A plethora of Christmas movie take place in New York. Miracle on 34th Street, Scrooged, Trading Places, When Harry Met Sally, even Elf. It really is the perfect backdrop with its crisp air, occasional majestic snow-covered cityscape, and whimsical holiday window displays. Of course, all of these elements also make it the best place for holiday romance, even if the 1957s romantic comedy about automation, Desk Set. You have not heard of it? Or you have heard of it, but you feel I am stretching the Christmas aspect? First of all - it is a must watch. I have two simple words to prove my point: Hepburn. Tracy.
Desk Set (1957)
Desk Set takes place at the "Federal Broadcasting Network" - which has one of the best reference libraries run by one Bunny Watson (Katharine Hepburn). She and her awesome team - Peg Costello (played by Joan Blondel), Sylvia Blair (played by Dina Merrill) and Ruthie Saylor (played by Sue Randall) are on hand to do research and answer reference questions on a variety of topics. Bunny has been in an odd relationship with Mike Cutler (Gig Young) for seven years (the kind of relationship all the dating books warn you about - she is his go to date at the last minute, no serious talk of marriage, etc). Enter Richard Sumner (Spencer Tracy) and efficiency expert and it turns out the creator of EMERAC (a computer that also affectionately is called Emmy). The latter stirs up trouble - but before she shows up to take up half the reference library, it is clear that Sumner and Bunny Watson have chemistry - the kind of chemistry that starts to change Mike Cutler's tune about marriage.
I know you are thinking, this sounds like a "romantic comedy" and not a Christmas movie. Well If When Harry Met Sally has proven anything - romantic comedies and Christmas can go hand-in-hand. Here are a few points to prove that the Desk Set, much like the first film in the series, L.A. Confidential, should be included in your Christmas movie list this holiday season.
1. Christmas Tree with extra tinsel!
Just look at that glorious 50's Christmas Tree.
2. Christmas Stopping Saves the Day
Good thing for Richard Sumner that Bunny Watson does her Christmas shopping early.
3. Christmas-Themed Reference Questions
In this film you will see the reference team answer a variety of questions, but the Christmas ones can be ever so charming.
4. Office Christmas Party! Bring on the Champagne
In 1950's office holiday party tradition there is champagne and plenty of it - plus a few tipsy characters
5. Christmas Presents
We all the importance of finding the right Christmas gift and Bunny Watson is no different.
6. Merry Christmas, hope you like your new computer!
New technology is all the rage at Christmas and in the Desk Set it is no different.