The Model and the Marriage Broker (1952)

103 mins | Comedy-drama | January 1952

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were The Marriage Broker and Kitty and the Marriage Broker . According to a modern source, director George Cukor initially wanted Joanne Dru for the role of "Kitty Bennett." The film marked the screen debut of actress Nancy Kulp, who is best known for her portrayal of "Miss Hathaway" on the popular 1960s television series The Beverly Hillbillies . The picture received an Academy Award nomination in the Costume Design (Black-and-White) category. On 6 Oct 1952 and 24 May 1954, Jeanne Crain and Thelma Ritter reprised their film roles for Lux Radio Theatre broadcasts of the story. For both broadcasts, their co-star was Stephen Dunne. In Jun 1957, Glenda Farrell, Kipp Hamilton and William Bishop starred in The Marriage Broker , a one-hour CBS television remake of the story, directed by Lewis Allen.
       In Jun 1952, playwrights John Lewin and Max Lewin filed a lawsuit against Twentieth Century-Fox and the writers of The Model and the Marriage Broker , charging that the film was a plagiarism of their play, Mr. Doudalduck Gets Married. The studio won the case in Jan 1954, when a Superior Court judge ruled that there were not enough similarities between the film and the play to substantiate the plaintiffs' claims. ...

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The working titles of this film were The Marriage Broker and Kitty and the Marriage Broker . According to a modern source, director George Cukor initially wanted Joanne Dru for the role of "Kitty Bennett." The film marked the screen debut of actress Nancy Kulp, who is best known for her portrayal of "Miss Hathaway" on the popular 1960s television series The Beverly Hillbillies . The picture received an Academy Award nomination in the Costume Design (Black-and-White) category. On 6 Oct 1952 and 24 May 1954, Jeanne Crain and Thelma Ritter reprised their film roles for Lux Radio Theatre broadcasts of the story. For both broadcasts, their co-star was Stephen Dunne. In Jun 1957, Glenda Farrell, Kipp Hamilton and William Bishop starred in The Marriage Broker , a one-hour CBS television remake of the story, directed by Lewis Allen.
       In Jun 1952, playwrights John Lewin and Max Lewin filed a lawsuit against Twentieth Century-Fox and the writers of The Model and the Marriage Broker , charging that the film was a plagiarism of their play, Mr. Doudalduck Gets Married. The studio won the case in Jan 1954, when a Superior Court judge ruled that there were not enough similarities between the film and the play to substantiate the plaintiffs' claims.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
24 Nov 1951.
---
Daily Variety
19 Nov 51
p. 3.
Film Daily
19 Nov 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Citizen-News
31 Dec 1951.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 51
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jun 51
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jul 51
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jul 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Sep 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Nov 51
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jun 52
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jan 1954
p. 2.
Motion Picture Daily
27 Nov 1951.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
24 Nov 51
p. 1117.
New York Times
10 Jan 52
p. 33.
New York Times
12 Jan 52
p. 10.
Newsweek
28 Jan 1952.
---
Variety
21 Nov 51
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Richard Breen
Wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
John DeCuir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward dir
Cost des
MUSIC
Cyril Mockridge
Mus
Mus dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Dial coach
Tech adv
Tech adv
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Kitty and the Marriage Broker
The Marriage Broker
Release Date:
January 1952
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 30 Dec 1951; New York opening: 10 Jan 1952
Production Date:
early Jun--early Jul 1951; addl seq late Jul 1951
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
1 January 1952
LP1480
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
103
Length(in feet):
9,283
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15346
SYNOPSIS

Middle-aged New Yorker Mae Swasey is dedicated to her "Contacts and Contracts" business, through which she arranges marriages for lonely, shy and sometimes unattractive people. One afternoon, Mae consults with new client Hazel Gingras; Swedish bumbler Hjalmer Johannson; and optician George Wixted, to whom she wants to introduce Hazel. Mae then discovers that wealthy client Ina Kuschner has become engaged to handsome x-ray technician Matt Hornbeck, although Matt is unaware that Mae arranged their romance. When Mae leaves Matt's office, she accidentally is given the purse of model Christina "Kitty" Bennett, and cannot resist reading a letter to Kitty from her married boyfriend, who promises to treat her better. When Kitty reclaims her purse, Mae gently advises her to end the relationship, and Kitty storms off. Later, Ina's snobbish mother refuses to pay Mae's commission, but is quick to blame Mae when Matt jilts Ina at the altar. Mae finds Matt soon after, and he explains that he could not bear to tie himself down, even though Ina's father had promised to fund his x-ray clinic. Mae reveals that she is a marriage broker and had set him up with Ina, but her humor and pragmatism overcome his brief fit of anger. On Sunday, the day when Mae fixes up couples at her home, she successfully introduces Wixted and Hazel, and Johannson and another client, Delia Seaton. Kitty also visits Mae to apologize for her rude behavior, and informs Mae that her boyfriend has proposed. Mae subtly questions Kitty about her boyfriend's wife, and makes her understand that she cannot find happiness by breaking the heart of another woman. Mae's sympathy ...

