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  • Desk Set

    Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on April 15th, 2004

    Overall
    Film
    Video
    Audio
    Extras
    (out of 5)

    

    Synopsis

    Spencer Tracy arrives in the research department of the “Federal Broadcasting Company”to install a computer. He is sworn to secrecy by the president of the network, however, and soresearch head Katherine Hepburn and her co-workers assume they are to be made redundant.Sparks are clearly flying between her and Tracy, however, even if this romantic tension remainsvery much an undercurrent to their witty banter. Also on the scene is Gig Young, Hepburn’srather callow and thought…ess current romantic interest.

    The plot is wafer thin, threatening to evaporate if exposed to direct light, and the romanceaspect is almost TOO understated. But what you do have is engaging chemistry of the stars, anda full-on comic performance from Hepburn. The scene of the icy roof-top picnic, where Hepburnvoice becomes more and more quavery with cold, is priceless.

    Audio

    The sound comes in both the original mono and a 2.0 remix, and the latter is much the sameas the remixes on the other discs in this series. Everything has been turned into surround,including the voices, and the result is more strange than satisfying. The dialogue is pumped upbeyond any reasonable level, and the distortion, particularly in the registers that Hepburn’s voicehits, is pretty severe.

    Video

    A solid, but not perfect, 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The colours are enormouslyvibrant (with the reds being particularly strong). There is some flicker, but it is slight, and a littlebit of speckling and line damage at the beginning. For the most part, the print is in good shape,but the grain and dirt are quite noticeable. The edge enhancement isn’t severe, but does makeits presence known.

    Special Features

    John Lee provides an informative commentary, and at appropriate moments brings inmemories from cast member Dina Merrill. The other extras are slight: a Movietone newsreelabout fashion designers being inspired by the film, the theatrical trailer, a still gallery, and trailersfor four other Studio Classics (All About Eve, An Affair to Remember, TheGhost and Mrs. Muir and The Seven-Year Itch). The menu is basic.

    Closing Thoughts

    A slight comedy, but extremely well executed. Not the most important or feature-packed ofthe Studio Classics series, but enjoyable all the same.

    Special Features List

    • Audio Commentary
    • Movietone Newsreel
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Still Gallery
    • Bonus Trailers
    Posted In: 2.35:1 Widescreen, Comedy, Disc Reviews, Dolby Digital 2.0 (English), Dolby Digital Mono (English), DVD, Fox, Spanish Mono, Studio Classics

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