The confused pastor reveals he only stopped by to express his gratitude for the organ, which Chief Guthrie plays in church. When Pop asks if government property belongs to everyone, Lorenzo replies affirmatively, which sends Lee and Grant sneaking out to his car. Alas, Debbie never starts singing, so the film highlights her comedic skills. Since it runs just around 90 minutes — the perfect length for a comedy — opportunities for longer bits are cut short and for the better. Unwillingly calmed by the restful setting, Lorenzo confides his ambition of gaining a law degree to serve in Congress in order to instill responsibility in the nation's citizens.
Ma and Pop Larkin warmly welcome him to their family farm in , at first unaware of why he is there. The film was written by very loosely based on a British novel, by , which was later adapted into a more faithful 1991—93 British , starring in the role that Debbie Reynolds plays in the film. Pop Paul Douglas in his final movie and Ma Una Merkel Larkin are those annoying, quirky neighbors next door that you try to ignore. Pop decides not to accept it, as he did nothing to earn it, but Lorenzo gets Bigelow to agree to apply it against all present and future taxes owing. Kelsey assigns his best investigator, clever Lorenzo Charlton, to the case. Undaunted, Mariette rushes off to Washington to confront Inspector General Bigelow.
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. After Bigelow agrees, Lorenzo follows Mariette to the haystack as Burnshaw's hog breaks out of his pen to rejoin the Larkin sow. She gets thrown around like a Frisbee in this movie. Lorenzo Charlton is assigned to the case by his boss, Kelsey. As dinner time approaches, Lorenzo begins listing the family's assets, while, at Ma's suggestion, Mariette changes out of her work clothes and Pop puts together a specialty cocktail.
The Mating Game 1959 This is an online movie guide. Aghast at Lorenzo's disheveled state, Kelsey takes over the audit. He takes charge of the investigation and sends Lorenzo back to the office in disgrace. That night when Kelsey calls and realizes that Lorenzo is drunk, he orders him to check into a hotel and finish the audit the following day. Insulted by Lorenzo's suspicions, Mariette storms off on her horse, ignoring Lorenzo's apologies. Lorenzo is aghast to learn that the Larkins have never filed a tax return. The Mating Game -Debbie Reynolds -Tony Randall Tax collector Lorenzo Charlton comes to the Larkins' farm to ask why Pop Larkins hasn't paid his back taxes.
Meanwhile, Mariette goes to see Lorenzo. As everyone bursts into cheers, Pop tells Bigelow he doesn't want the money if he and his family can simply remain tax free all their lives. When Kelsey and Burnshaw drop by to check his progress, Kelsey is displeased with this development. With great difficulty, they manage to see Inspector General Bigelow. Made-for-television movies are distributed in 4:3 small screen.
Meanwhile, Ma tells Pa that she thinks that Mariette likes Lorenzo and they wonder how they might encourage him to remain longer. After hanging up with Kelsey, Lorenzo lectures the Larkins that cheating the government is like cheating your family because the government is made up of the people. Charlton has to stay for a day to try to estimate the income from the farm, but it isn't easy to calculate when the farmer has such a lovely daughter, Mariette. Lorenzo and the eldest Larkin daughter, Mariette , become attracted to each other, but he does not let that get in the way of his work, at least not at first. Mariette summons the family to help defend Lorenzo and in the midst of the ensuing melee, Kelsey and Burnshaw arrive. As an example of the difficulties wrought by using money, Pop tells Lorenzo that during the Civil War, the government took the family's horses and never paid for them, despite a written guarantee. A little later, three of Mariette's local boyfriends come visiting and, finding the couple kissing in a haystack, attack Lorenzo.
Lorenzo returns to his office surprised that he is more upset about letting the Larkins down, than in potentially ruining his career. Lorenzo blurts out that being drunk, he has no recollection of his actions. Pop thanks his friends for their kindness, then is interrupted by the arrival of a helicopter carrying Bigelow, Lorenzo and Mariette. The next morning, Mariette tiptoes back to her room to retrieve clothes and, waking, Lorenzo is shocked, believing they have spent the night together. Directed by the incredibly prolific George Marshall, The Mating Game is a tightly orchestrated comedy that never plays its jokes too long.
The following day, Burnshaw and DeGroot meet with Internal Revenue Service district chief Oliver Kelsey and learn that the Larkins have never filed a tax return. Sound: Mono Westrex Recording System Production Co: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. Without commercial breaks, the full movie The Mating Game has a duration of 96 minutes; the official trailer can be streamed on the Internet. Returning to the house, Lorenzo is disturbed that Lee and Grant have cleaned his car, but they explain that helping others is natural. When Pop offers Lornezo advice on women, Lorenzo wearily asks for the property probate file, hoping to learn the value of the farm when it was inherited.
Sensing Lorenzo's frustration, Mariette offers to help him inventory of the property. The Larkins are unable to pay such a large sum, so Kelsey tells them they can either sell the farm to Burnshaw or face. Unnerved by Mariette's buoyant charm, Lorenzo struggles to maintain a professional attitude and sternly demands to see the family's financial books. When Lorenzo announces that he has determined that the organ the family acquired provides five hundred dollars of taxable profit, Pop counters that he donated it to the church. Brushing aside Kelsey's report, Bigelow informs Pop that the ninety-six-year-old horse claim reveals that, due to the interest accrued, the government owes the Larkins fourteen million dollars.
Reynolds sings the title song during the opening credits. Overhearing the conversation, Grant and Lee offer to tamper with the car, but Ma reminds them it is a government vehicle. Confounded by the Larkins continual ability to evade firm financial earnings, Lorenzo accepts Pop's cocktail and soon is dancing wildly with Mariette to music from the record player. Some moonshine, however, and Pop's lovely daughter, Mariette Debbie Reynolds , help Lorenzo learn to relax, and he decides to help the Larkins' find a legal loophole. After proudly relating that the farm has been in the family for over one hundred and fifty years, Mariette then takes Lorenzo to a spot by the river and declares it offers the most priceless thing the Larkins own: peace and contentment. The family's only hope is a receipt for 30 horses bought by the government in the and never paid for.