Little Miss Marker - 1934
Little Miss Marker - Released June 1, 1934. Directed by Alexander Hall
Shirley Temple is left with a bookie (Adolphe Menjou) as 'marker' for a bet, and when the father never returns, Menjou has to make decisions about what to do as a sudden surrogate father and protector. Dorothy Dell is a professional songstress and "mob-moll" who is drawn to the abandoned child and subsequently is around Menjou a lot, to the consternation of her mobster boyfriend.
This film, based on the Damon Runyon story, has a large sentimental streak and mixes together tough guys, tough girls, gambling, race-fixing and other "underworld" items with the broad smiles of Shirley Temple. Menjou gets to play a world-weary, toughened bookie who get's his crusty exterior penetrated by a helpless little girl, and though there's a great deal of humor in the script, it wouldn't mean a lot unless we have a threat of danger, which shows up in the last act of the tale.
Remade many times, and "borrowed" from by many other films. If Little Miss Marker reminds you of Capra's 1933 Lady for a Day, it's because both original stories were written by Runyon.
Original Page July 2017
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