Little Miss Marker (1934)

75, 78 or 80 mins | Comedy-drama | 1 June 1934

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HISTORY

The working title of the film was Half Way Decent . The title card of the film reads "Damon Runyon's Little Miss Marker ." Lynne Overman and Jack Sheehan made their film debuts in this film. According to copyright records, Los Angeles surgeon Vern Sopher was technical adviser for the hospital scene. An article in a 1941 LAEX stated that producer Buddy DeSylva was considering the possibility of a follow-up film starring Shirley Temple, Adolphe Menjou and Lynne Overman, tentatively titled Little Miss Marker Grows Up . This film was never made. A modern source notes that Paramount had been considering casting Jackie Cooper in a revised version of the Runyon story before they borrowed Shirley Temple from Fox Film Corp. Modern sources include Hattie McDaniel, Bill Robinson and Bessie Lyle in the cast. Also based on Runyon's story are Paramount's 1949 film Sorrowful Jones , directed by Sidney Lanfield and starring Bob Hope, Lucille Ball and Jane Saunders; Universal's 1962 film Forty Pounds of Trouble , directed by Norman Jewison and starring Tony Curtis, Suzanne Pleshette and Claire Wilcox; and Universal's 1980 film Little Miss Marker , directed by Walter Bernstein and starring Walter Matthau, Julie Andrews and Tony ... More Less

The working title of the film was Half Way Decent . The title card of the film reads "Damon Runyon's Little Miss Marker ." Lynne Overman and Jack Sheehan made their film debuts in this film. According to copyright records, Los Angeles surgeon Vern Sopher was technical adviser for the hospital scene. An article in a 1941 LAEX stated that producer Buddy DeSylva was considering the possibility of a follow-up film starring Shirley Temple, Adolphe Menjou and Lynne Overman, tentatively titled Little Miss Marker Grows Up . This film was never made. A modern source notes that Paramount had been considering casting Jackie Cooper in a revised version of the Runyon story before they borrowed Shirley Temple from Fox Film Corp. Modern sources include Hattie McDaniel, Bill Robinson and Bessie Lyle in the cast. Also based on Runyon's story are Paramount's 1949 film Sorrowful Jones , directed by Sidney Lanfield and starring Bob Hope, Lucille Ball and Jane Saunders; Universal's 1962 film Forty Pounds of Trouble , directed by Norman Jewison and starring Tony Curtis, Suzanne Pleshette and Claire Wilcox; and Universal's 1980 film Little Miss Marker , directed by Walter Bernstein and starring Walter Matthau, Julie Andrews and Tony Curtis. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
24 Feb 34
p. 3.
Daily Variety
24 Mar 34
p. 1.
Daily Variety
27 Apr 34
p. 3.
Film Daily
19 May 34
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Apr 34
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
29 May 34
p. 7.
Motion Picture Herald
5 May 34
p. 44.
New York Times
19 May 34
p. 18.
Variety
22 May 34
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A B. P. Schulberg Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SOUND
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Little Miss Marker" by Damon Runyon in Collier's (26 Mar 1932).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Low-Down Lullaby," "Laugh You Son-of-a-Gun" and "I'm a Black Sheep Who's Blue," music by Ralph Rainger, lyrics by Leo Robin.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Damon Runyon's Little Miss Marker
Half Way Decent
Release Date:
1 June 1934
Production Date:
began 28 February 1934
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
31 May 1934
Copyright Number:
LP4734
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
75, 78 or 80
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Against his better judgement, Broadway bookie Sorrowful Jones accepts a little girl as a "marker," or I.O.U., for her father's twenty-dollar bet on the horse "Dream Prince." Big Steve Halloway, who owns "Dream Prince" and the Horse Shoe Cabaret, gets his cohorts to bet on "Dream Prince" to lose, because he knows that if he "speedballs" the horse with drugs one more time, the horse will die. Later, however, Steve plans to race the horse to win, and asks Jones to front him ten thousand dollars to bet. An article in the newspaper that day informs Jones and Steve's gang that Steve is under investigation because of his previous bet, and another article announces that the little girl's father committed suicide. Dubbing her Little Miss Marker, although her real name is Martha Jane, the gang decides to make her owner of "Dream Prince" so they can race the horse without suspicion. "Marky" is delighted to have a horse of her own, because it fits in with all the Arthurian legends her mother read to her before she died, and is disappointed when Steve takes the horse away. Two of the gang's thugs, Sore Toe and Canvas Back, are appointed as babysitters, while Jones acts as her guardian. Marky renames all of her new pals with names of knights of the Round Table. After Steve goes to Chicago to place his bets, his girl friend, Bangles Carson, falls asleep at Jones's apartment while singing Marky to sleep. The next day, Bangles orders new clothes for Marky and, secretly in love with Jones, advises him he could use a new suit as well. ... +


Against his better judgement, Broadway bookie Sorrowful Jones accepts a little girl as a "marker," or I.O.U., for her father's twenty-dollar bet on the horse "Dream Prince." Big Steve Halloway, who owns "Dream Prince" and the Horse Shoe Cabaret, gets his cohorts to bet on "Dream Prince" to lose, because he knows that if he "speedballs" the horse with drugs one more time, the horse will die. Later, however, Steve plans to race the horse to win, and asks Jones to front him ten thousand dollars to bet. An article in the newspaper that day informs Jones and Steve's gang that Steve is under investigation because of his previous bet, and another article announces that the little girl's father committed suicide. Dubbing her Little Miss Marker, although her real name is Martha Jane, the gang decides to make her owner of "Dream Prince" so they can race the horse without suspicion. "Marky" is delighted to have a horse of her own, because it fits in with all the Arthurian legends her mother read to her before she died, and is disappointed when Steve takes the horse away. Two of the gang's thugs, Sore Toe and Canvas Back, are appointed as babysitters, while Jones acts as her guardian. Marky renames all of her new pals with names of knights of the Round Table. After Steve goes to Chicago to place his bets, his girl friend, Bangles Carson, falls asleep at Jones's apartment while singing Marky to sleep. The next day, Bangles orders new clothes for Marky and, secretly in love with Jones, advises him he could use a new suit as well. Surprising even himself, the crusty Jones pays for Marky's new clothes and buys himself a suit, reaffirming Bangles' faith in him. Bangles takes in Marky when the police come to search for her in Jones's apartment. Bangles' maid wires Steve that Bangles is seeing Jones, and Steve returns with vengeance on his mind. He interrupts a party at which Bangles, Jones and all their friends are dressed like knights of the Round Table. Bangles and Jones staged the party hoping to renew Marky's innocence and faith, which have been lost due to over-exposure to the gang's tough ways. When they allow Marky to ride "Dream Prince," Marky's sweetness is finally restored, but Steve causes the horse to rear, and it throws Marky to the floor. Jones rushes her to the hospital and drags the best children's surgeon away from his own wedding to operate on her. When Steve comes for revenge against Jones and Bangles, he is drafted into providing a life-saving blood transfusion for Marky. Feeling magnanimous after his donation, Steve bows out gracefully, while Jones destroys the speedball, thus ensuring "Dream Prince's" survival. He and Bangles rejoice in their love and Marky's recovery. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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