In Little Miss Broadway, Shirley Temple shows an improvement in her tap dancing, her singing and her ability to turn on at will whatever emotional faucet is demanded by the script.
With Jimmy Durante, George Murphy, Edna Mae Oliver, George Barbier, Donald Meek and El Brendel in featured roles, something approaching hilarity is expected. The result is far short of the promise. Shirley is a standout, but the others through faulty cutting of the film and undeveloped opportunities in the script never quite get their openings to score.
Shirley is introduced as a ward in an orphan asylum. She is discharged into the care of an uncle (Edward Ellis) who manages a theatrical hotel near Broadway called Variety. Edna May Oliver, who owns the building and lives close by, is annoyed by the constant rehearsing of the acts and decides to close the place by demanding immediate payment of past due rent.
Her nephew (George Murphy) intercedes at the behest of Shirley Temple, but the issue finds its way to court where the acts give a dress rehearsal of a musical revue, which they hope will earn enough money to meet the financial obligation.
Walter Bullock and Harold Spina have written six songs which Shirley sings, some solo, others with chorus.