A Few Words About A few words about...™ Desk Set -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    There aren't many things better in the cinema that a Spencer Tracy / Katharine Hepburn film, although William Powell and Myrna Loy are right up there.

    Tracy and Hepburn made nine films together, beginning in 1942, with Woman of the Year and ending with Mr. Tracy's final work, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

    Generally created from beautifully written screenplays, Desk Set was the penultimate, and the only one in CinemaScope. It was also one of their lesser efforts.

    As a 1957 production, it has every reason to be problematic.

    The surprise is, that it isn't.

    Color looks proper, with a comfortable flow of grain. Resolution is as good as it ever got for Cinemascope. Shadow detail, black levels all are in check.

    Just a really nice looking presentation of a light and amusing film. While it may not exactly stand the test of time, for those who can't get enough of the pairing, it's essential.

    Image - 5

    Audio - 5

    Recommended.

    RAH
     
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  2. lukejosephchung

    lukejosephchung Screenwriter

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    Have this on order for delivery next Tuesday along with a slew of other Fox titles scheduled for that day...looking forward to this, Robert, and thanks for the positive assessment of this classic Tracy/Hepburn favorite of mine...
     
  3. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Screenwriter

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    What I like best about "Desk Set" is the spectacle of a happily-employed group of middle-class adults productively working together in a large room, doing an important job for their employers that their employers today wouldn't bother hiring one intern to do.
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    You don't think that it's important to have an employee who can relate batting averages?

    RAH
     
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  5. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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    One of my favorites since its arrival on (way overpriced) letterbox laserdisc back in the 20th century.
     
  6. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    What I do find problematic is accepting Spencer Tracey as a computer wiz. His rather bumbling portrayal is as far removed from cutting edge technology (for 1957) as it is possible to get! I understand that in the original play, his character was played by a young man, which would have made more sense - but of course the film was designed as a vehicle for Tracey and Hepburn.
     
  7. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    This has always ranked among my favorite of the Tracy-Hepburn pairings and I never understand why it is so often dismissed as "one of their lesser efforts". Although perhaps not up to the incredibly high standards of "Pat and Mike" and "Adam's Rib", it's certainly as much fun as "Woman of the Year" and, for me, superior to "Without Love", "Sea of Grass", "Keeper of the Flame" and "State of the Union." It's certainly a period piece, as is "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" but that's to be expected when the mileau is either coming to terms with advances in civil rights, or, in this instance, new technology. I find the screenplay sparkling with bright, quotable dialogue delivered by cast of pros in a bright, colorful, breezy comedy set in a fairy-tale office environment which those of us who work behind a desk can only envy. (I've often wished we had office Christmas parties like we see in the film! Did they ever really exist?)

    I voted every day for "Desk Set" back in January and can't wait to own it in time for the holidays, as the Christmas segment is a must-watch for me every year around this time.
     
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  8. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    I wasn't necessarily going to upgrade my dvd of this title, but based on this review, I think I will. My wallet is muttering under its breath.
     
  9. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Mine hasn't spoken to me all week.
     
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  10. Adam Gregorich

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    Earlier this year Fox asked for your help to Voice Your Choice and pick the title from each decade you would most like to see released to Blu-ray. Over 42,000 people cast 80,000 votes.To thank Home Theater Forum members for their participation in the Voice Your Choice promotion, Fox has put together three bundles on Fox Connect with special pricing: 1) Buy all 8 titles on Blu-ray for just $75. 2) Buy the four first place titles for $40. 3) Buy the four second place titles for $40

    Here are the titles by decade:
    1930s: Jesse James (1st place), Call of the Wild (2nd place)1940s: Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1st place), Black Swan (2nd place)1950s: Carmen Jones (1st place), Desk Set (2nd place)1960s: North to Alaska (1st place), Undefeated (2nd place)
     
  11. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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    I splurged on all 8!

    At less than $10 per title (with no tax, and free ground shipping), it's a great deal!
     
  12. JoshZ

    JoshZ Second Unit

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    Very tempting. Wish there was a bundle that included Desk Set, Call of the Wild, and Ghost and Mrs. Muir together. Not that I'm complaining or anything, of course. Those are just my top titles of this batch, and I can't afford to buy all eight at the moment.
     
  13. Dale MA

    Dale MA Screenwriter

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    Seems that Fox Connect won't ship the order to the UK (the only selectable option is United States). :(
     
  14. rikrks

    rikrks Auditioning

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    Yes, I tried as well.
     
  15. john a hunter

    john a hunter Supporting Actor

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    Nor to Australia , it seems. A nice thank you for the support we gave this project!!!
     
  16. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    My copy of Desk Set arrived the other day and I watched it last night and enjoyed it as more than ever thanks to a spectacularly colorful transfer, by far the best I've ever seen on this title. I'm most grateful to Fox for bringing this longtime favorite of mine out in such a beautiful release.
     
  17. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    Mine's coming today, I can't wait!!!
     
  18. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    The film was originally released in stereo so how come this is mono? I never had the DVD but supposedly that was in stereo.
     
  19. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    i've never heard true stereo on this film and I've had every release since the first laserdisc. I'd have to go back to the DVD, but if there's a stereo track, it's definitely one of Fox's attempts at stereo rechannelled from mono. Is Joe Caps around to comment?
     
  20. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    In 1957 Fox was releasing all their CinemaScope productions in stereo.
     
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