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A young girl is left with the notoriously cheap Sorrowful Jones as a marker for a bet. When her father doesn't return, he learns that taking care of a child interferes with his free-wheeling lifestyle. Sorrowful must also evade crooked gangsters and indulge in a bit of horse-thieving. Written by
Erica Schulman <email@example.com>
Another Damond Runyon dud on screen...lacks sparkle of Shirley Temple...
Damon Runyon was another one of those writers whose work never transferred very successfully to the screen. Even the great Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald had troublesome films made from their novels. Runyon failed before with THE BIG STREET (Lucille Ball as a hard-boiled dame using Henry Fonda as a doormat) but had better luck when GUYS AND DOLLS transformed one of his works into a musical.
Here it fails once again to provide BOB HOPE and LUCILLE BALL with anything more than routine roles in this racetrack comedy about an unlikely man to chaperone a kid (MARY JANE SAUNDERS in the role originated by Shirley Temple in "Little Miss Marker"). Saunders is cute, but that's about it. She's no Temple and never went on to child star stardom as Temple did.
Sidney Lanfield directed a lot of lightweight films for Paramount, not all of them successful, and this has to be counted among his least likable comedies--unless, of course, you happen to be a fan of the stars and can watch them in anything.
Hope has some amusing one-liners as the man who takes a marker on a kid who becomes a big part of his life and Lucille Ball has a few quips of her own. Adolphe Menjou played the unsuitable man in the Temple film, with better and more believable results. Hope and Ball are simply killing time here and it shows.
The story, which depends so much on the charisma and appeal of a child star, simply hasn't got the strength to support Hope and Ball. This one's a real loser without the charm of the original.
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