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Little Miss Broadway (1938)

Approved | | Drama, Musical | 29 July 1938 (USA)
An orphan is provisionally adopted by the manager of a hotel populated by show business people. The hotel's owner doesn't like the entertainers and wants the girl returned to the orphanage.


Irving Cummings


Harry Tugend (original screen play), Jack Yellen (original screen play)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shirley Temple ... Betsy Brown
George Murphy ... Roger Wendling
Jimmy Durante ... Jimmy Clayton
Phyllis Brooks ... Barbara Shea
Edna May Oliver ... Sarah Wendling (as Edna Mae Oliver)
George Barbier ... Fiske
Edward Ellis ... Pop Shea
Jane Darwell ... Miss Hutchins
El Brendel ... Ole
Donald Meek ... Willoughby Wendling
Patricia Wilder ... Flossie
Claude Gillingwater ... Judge (as Claude Gillingwater Sr.)
George Brasno George Brasno ... George Brasno (as George)
Olive Brasno Olive Brasno ... Olive Brasno (as Olive)
Charles Williams Charles Williams ... Mike Brody


An orphan is provisionally adopted by the manager of a hotel populated by show business people. The hotel's owner doesn't like the entertainers and wants the girl returned to the orphanage.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hotel | orphanage | orphan | twins | trial | See All (17) »


Drama | Musical


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 July 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bowery Princess See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Ben Welden (Taxi Driver) and Clarence Wilson (Scully) are in Studio Records for their roles, but they were not seen in the movie. They may have been filmed, but cut before release. See more »


Betsy is sent back to the orphanage, and the girls are trying to cheer her up. When the girl with the glasses says, "And when you're sad as all that," her lips are not moving. See more »


Sarah Wendling: Young lady, I've come here to tell you to let this nephew of mine alone. You let him pay your rent for you, didn't you?
Roger Wendling: Aunt Sarah!
Barbara Shea: I don't have to listen to this!
Roger Wendling: Aunt Sarah, that was uncalled for, unkind, and untrue!
Betsy Brown: Uncle Roger didn't give us any money! We got it from - from someone else.
Sarah Wendling: So it's Uncle Roger now, is it? Is Miss Shea your mother?
Betsy Brown: Practically.
Roger Wendling: Betsy is Mr. Shea's adopted child.
Sarah Wendling: Adopted, eh? So they brought her into this wholesome atmosphere, nice place for a child. Why, she's ...
See more »


Spoofed in The Carol Burnett Show: Episode #6.13 (1972) See more »


Down by the Old Mill Stream
(1910) (uncredited)
Written by Tell Taylor
Sung briefly during "Swing Me an Old Fashioned Song" sequence
See more »

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User Reviews

Shirley still sparkles in lackluster musical...
28 May 2001 | by Neil DoyleSee all my reviews

20th Century Fox was having a hard time coming up with original story material for Shirley Temple and this is one of their least inspired efforts. Yet, despite a weak script and the obvious fact that Shirley herself was getting a little too plump for her diminutive figure, there is a generous sprinkling of song routines to keep Shirley's fans satisfied. The added bonus is George Murphy as her dancing partner, no slouch in the tap-dance department.

Edna May Oliver comes on strong as a cantankerous old woman who wants to close a theatrical hotel for boarders. Jimmy Durante has a few fun moments but one of his routines with Temple was cut from the final print.

The courtroom finale has everyone doing a musical revue in court--something that could happen only in a Temple film! Shirley has a few pleasant ditties to sing: "Be Optimistic" and a song-and-dance routine with Murphy to "We Should Be Together".

Not one of Shirley's best. Recommended only for Temple fans.

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