It’s hard to top a film team of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Although lovers in real life, their films have a chemistry that is almost electrifying. Desk Set is one of their best. Adam’s Rib comes in at a very close second place, but to me Desk Set is their perfect film.
Desk Set tells the story of Bunny Watson, head of the research division of a major television network and Richard Sumner who is in charge of installing a new computer that seems to be planned to replace Bunny and her staff. There are lots of great scenes to be found in this film. My favorite is when Sumner interviews/or tests Bunny during a cold lunch on the roof of the network's building. I would also classify Desk Set as a Christmas film even though the action takes place over a full year. The final scene and confrontation occurs during the Network Christmas Party.
There is another reason to watch Desk Set . It is a reminder of just how far our technology has come. Sumner is seen measuring the department to make sure that there is room for his EMARAC computer; a monster of a machine that today could easily be replaced and outdistanced by today’s smart phones.