the mating game
the year: 1959
the genre: comedy
the cast: Paul Douglas (Pop larkin); Una Merkel (Ma Larkin); Debbie Reynolds (Mariette Larkin); Tony Randall (Lorenzo "Clarlie" Charlton); Fred Clark (Oliver Kelsey)
the plot: Irritated neighbor Wendell Burnshaw brings the Larkin family to the attention of the Internal Revenue Service. Lorenzo Charlton is assigned to the case and Ma and Pop Larkin warmly welcome him to their family farm in Maryland, at first unaware of why he is there. Lorenzo is aghast to learn that the Larkins have never filed a tax return. With their cooperation, he sets out to figure out what, if anything, they owe in the way of back taxes - a difficult task, as Pop usually just trades for what they need and keeps no records. Lorenzo and the eldest Larkin daughter Mariette become attracted to each other, but he doesn't let that get in the way of his work...at least not at first.
listen for: "Don't you boys have a project to work on?"
also listen for: "Lorenzo, what's holding you up down there?" "What's holding me up? The truth of the matter is I'm defying the law of gravity."
don't miss: Lorenzo's version of I've Got You Under My Skin.
also listen for: "You know, whenever I get in a nasty mood, I just come out here and I lie down and listen, and look. And in no time at all, whatever has been bothering me seems no bigger than one leaf on a whole tree. Now you tell me how much that's worth and I'll pay the taxes on it myself."
did you know: the film was loosely based on a British novel, The Darling Buds of May by H.E. Bates.