Mating Game, The (1959): George Marshall’s Romantic Comedy, Starring Debbie Reynolds and Tony Randall

George Marshall directed The Mating Game, Metrocolor comedy in CinemaScope, starring Debbie Reynolds, Tony Randall and, in his final film role, Paul Douglas.

Scripted by William Roberts, the tale was very loosely based on the 1958 British novel, The Darling Buds of May by H. E. Bates, which was later adapted into a 1991–1993 British miniseries, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones in the Debbie Reynolds role.

The Premise:

Irritated neighbor Wendell Burnshaw (Philip Ober) brings the Larkin family to the attention of the Internal Revenue Service. Lorenzo Charlton (Tony Randall) is assigned to the case by his boss, Kelsey (Fred Clark). Ma (Una Merkel) and Pop Larkin (Paul Douglas) warmly welcome him to their family farm in Maryland, unaware of why he is there.

Reynolds sings the title song during the opening credits.

The film earned $2.6 million in the US and Canada and $1,3 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $1,26.

Tony Randall as Lorenzo Charlton
Debbie Reynolds as Mariette Larkin
Paul Douglas as Pop Larkin
Una Merkel as Ma Larkin
Fred Clark as Oliver Kelsey
Philip Ober as Wendell Burnshaw
Philip Coolidge as Reverend Osgood
Charles Lane as Inspector General Bigelow
Trevor Bardette as Chief Guthrie