“They can’t build a machine to do our job.”
A team of reference librarians (Katharine Hepburn, Joan Blondell, Dina Merrill, and Sue Randall) at the Federal Broadcasting Company worry that their jobs are at stake when an efficiency expert (Spencer Tracy) arrives with a fancy new computer.
Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy’s second-to-last film together was this dry adaptation (directed by Walter Lang) of a Broadway play by William Marchant. Although the issue of human obsolescence in the face of an increasingly powerful electronic universe remains just as relevant today as ever, the subject matter as presented here comes across as hopelessly dated and simplistic, with the ultimate moral of the film — that computers can’t ever fully replace human ingenuity — a boring no-brainer for modern audiences. Meanwhile, the screenplay is badly paced and overly stagy, flitting here and there between various subplots and ultimately falling flat. With that said, Hepburn is as fully invested in her role as ever, and her solid rapport with Tracy remains a comforting treat. However, this one is ultimately only must-see for Hepburn/Tracy completists.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Katharine Hepburn as Bunny
- Typically fine rapport between Tracy and Hepburn
- Nice use of Cinemascope
No, though of course Tracy/Hepburn fans won’t want to miss it.