7.5/10
1,385
29 user 11 critic

The Mating Season (1951)

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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Stars: Jeanne Crain, Thelma Ritter, Scott Brady
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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 a 3-Woman Honeymoon and a Thousand LAFF-RIOT 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

Cast includes five stars who earned Oscar nominations during their careers: Gene Tierney, Miriam Hopkins, Thelma Ritter, Ellen Corby, and Jan Sterling. See more »

Quotes

Fran Carleton: [Preparing a sleeping pill for her daughter, Maggie] Now you just swallow one of these pills, and you'll sleep for eight solid hours... Here. You know who gave them to me? I wouldn't want it known... Mussolini! He was a terrible man, but he ate well, and he slept well.
See more »

Soundtracks

When I Take My Sugar to Tea
(uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Irving Kahal and Pierre Norman
Sung by James Lorimer at the party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Classic
14 March 2003 | by arslupaeSee all my reviews

The other review of this movie got the plot wrong. Thelma Ritter is the MOTHER-IN-LAW of Gene Tierney, not her MOTHER. Ms. Ritter's son in the film, played by John Lund is the pretentious one. When his mother arrives to attend his wedding to the gently brought up Ms. Tierney, who is actually a sweetheart and a lady in the best sense of the word, he hands Thelma some cash to get a makeover, noting that she should especially purchase GLOVES, to hide her hands that have worked hard at a hamburger stand to put him through a fancy college. This guy is a real stinker!! Thelma ends up not going to the ceremony, fearful she will embarrass her jerk of a son. She then gets some jobs to buy a fantastic outfit so she can drop in on the newlyweds. When Ms. Ritter gets there, Gene Tierney thinks she is the cook she wanted, and latches on to her because Ms. Tierney is having her first dinner party, and she is in a state of panic and disaster. The plot revolves around the fact that Thelma stays on to help out, and swears her son to secrecy about who she is. There are absolutely SOLID GOLD performances by Miriam Hopkins, as Gene's snooty mother, and Larry Keating, as John Lund's down-to-earth boss. The best part of this movie is when Gene discovers the masquerade and tells her insensitive husband off, defending his mother as a wonderful, honorable woman. DO NOT MISS THIS MOVIE !!


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