The Walter Matthau version of "Little Miss Marker" tries very hard to capture the authentic 1930s Damon Runyon flavor. The art direction is superb, the Henry Mancini score is wonderful, and Matthau is fine as always, but the film promises more than it delivers. The original Runyon story tells of a hard-hearted bookie who reluctantly accepts a little girl as security for a wager, and gradually thaws out as he cares for the child as his own. The story (faithfully told in the 1934 Adolphe Menjou-Shirley Temple film version) strikes all the right notes as the plot progresses, but the 1980 script rambles aimlessly and often overlooks key plot points, with many missed opportunities for the Runyon warmth and humor. Still watchable thanks to Matthau and villain Tony Curtis, but what should have been a sure winner finishes out of the money.