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Middle-aged New Yorker Mae Swasey is dedicated to her "Contacts and Contracts" business, through which she arranges marriages for lonely, shy and sometimes unattractive people. One afternoon, Mae consults with new client Hazel Gingras; Swedish bumbler Hjalmer Johannson; and optician George Wixted, to whom she wants to introduce Hazel. Mae then discovers that wealthy client Ina Kuschner has become engaged to handsome x-ray technician Matt Hornbeck, although Matt is unaware that Mae arranged their romance. When Mae leaves Matt's office, she accidentally is given the purse of model Christina "Kitty" Bennett, and cannot resist reading a letter to Kitty from her married boyfriend, who promises to treat her better. When Kitty reclaims her purse, Mae gently advises her to end the relationship, and Kitty storms off. Later, Ina's snobbish mother refuses to pay Mae's commission, but is quick to blame Mae when Matt jilts Ina at the altar. Mae finds Matt soon after, and he explains that he could not bear to tie himself down, even though Ina's father had promised to fund his x-ray clinic. Mae reveals that she is a marriage broker and had set him up with Ina, but her humor and pragmatism overcome his brief fit of anger. On Sunday, the day when Mae fixes up couples at her home, she successfully introduces Wixted and Hazel, and Johannson and another client, Delia Seaton. Kitty also visits Mae to apologize for her rude behavior, and informs Mae that her boyfriend has proposed. Mae subtly questions Kitty about her boyfriend's wife, and makes her understand that she cannot find happiness by breaking the heart of another woman. Mae's sympathy encourages Kitty to end the relationship, and she stays the night at Mae's apartment. The next morning, remembering a story told to her by a client, Mae pretends that she has lost an earring and that Kitty has swallowed it, in order to take her to meet Matt. Matt x-rays Kitty and does not find the earring, but is attracted to her when Mae insists that she is not trying to set them up. Mae and Kitty become good friends, although Kitty is still unaware of what Mae does for a living. Mae's secretary Alice is confused when Mae turns away a prospective client, also named Mrs. Swasey, for business has not been good and Mae is behind in her bills. Mae refuses to explain her reaction and instead helps two children who want to find happiness for their widowed father. That evening, Kitty goes out with Matt, and the couple quickly fall in love. Mae plots to make Matt jealous by sending flowers to Kitty, and her scheme works as the two spend more time together. Mae assures Matt that she has had nothing to do with his romance with Kitty, and taunts him about his declarations that he would never get married. Soon after, Hazel, who is engaged to Wixted, is selecting her trousseau at Kitty's shop, when her sister-in-law unwittingly informs Kitty about Mae's profession. Infuriated that Mae has meddled in her life, Kitty confronts her and calls her business despicable. Mae is heartbroken by Kitty's rejection, as is Matt, whom Kitty refuses to see. Feeling like a failure, Mae decides to take a vacation, but her departure is interrupted by the re-appearance of the other Mrs. Swasey, Emmy. Mae is cold toward Emmy, for twenty years earlier, Emmy had stolen Mae's husband Frank. Emmy confides in Mae that since Frank's death, she has been terribly lonely, and because she is no longer young and cute, she needs help finding another man. Mae is comforted by Emmy's confession but refuses to help her, then leaves for a health resort called Sharon Springs. As the weeks pass, Kitty begins to regret her harsh words to Mae and goes to find her at her her office. There, Mae's longtime friend, newspaper advertising executive Doberman, informs Kitty how badly she hurt Mae, who performs a much-needed service by helping socially inept people find happiness. Hoping to atone, Kitty arranges for fishing fleet owner Dan Chancellor to meet Mae at Sharon Springs, and a romance between the two blossoms. Kitty also reconciles with Matt, who proposes, and they share their good news with Mae upon her return. Matt inadvertently reveals that Kitty arranged Mae's romance, however, and Mae realizes that the staid Dan is not right for her. Mae fixes Emmy up with Dan, however, and happily returns to her office, where Doberman reveals that he is romantically interested in her himself.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.