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Adorable Sybil Jason tugs on the heartstrings of everyone save the most hard-boiled gangsters in this obvious attempt by Warners to come up with their own Shirley Temple. It almost works! Sybil plays an abandoned little girl whose innocence wins over a small-time con man (Armstrong) and his partner-in-petty crime (Edward Everett Horton). Indeed, Horton's presence here lends some humanity to the big lug that Armstrong plays--anyone with well-meaning bumbler Horton as his best pal can't be all bad. The gang warfare that underlies the plot makes for an uneasy ride for the little girl and the audience, however. Sybil is both charming and heart-rending as "The Countess", and the highlight is her rendition of the title song on the street to make some money for her new-found adopted father figures. But when the plot explodes in a burst of gunfire in a deadly police raid at movie's end it is clear why this movie failed at building a Shirley Temple-like franchise for Warners: falling back on their tried-and-true gangster formula, they mixed a bit too much death and danger into this story to make it a winner with family audiences. It's a shame, too, because Sybil Jason was definitely star material and could have given Temple a run for her money. (Jason later got to serve at the feet of the prototype herself (literally!) when she winningly played a Cockney chargirl to "The Little Princess" in 1939.)
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