fine work though Hepburn's drunk scene leaves a lot to be desired (what is it about drunk scenes that bring out the worst in actors?). Based on the play by William Marchant, the film's paranoid suspicions about computers have proven prophetic but considering how computers have now infiltrated our daily lives (what would we do without them?), the film's phobia now seems rather quaint. Directed by Walter Lang. With Gig Young, Joan Blondell, Dina Merrill, Merry Anders, Diane Jergens and Neva Patterson.

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