The Mating Season (1951)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,192 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 9 critic

Ellen McNulty loses her hamburger joint and goes to see her son, who marries a socialite at the same time. Due to her modest background and a case of mistaken identity, Ellen poses as the newlyweds' cook.



(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by), 2 more credits »
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Marriage broker Mae Swasey, who somewhat cynically arranges her loser clients' affairs, meets model Kitty Bennett and can't resist meddling in her life, by disentangling her from a married ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Jeanne Crain, Thelma Ritter, Scott Brady
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Gene Tierney and Ray Milland play the Sheridans, a married couple unable to have a biological child. They visit an adoption agency to make inquiries and start the ball rolling. Then, they ... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Ray Milland, Gene Tierney, Fay Bainter
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Barbara Vining is 17 years old and living with her family in a 1950s postwar English village. Her father, Henry, is a newspaper journalist and mother, Vi, a homemaker; her maiden aunt, ... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Pelissier
Stars: Gene Tierney, Leo Genn, Glynis Johns
Dragonwyck (1946)
Drama | Thriller | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A simple Connecticut farm girl is recruited by a distant relative, an aristocratic patroon, to be governess to his young daughter in his Hudson Valley mansion.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, Vincent Price
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Philip Sutherland is an American news writer stationed in Moscow since the war; while there he falls for a Russian ballet dancer, Marya Lamarkins, who, he finds out, learned English because... See full summary »

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Clark Gable, Gene Tierney, Bernard Miles
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An American entertainer impersonates a wealthy aviator and flirts with his lookalike's neglected wife.

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Danny Kaye, Gene Tierney, Corinne Calvet
Whirlpool (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Gene Tierney, Richard Conte, José Ferrer
China Girl (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In November 1941, American news photographer Johnny 'Bugsy' Williams manages to escape from the Japanese and finds himself back in Burma where he meets the beautiful Miss Haoli Young. ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gene Tierney, George Montgomery, Lynn Bari
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In WW2, U.S. Army Major Joppolo and his troops are tasked with administering the war damaged Italian town of Adano where the locals decry the loss of the town bell.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gene Tierney, John Hodiak, William Bendix
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When an heiress finds out that the friendly young man she's met at Sun Valley is really an investigative reporter, she ruins his career by falsely claiming they're married.

Director: Robert B. Sinclair
Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, Reginald Gardiner
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Susan Miller works behind the girdle counter in a department store and dreams about the beautiful clothes and glamour she can never hope to have. Enter May Worthington and Warren, a pair of... See full summary »

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Henry Fonda, Gene Tierney, Laird Cregar
Biography | Crime | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The story of Soviet cypher-clerk Igor Gouzenko who was posted to the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa,Canada in 1943 and defected in 1945 to reveal the extent of Soviet espionage activities directed against Canada.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, June Havoc


Cast overview, first billed only:
Maggie Carleton
Mr. Kalinger, Sr.
James Lorimer ...
George C. Kalinger, Jr.
Gladys Hurlbut ...
Mrs. Conger
Cora Witherspoon ...
Mrs. Williamson
Malcolm Keen ...
Mr. Williamson
Mary Young ...
Samuel Colt ...
Colonel Conger
Grayce Hampton ...
Mrs. Fahnstock


Ellen McNulty leaves her New Jersey hamburger stand and heads west to pay a surprise visit to her son and his new bride. When Ellen arrives, her daughter-in-law mistakes her for the maid she has hired for a big party they are throwing. Rather than cause any embarrassment, Ellen goes along with the charade, which leads to many complications. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 January 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Relative Stranger  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The actor listed as James Lorimer is the same actor listed as James Larmore in the 1948 film "A Foreign Affair". See more »


Maggie Carleton: I married a stranger!
Val McNulty: Everybody marries a stranger.
See more »


Je n'en connais pas la fin
Music by Marguerite Monnot
Lyrics by Raymond Asso
Sung by Gene Tierney and others at the party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Crisply written romantic comedy
1 January 2006 | by (Huntington Station NY) – See all my reviews

Thelma Ritter as down-on-her-luck Ellen McNulty shines in the role of a mother-in-law mistaken for a maid. Ellen McNulty is a woman everyone would want to have on her side, but woe betide anyone who tries to fool her. Thelma gets the best lines, but all parts are well-written and the film's pacing is superb.

The always reliable, always theatrical, Miriam Hopkins, hams it up as a superficial socialite disappointed in her daughter's selection of the down-to-earth Val McNulty, an up-and- coming corporate man. When a newlywed couple and two mothers occupy the same apartment, watch out!

Part of the pleasure of watching a black and white film from the early fifties is the setting. The outfits, cars, decor (check out the apartment's wallpaper: just amazing in its boldness!) add to the film's substance.

The romantic resolutions at the end of the film are satisfying, and make sense, not always a feature of light romantic comedies.

31 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD Please! CanadaJ
Gene Tierney--singing justaudrey
who could be so mean ? ksf-2
Kinky! gosh717
'...blow it higher than Kelsey's eyebrows.' theShat
Gene Tierney Great Comic Touch johnggriff
Discuss The Mating Season (1951) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: