Dawn Powell's Walking Down Broadway was written in 1931 and never produced, although Fox bought the rights for Erich von Stroheim who made it into the movie Hello, Sister, which bears almost no resemblance to Powell's play. Marge and Elsie are two young girls newly arrived in New York from Marble Falls, Ohio. They work in an office, live in a rooming house on the upper west side and dream of the romance and glamour that lured them away from home in the first place. Unable to bear another night alone, they take to walking up and down Broadway where they meet two equally lonely and innocent young men.
It tells the story of love and lost innocence as unspoiled small-town naiveté collides with the bitterness and cynicism of world-weary New Yorkers-a theme that runs through almost all of Powell's writing. Written more than ten years after Powell's own arrival in New York from Ohio, it is tinged with nostalgia for her early days and yet unsparing, honest and almost startling for its mixture of romance and frankness.