Little Miss Marker

Little Miss Marker (also known as The Girl in Pawn) is an American Pre-Code 1934 comedy-drama film directed by Alexander Hall. It was written by William R. Lipman, Sam Hellman, and Gladys Lehman after a 1932 short story of the same name by Damon Runyon. It stars Shirley Temple, Adolphe Menjou and Dorothy Dell in a story about a young girl held as collateral by gangsters. It was Temple's first starring role in a major motion picture and was crucial to establishing her as a major film star. It was inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 1998 and has been remade several times.


The film tells the story of "Marky" (Shirley Temple), whose father gives her to a gangster-run gambling operation as a "marker" (collateral) for a bet. When he loses his bet and commits suicide, the gangsters are left with her on their hands. They decide to keep her temporarily and use her to help pull off one of their fixed races, naming her the owner of the horse to be used in the race.