The Mating Season is a 1951 comedy directed by Mithell Leisen. Ellen McNulty (Thelma Ritter) is a struggling widow who has just lost a New Jersey hamburger stand to bank foreclosure. She decides to pay a surprise visit to her son, Val (John Lund), to ask him if she can move into his modest Ohio apartment. When she arrives, Val's new wife Maggie (Gene Tierney), who has never met Val's mother, mistakes Ellen for the maid. Since Maggie seems to need help preparing for a big party, Ellen does not correct her mistake. Finding it difficult to stop the ruse, Ellen convinces reluctant Val to keep her identity a secret. When Maggie's mother (Miriam Hopkins) comes for a visit and Ellen learns startling information about Val's boss, it becomes more and more difficult to keep up the charade. As a series of misunderstandings begin to break up her son's happy marriage, will Ellen finally confess her true identity?