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1930s & Earlier / Shirley Temple - Laugh You Son of a Gun
This is a clip from the 1934 Paramount film Little Miss Marker starring Shirley Temple. Shirley was newly under contract to 20th Century Fox in 1934, but she was loaned to Paramount for this film which turned out to be a big hit. It was a mistake 20CF would not make again. Despite Temple's winning presence, this is an adult film. The movie's plot revolves around bookie Sorrowful Jones (played by Adolphe Menjou) who accepts Marthy Jane (Temple) as security for a "marker"--gamblers' lingo for an IOU--to cover a $20 horse racing wager placed by her down-and-out father. When his horse loses, the father kills himself, so Jones and his gambling syndicate cronies are left in charge of Marthy. Here Shirley, who is not quite six years old, sings Laugh, You Son of a Gun. Dorothy Dell, the actress in this clip, died shortly after the film's release in an auto accident on June 8, 1934. Although Dell looked much older, she was only 19 years old.