20 October 2004 | director1616
A Tremendously Overlooked Diamond of a Film!
Though there may be a tendency to compare the 1980 version of "Little Miss Marker" to the 1934 version (with Shirley Temple as The Kid), writer/director Walter Bernstein captures the very essence of the 1930's with his screenplay and direction, respectively. One of the reasons I loved the 1980 version is the set designs and the vivid colors of the film. But even more importantly, I loved Walter Matthau's performance as Sorrowful Jones. He has great one-liners that only add to this gem of a film. Of course, nobody plays a sidekick better than Bob Newhart, who plays Regret. Newhart and Matthau made a great team in this movie, and I wish they had worked on more films together. I love The Kid (played by one-time film actress Sara Stimson), for she adds a cuteness to her character that is similar to Shirley Temple's "Kid", but yet is different in that her character displays quite a bit more innocence. Julie Andrews is more than believable as Amanda Worthington, as she tries to soften the two men in her life. And one should not forget Tony Curtis, who is perfect Blackie.
I regret that this movie didn't make more money at the box office, because it did capture the lives of the poor majority and privileged minority during the Depression very well. And it is funny and just a fun movie to watch. Little Miss Marker is one of my favorite films (added to the already long list) because it looks great cinemagraphic-wise, the script is well done, and the performances are very, very good. I find it interesting that this version of the famous Damon Runyon story is the first to be released on DVD (2004). Don't miss this chance to buy it and own it. You won't be sorry.