Little Miss Marker (1980 film)

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Little Miss Marker
Directed by Walter Bernstein
Produced by Jennings Lang
Walter Matthau
Written by Walter Bernstein
Damon Runyon
Starring Walter Matthau
Julie Andrews
Tony Curtis
Bob Newhart
Lee Grant
Sara Stimson
Brian Dennehy
Kenneth McMillan
Music by Henry Mancini
Cinematography Philip H. Lathrop
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release date
  • March 21, 1980 (1980-03-21)
Running time
103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $6,321,392[1]

Little Miss Marker is a 1980 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Walter Bernstein, based on a short story by Damon Runyon. It stars Walter Matthau, Tony Curtis, Julie Andrews, Bob Newhart and new arrival Sara Stimson. It is a remake of the 1934 film of the same name starring Shirley Temple and Adolphe Menjou.


Sorrowful Jones (Matthau) is a gloomy, cantankerous bookie circa 1934, who is confronted by Carter, a gambler who cannot pay a $10 debt. He ultimately gives his 6-year-old daughter (Stimson) to Sorrowful's gangster-run gambling operation as a "marker" (collateral) for a bet. When he loses his bet and commits suicide, the gangsters are left with the "Kid" on their hands. Sorrowful's nervous assistant, Regret (Newhart), is concerned about the legalities of this, particularly the kidnapping statutes.

In the interim, a crime boss named Blackie (Curtis) coerces his longtime rival Sorrowful into financing a new gambling joint. It is opened in the stately home of Blackie's girlfriend, widowed Amanda Worthington (Andrews), who needs money to buy back her family property. Amanda is also counting on a racehorse of hers called Sir Galahad to ride to her rescue. While the Kid's personal needs inconvenience Sorrowful, a father-daughter relationship develops between them and they become inseparable. Amanda also takes a liking to the Kid, and reluctantly, the icy Sorrowful, who eventually comes to love her as well—much to Blackie's chagrin.


Award Nominations[edit]

In 1981, Sara Stimson was nominated for the female Young Artist Award in the category of Best Major Motion Picture - Family Entertainment. Stimson lost to Diane Lane for her performance in Touched by Love.[2] Little Miss Marker would become Stimson's only acting credit.[3]


Earlier remakes of Little Miss Marker included 1949 Paramount's Sorrowful Jones with Bob Hope and Lucille Ball, followed in 1962 by 40 Pounds of Trouble, which also featured Tony Curtis in a modified Sorrowful Jones role. This 1962 remake failed at the box office.


External links[edit]