Desk Set (1957) - Rotten Tomatoes

Desk Set1957

Desk Set (1957)



Critic Consensus: Desk Set reunites one of cinema's most well-loved pairings for a solidly crafted romantic comedy that charmingly encapsulates their timeless appeal.

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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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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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Critic Reviews for Desk Set

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (6)

[I]t's still a witty, often diverting romantic comedy that further demonstrates how well the duo fit.

January 24, 2019 | Full Review…

Drunken Christmas office parties and antiquated technology notwithstanding, the real fun in Desk Set is watching these two pros and longtime loves play off of each other for one of their final cinematic turns together.

January 24, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

[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.

March 25, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

The results are some splendidly crisp exchanges between the pair, and the inevitable scene of embarrassment where he is literally 'caught with his pants down'.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

One of the great Tracy-Hepburn pairings, this adaptation from the Broadway stage focuses on the love that grows from the contentious relationship...

March 10, 2003 | Full Review…

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.

January 1, 2000

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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