Little Miss Marker (1934) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
Little Miss Marker (1934).rtf
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Little Miss Marker (1934)
A tiny child, left as an IOU at a race track by her insolvent father, charms her way into the hearts of a group of hard-boiled gamblers.
Adolphe Menjou ... Sorrowful Jones
Dorothy Dell ... Bangles Carson
Charles Bickford ... Big Steve Halloway
Shirley Temple ... Marthy 'Marky' Jane
Lynne Overman ... Regret
Warren Hymer ... Sore Toe
Sam Hardy ... Benny the Gouge
John Kelly ... Canvas Back
Frank McGlynn Sr. ... Doc Chesley
John Sheehan ... Sun Rise, a Bookie
Frank Conroy ... Doctor Ingalls
Despite only two songs, it's another entertaining Shirley Temple film. The story is familiar; it's been done several other times, once under the name "Sorrowful Jones," with Bob Hope. This movie is a bit different from that one, so you could own both and have two different slants on the famous Damon Runyon story.
This version has a lot more comedy from the supporting players, since Temple is cute but she' isn't going to be the main source of humor as Hope was in his films. In here, all the bookies and gangsters provide the humor. The leading male, played by Adolph Menjou, is a sourpuss but still likable. The leading adult female, Dorothy Dell, was a bit tough-looking, I thought, for this role.
Temple doesn't play as sweet a role as she did in most of her films, but she still has her tender moments. Nobody can produce a sentimental scene as quickly as Shirley could. In all, a nice film and enjoyable from start to finish.
Shirley Temple - not quite six years old - became a full-fledged movie star with LITTLE MISS MARKER. Loaned out to Paramount for the one picture, she emerged as a top of the bill powerhouse prepared to return to Fox Studios and become the most popular performer in Hollywood for the next five years. With genuine talent & an infectious sparkle, she would carve out her unassailable niche in film history.
To its credit, the fast moving script allows her to be a little less than saintly, with a normal dose of cranks & crotchets. Even so, her costars, as well as the audience, become her willing slaves in short order. Adolphe Menjou, as the cynical gambler who takes her in, and Charles Bickford as his tough boss, find themselves completely overwhelmed by the mighty moppet. Both of these gentlemen were abundantly experienced actors, used to controlling viewers' attentions in their screen scenes; it must have been somewhat odd for them to be reduced to so much stage dressing - but Shirley's ascendant flood swamped all other boats.
The Damon Runyon story is well served by the rest of the colorful cast, but it is easy to regret every minute the Small One does not appear on screen. Shirley became quite close to pretty Dorothy Dell, playing a nightclub chanteuse involved with both Bickford & Menjou. The news of Miss Dell's tragic death in a car wreck soon after filming completed was kept from Shirley for some time.
Movie mavens will recognize Willie Best as a friendly janitor & Tammany Young as a bettor, both uncredited.
I encountered this on TV recently when I had no intent whatsoever of watching any film, but found myself glued to the edge of my seat till the very end. I'm now stumped to think I once saw it as a child and as a child's film. The levels of sensitivity and depth of feeling, the Tempest-like voices from the Brave New World of old New York, are so wonderful, I see it now overwhelmingly as an adult's film. I'll say no more, other than to point to this as another example of the failure of our rating system. Oh, Menjou and Dell... To think that this masterpiece is only rated six and a half by its fifty-five voters at this point, while lowest common denominator junk too often rates substantially higher...
* Adolphe Menjou was having difficulty with a particular line in the script. At the prompting of others on the set, Shirley Temple, (aged 6) turned to director Alexander Hall and asked "Is it too late to replace Mr. Menjou on this picture?".
* The character of Regret, named after the prize winning 1915 racehorse, was in fact Otto "Abadabba" Berman, the financial genius behind gangster Dutch Schultz's business empire and best friend of writer Damon Runyon. Berman was shot dead in a hit on Schultz a year after the film's release.
* Lucille Ward is in studio records for the role of Mrs. Walsh, but she did not appear in the film. Modern sources add Hattie McDaniel, Bill Robinson, Bessie Lyle and Nora Cecil (as Head of Home Finding Society), but none of these actors were in the film either.
* For the scene in which Marky is thrown from a horse, Shirley Temple was wired to an overhead crane and carefully lowered to the ground.
* One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since.