Little Martha Jane, aka Little Miss Marker (Temple) is left with the bookmaker Sorrowful Jones by her dad as part of a bet on a horserace. Sorrowful (Menjou) and his group of fellow bookies... See full summary »
Little Martha Jane, aka Little Miss Marker (Temple) is left with the bookmaker Sorrowful Jones by her dad as part of a bet on a horserace. Sorrowful (Menjou) and his group of fellow bookies take to her, reluctantly at first, but their cynical ways start to rub off on her. Will a party set at Camelot bring back her faith in humanity? Written by
One Edward Earle a compulsive gambler can't cover a bet and leaves a marker with bookie Adolphe Menjou. The marker is quite alive, it's forty pounds of little daughter in the person of Shirley Temple. What to call her especially since her name is Martha but Little Miss Marker.
This Damon Runyon story filmed four times already and is about due for another retelling, is the story of how Shirley Temple managed to melt the hearts of all those Broadway sharpies that populate Runyon stories, people like Charles Bickford, Warren Hymer, Lynne Overman and Bickford's girl Dorothy Dell. In fact Temple causes a split between Bickford and Dell and plays a little girl cupid for Menjou and Dell.
The young lady is full of illusions, her mother used to read tales of King Arthur, but these guys who are in the business of odds making and occasional odds fixing when it comes to the kind that race on the track make pretty poor substitutes for Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere. Still in their own Broadway style they try to live up to little Shirley's image of them.
After Darryl Zanuck became head of the new 20th Century Fox studios his greatest asset in the form of America's favorite moppet would never be lent out like she was here to Paramount. Little Miss Marker represents a milestone in the career of Shirley Temple and the three remakes don't reach this standard. But Damon Runyon is timeless and I'll bet someone out there in Hollywood might be thinking of a fifth version.
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