The Model and the Marriage Broker

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The Model and the Marriage Broker
Poster of the movie The Model and the Marriage Broker.jpg
Directed by George Cukor
Produced by Charles Brackett
Written by Charles Brackett
Richard L. Breen
Walter Reisch
Starring Jeanne Crain
Scott Brady
Thelma Ritter
Music by Cyril J. Mockridge
Cinematography Milton R. Krasner
Edited by Robert L. Simpson
Distributed by 20th-Century Fox
Release date
  • November 1951 (1951-11)
Running time
103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1.5 million (US rentals)[1]

The Model and the Marriage Broker is a 1951 romantic comedy film about a marriage broker. Though Jeanne Crain (as the model) is top billed, the movie revolves around Thelma Ritter's character (the broker), in a rare leading role for Ritter. Scott Brady also stars. The film is directed by George Cukor and produced by Charles Brackett.[2]


Through her "Contacts and Contracts" company, Mae Swasey is busy scheming to bring couples together. It is not very rewarding financially, and Mae is in debt. Even one of her seeming successes, Ina Kuschner's impending wedding to Radiographer Matt Hornbeck, does not go as hoped. Ina's mother refuses to pay Mae the agreed-upon $500 commission. Mae, however, gets the last laugh; Matt gets cold feet at the last moment and leaves the bride waiting at the altar.

When Mae goes to see another client, her purse is accidentally taken by model Kitty Bennett, while she gets Kitty's lookalike one. Looking inside for something to identify its owner, Mae reads a letter in which Kitty's current boyfriend apologizes for not mentioning that he is married (but wants to keep on seeing her). When the two women get together to exchange purses, Kitty becomes annoyed when she discovers Mae has read her letter and rejects Mae's advice to give the self-admitted "heel" up.

Kitty comes to apologize for her unkind words later. Mae talks her into breaking up with the married man, then tries to fix her up with Matt by pretending that Kitty may have swallowed a missing earring (which may have fallen into an omelet Mae was preparing) and requires an X-ray.

Mae's own sister Emmy shows up. Twenty years before, she had stolen Mae's husband. Now that she is recently widowed and lonely, she wants Mae to find her a replacement. Mae turns her down.

Matt and Kitty become a couple, but when Kitty learns about Mae's meddling and her plans to maneuver a commitment-averse Matt into proposing, she ends their friendship. Mae goes away to a resort to think things over.

When Kitty goes to make up with Mae at her office, she runs into Mr. Johannson, one of Mae's clients, who needs help desperately to patch up his relationship. Kitty reluctantly takes the absent Mae's place. Then Mae's friend Doberman explains how badly she hurt Mae, that Mae thought of her as the daughter she never had, and that Mae helps those who are shy, need a helpful push, or are not as pretty as Kitty. Afterward, Kitty tries to arrange a relationship for Mae with Dan Chancellor, a wealthy Canadian bachelor who had heard of Mae's service. Mae and Kitty become friends again, but Mae comes to realize she herself will never be lonely as long as she has people to help. She decides that Dan would actually be a better match for Emmy. In addition, Matt realizes he wants to marry Kitty after all, and gets her to agree to it. Finally, Doberman surprises Mae by presenting himself as her suitor.



  1. ^ 'Top Box-Office Hits of 1952', Variety, January 7, 1953
  2. ^ "The Model and the Marriage Broker". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved September 6, 2016. 

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