desk set

It’s 1957 and the patriarchy is in full thrust at the swank Manhattan offices of the Federal Broadcasting Corporation. Information wonk, classy dame and all around dynamo Bunny Watson (Katharine Hepburn) runs the Reference Department like a Swiss watch, only more fun. At FBC, all of the indignities suffered by women in the 1950s workplace are played out for us; today’s sexual harassment laws are shattered, but the girls triumph in the end by employing that timeless gem of truth that empowers still: don’t make yourself too available. A visual feast for retro lovers. Great fun. [usa, 1957] ~ reviewed by nancy brown

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