Kern Reviews Classic Movies: Desk Set


In December of 2020 Kernook made a quick and off-the-cuff video review of the movie. Watch it now.

I have to say, I absolutely love Desk Set, a 1957 film starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. To me this film is a festive classic and timeless classic. Although it isn’t really a “Christmas movie” in the general sense of the word. Desk Set takes place during the holiday time, and that’s enough to give you a tiny taste of the seasonal flair.

In my household we watch it every single year during the holidays, often more than once. Spencer Tracy plays the role of Richard Sumner. Katharine Hepburn plays the role of Bunny Watson.

Basically, the movie is about Richard Sumner loitering around in the research department of a large television network. He has been asked to keep his reason for being there a secret from the people working there. Meanwhile, the talented manager of the department Bunny Watson, intends to find out exactly what this man is up to.

The movie culminates into a battle of wits as the two of them try to figure each other out. At its heart, this movie is a mix of romance and dry humor. Desk Set has a slow pace, but plenty of wonderful character moments to offer.

As far as the characters are concerned, Bunny Watson is a pragmatist with a sharp tongue and incredibly bright mind. Richard Sumner is a bit pig-headed and stubborn at first, but he quickly warms up to Bunny as the movie goes on. They challenge each other first and foremost, romance acting as a slow burn to a greater narrative thread.

It may be live-action and not anime, but I do have it as part of my collection, and I strongly suggest that anyone who enjoys classic films should also do the same.

The movie has certainly aged well, considering that it was made in the 50’s. There are re-mastered DVD and blue-ray releases for those who care to have them, but a washed out VHS tape also serves me well. It may not look as pretty, but, it does have a sentimental value.

If you like classic movies with a slight nod to holidays themes, it will serve you well. So, in the spirit of the holidays go find yourself a copy, huddle under a warm blanket, and enjoy.

This has been Kernook from The Demented Ferrets where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are always par for the course.

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