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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 »
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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

Although playing his mother in this film, Thelma Ritter was only 9 years older than 'John Lund'. See more »

Quotes

Val McNulty: Ma, when will you get over that I'm not six years old anymore?
Ellen McNulty: Never. Six is plenty big for a boy to be.
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

 
Delightful light comedy
13 January 2008 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"The Mating Season" is a 1951 film that stars Gene Tierney, Thelma Ritter, John Lund, Jan Sterling, Miriam Hopkins and Larry Keating. Tierney and Lund play newlyweds Maggie and Val McNulty - she's a blue blood but broke, and he's up and coming in the corporate world. Val's mom Ellen (Ritter) owns a hamburger place but loses it and comes to see her son, only to find out he's getting married. Ellen makes her excuses and works until she has enough money for a new outfit. Then she calls on her new daughter-in-law - only to be mistaken as a maid hired to help with a party the couple is throwing. Ellen is a big hit, and, swearing her son to secrecy, stays on in the house. Then Maggie's arrogant, spoiled mother (Miriam Hopkins) comes to town to stay with Maggie and Val. Four becomes a crowd.

This is a very sweet, funny film with wonderful ensemble acting and great characters. Tierney has her familiar hairdo (which around this time she didn't always have) and looks gorgeous. She's totally charming as Maggie. Lund does a good job as her harried husband, who wants to make good and has just a touch - a slight touch - of being a jerk. It's a weakness that we forgive him for later on. Of course, Ritter steals the show as Ellen, doing a role very familiar to her - a mouthy servant. Hopkins is bigger than life as Maggie's totally obnoxious mother, and Larry Keating is a delight as Val's boss' father, who has better values than his son will ever have. Jan Sterling has a small part as Val's former girlfriend. As usual, she looks cheap and acts cheaper.

Lots of fun - don't miss it.


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