Cary and Irene (THE AWFUL TRUTH)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Mating Season (1951)


The Mating Season (1951). Comedy. Director: Mitchell Leisen and produced by Charles Brackett from a screenplay by Charles Brackett, Richard Breen and Walter Reisch, based on the play Maggie by Caesar Dunn. Cast: Gene Tierney, John Lund, Miriam Hopkins, and Thelma Ritter.

After Ellen McNulty, sells her hamburger stand she decides to visit her son Val, who lives in another city. Val has recently married a socialite, Maggie. To help her out, her husband hires a maid and sends her over. At the same time, Ellen arrives. Maggie, her daughter-in-law, mistakes her for the maid. Ellen doesn't let on who she really is and decides to pretend to be a maid. The next morning Ellen arrives with her things. She talks her son into the idea but he doesn't like it very much.

Maggie's mother comes for a visit and she is nothing like Maggie. She is a snob and she doesn't like Val one bit. Mr. Kalinger invites Val and Maggie to the party. At the party, Maggie gets into an argument with an important female guest and storms out. Val, forces Maggie to call the party to apologize to the woman. She does, leading to another fight.

The next morning, Val and Maggie make up and duck into a closet for a kiss. Ellen's friends are at the door and ask to speak to "Mrs. McNulty". It is revealed that Ellen is really Val's mother. Maggie is furious with Val for hiding his mother's identity from her. She and her mother leave for a hotel. Maggie later confronts Val at his office. She tells him that he has become a snob and that she is moving to Mexico. Will Val and Maggie reunite?

I really enjoyed watching this very well done screwball comedy. You have mistaken identity an overbearing mother in law. Mix them altogether you get a movie with cynical undercurrents about the American dream. This film has an excellent cast: Miriam Hopkins, gives a wonderful over the top performance and what can I say Thelma Ritter, just amazing. I was really loved her warm hearted scenes with Gene Tierney.

Click to view, The Mating Season Movie Trailer.

2 comments:

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

The fact that The Mating Season isn't available on DVD--heck, it never even got a VHS release--is one of the truly great travesties in classic film. As such, this is a movie that deserves to be far better known.

It's extremely well-written--a thoughtful meditation on what constitutes "the American Dream"--and of course, showcases a first-rate cast including Ritter, Tierney, Hopkins and Larry Keating...I even think John Lund is good, an actor I've never particularly held in high esteem.

Dawn said...

Ivan, I would love to see this film on DVD. I agree, John Lund, also gave a wonderful performance.