The Model and the Marriage Broker
Directed by George Cukor
Written by Charles Brackett, Walter Reisch, and Richard L. Breen
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
First viewing/Amazon Instant
Mae Swasey: About 50-50.
1951 was Thelma Ritter’s year it seems.
Mae Swasey is a marriage broker who introduces lonely hearts to other lonely hearts for a fee. Sometimes one half of the couple does not know it has been set up as is the case of radiologist Matt Hornbeck (Scott Brady). But the mother of the fiancee refuses to pay up and Matt gets cold feet at the last moment.
One day, Mae picks up the handbag of department store model Kitty Bennett (Jeanne Crain) by mistake. In it, she reads a love letter from a married man. When Kitty comes to return Mae’s bag and retrieve her own, Mae gives her some strong motherly advice to dump him. Then Mae decides to do a little pro bono marriage brokering and bring Matt and Kitty together.
She keeps her involvement secret from the two and her scheme works swimmingly until Kitty discovers Mae’s profession. Initially Kitty is furious but eventually she decides the best revenge is to do a little secret marriage brokering of her own. With Zero Mostel as one of Mae’s clients.
This was pleasant, if not great. Ritter is always good and she is undoubtedly the lead here. I am beginning to like Crain more and more, too. There is some snappy dialogue but mostly it’s a fairly predictable but solid romantic comedy.
The Model and the Marriage Broker was Oscar-nominated for Best Costume Design, Black-and-White.