Little Miss Broadway

Little Miss Broadway

Directed by Irving Cummings
Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck
Written by Harry Tugend
Jack Yellen
Starring Shirley Temple
Edna May Oliver
George Murphy
Phyllis Brooks
Music by Harold Spina
Walter Bullock
Cinematography Arthur C. Miller
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • July 29, 1938 (1938-07-29)
Running time
70 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Little Miss Broadway is a 1938 American musical drama film directed by Irving Cummings. The screenplay was written by Harry Tugend and Jack Yellen. The film stars Shirley Temple in a story about a theatrical boarding house and its occupants, and was originally titled Little Lady of Broadway. In 2009, the film was available on DVD and videocassette.


Betsy Brown is released from an orphanage into the care of Pop Shea, her parents' friend who runs a boarding house for theatrical performers. Sarah Wendling, the curmudgeon owner and next-door neighbor of the building, detests "show people" and their noise, and demands Pop pay the $2,500 back rent he owes or move out immediately. Her nephew Roger is in love with Pop's daughter Barbara and files suit against Sarah in order to gain control of the building and his inheritance, with which he plans to stage a show starring the hotel residents. Sarah questions the soundness of Roger's investment in the show, and Betsy convinces the judge to see the production before he decides the case. With the assistance of her friends, the little girl presents a lavish musical revue in the courtroom that so impresses one of the observers he offers the troupe $2,500 a week to star in his International Follies. Having had a change of heart, Sarah insists the show is worth $5,000 and convinces the impresario to double his offer. Roger and Barbara then announce their intent to wed and adopt Betsy.



Murphy, who was not satisfied with the dance routine in "We Should Be Together," insisted that movie's closing dance number be reworked. Despite Temple's mother's concerns, Temple was on board with it. The dance number proved so popular with the cast and crew that Murphy and Temple gave an encore performance after the cameras stopped rolling.[1]


Six songs were written by Harold Spina (music) and Walter Bullock (lyrics). All were performed by Temple.

Other songs appearing in the movie include:


Critical reception

The New York Times wrote, "The devastating Mistress Temple is slightly less devastating than usual [...] it can't be old age, but it does look like weariness [...] although she performs with her customary gaiety and dimpled charm, there is no mistaking the effort every dimple cost her."[2]

TV Guide called it "a delightful Shirley Temple vehicle in which she again does what she does best portray a singing, dancing, pouting orphan girl."[3]

Home media

The film has been released on videocassette and DVD. Some editions have special features and theatrical trailers.

See also


  1. Shirley Temple Black, "Child Star: An Autobiography" (New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, 1988), 210.
  2. Nugent, Frank S. (23 July 1938), Little Miss Broadway, The New York Times
  3. Little Miss Broadway, TV Guide
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