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

A Few Words About Fox Blu-ray

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#1 of 65 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted November 29 2013 - 01:36 PM

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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"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#2 of 65 OFFLINE   lukejosephchung

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Posted November 29 2013 - 02:33 PM

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 of 65 OFFLINE   davidmatychuk

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Posted November 29 2013 - 02:50 PM

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 of 65 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted November 29 2013 - 02:55 PM

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. 

 

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

 

RAH


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"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#5 of 65 OFFLINE   Reed Grele

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Posted November 29 2013 - 03:19 PM

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


Edited by Reed Grele, November 30 2013 - 09:54 AM.


#6 of 65 OFFLINE   Douglas R

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Posted November 29 2013 - 03:36 PM

 
As a 1957 production, it has every reason to be problematic.
 
The surprise is, that it isn't.
RAH


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 of 65 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

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Posted November 29 2013 - 04:16 PM

*
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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 of 65 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted November 29 2013 - 08:28 PM

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 of 65 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted November 29 2013 - 08:30 PM

Mine hasn't spoken to me all week.


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#10 of 65 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted November 29 2013 - 08:51 PM

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 of 65 OFFLINE   Reed Grele

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Posted November 30 2013 - 09:53 AM

I splurged on all 8!

 

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


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#12 of 65 OFFLINE   JoshZ

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Posted December 02 2013 - 01:45 PM

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.


Edited by JoshZ, December 02 2013 - 01:46 PM.

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#13 of 65 OFFLINE   Dale MA

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Posted December 02 2013 - 02:16 PM

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



#14 of 65 OFFLINE   rikrks

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Posted December 03 2013 - 12:50 AM

Yes, I tried as well.  



#15 of 65 OFFLINE   john a hunter

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Posted December 03 2013 - 11:05 AM

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

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



#16 of 65 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

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Posted December 05 2013 - 06:30 AM

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 of 65 OFFLINE   Will Krupp

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Posted December 05 2013 - 09:42 AM

Mine's coming today, I can't wait!!!



#18 of 65 OFFLINE   Douglas R

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Posted December 05 2013 - 09:56 AM

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 of 65 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

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Posted December 05 2013 - 10:00 AM

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 of 65 OFFLINE   Douglas R

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Posted December 05 2013 - 10:21 AM

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

Edited by Douglas R, December 05 2013 - 10:22 AM.

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