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The Mating Season (1951)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 12 January 1951 (USA)
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.

Director:

Mitchell Leisen

Writers:

Charles Brackett (written for the screen by), Walter Reisch (written for the screen by) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Tierney ... Maggie Carleton
John Lund ... Val McNulty
Miriam Hopkins ... Fran Carleton
Thelma Ritter ... Ellen McNulty
Jan Sterling ... Betsy
Larry Keating ... Mr. Kalinger, Sr.
James Lorimer James Lorimer ... George C. Kalinger, Jr.
Gladys Hurlbut Gladys Hurlbut ... Mrs. Conger
Cora Witherspoon ... Mrs. Williamson
Malcolm Keen ... Mr. Williamson
Ellen Corby ... Annie
Billie Bird ... Mugsy
Mary Young ... Spinster
Samuel Colt Samuel Colt ... Colonel Conger
Grayce Hampton ... Mrs. Fahnstock
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Storyline

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 <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's all about the Jersey City hamburger-slingin' "Mother of the Groom"! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 January 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Relative Stranger See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stars Miriam Hopkins and Thelma Ritter were both born in 1902. See more »

Quotes

Ellen McNulty: Never eat standing up, and never cook sittin' down.
See more »

Soundtracks

The Mating Season
(uncredited)
Music by Jay Livingston
Lyrics by Ray Evans
sung by chorus over main titles
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Crisply written romantic comedy
1 January 2006 | by laura-6See 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.


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