Managed Money: Shirley Temple, Sidney Miller, and Junior Coghlan in the 1934 Comedy Short

by DerdriuMarriner

In 1934, Americans do not believe in more world wars. They do know that military schools boost careers. Does poverty trump merit or do firm wills find sure ways in “Managed Money”?

The name Francis Edward Coghlan, Jr. carries identity recognition for pilots of seas and skies.

The name Frank Coghlan, Jr. generates special meaning for film buffs of 1939’s blockbuster epic, Gone with the Wind, and of 1941’s 12-chapter serial, Adventures of Captain Marvel. The name Junior Coghlan holds a worldwide place among movie-goers for perfecting freckle-faced, mop-headed child and juvenile roles. And yet the three disparate contexts all involve one amiable, industrious, quintessential entertainer whose attention to detail and flair for drama explain 75+ professional years, with 23 years each devoted to Hollywood silent and talkie films, 1919 – 1942, and the U.S. Navy, 1942 – 1965.

All three personas may be deduced and predicted in Managed Money.

genie's lamp with caption "Educational Pictures" formed by smoke from lamp

logo of Educational Pictures (or Educational Film Exchanges, Inc.)
logo of Educational Pictures (or Educational Film Exchanges, Inc.)


Household budgeting heads one childhood friend into private school and keeps the other in public schooling in Managed Money by writers Ewart Adamson (October 23, 1882 – November 28, 1945) and Ernest Pagano (January 16, 1901 – April 29, 1953); producer Edwin Hampton Allen (November 15, 1885 – August 13, 1942); and director Charles Lamont (May 5, 1895 – September 12, 1993). Dwight Warren (July 18, 1889 – August 14, 1979) and Charles Arthur (nicknamed Jack) Noyes (November 25, 1902 – November 27, 1977) respectively oversee cinematography and sound. The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures serves as film editor through post-production access and pre-release standards. All filming unfurls on the premises of the Educational Films Corporation of America’s production company studios.


The 21-minute film concludes the four comedy shorts produced in the years 1933 – 1934 by Educational Films under the rubric “The Spice of the Program” and the serialization Frolics of Youth I - IV. It has the theatrical release date of February 23, 1934 by the distribution company, Fox Film Corporation. It offers closure to:

  • Merrily Yours of October 6, 1933;
  • What’s To Do? of November 24, 1933;
  • Pardon My Pups of January 26, 1934.

For example, it softens the generation gaps, identity crises, and sibling rivalries of the three prequels since:

  • Budget-bound parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Rogers, are in agreement, not conflict, with their first-born’s educational preferences;
  • Wild child, Mary Lou, does not thwart Sonny.


Genius inventor Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) would have barred mischievous Mary Lou (Shirley Temple) from his lab.

Upstairs at Thomas Edison's Menlo Park Lab (replicas made in 1929 in Greenfield Village). Pipe organ at back wall.
Upstairs at Thomas Edison's Menlo Park Lab (replicas made in 1929 in Greenfield Village). Pipe organ at back wall.


The movie begins with Sonny (Junior Coghlan, March 15, 1916 – September 7, 2009) producing terrible smells by pouring decanter and test-tube contents into a bowl. Sonny cautions Mary Lou (Shirley Temple, April 23, 1928 – 2/10/2014) not to touch anything while he leaves to chat with Sid (Sidney Miller, October 22, 1916 – January 10, 2004). Sid encourages childhood friend Sonny to join him at Burlington Fields next term. George Rogers (Harry Myers, September 5, 1882 – December 25, 1938) enthuses over a military academy education which he nevertheless cannot afford to give Sonny. The lab explodes with Mary Lou’s disobedient mixing and pouring. Sonny lifts Mary Lou from the Bentley banner’s wall nail to which the explosion attaches her.


The next morning, Sid and Sonny gather grub, pick, and shovel into a car drawing a donkey-occupied cart. Mary Lou gets into the trunk after being denied up-front seating. She has a gas mask to survive Sid and Sonny creating smoke-screens to hide their departure from George. She learns about mirages when Sid and Sonny pass an illusory mansion but slam into a real shack. Sid and Sonny leave her to guard the car while they prospect. They remain oblivious to her “yoo-hoos” -- which they confuse with owl hoots -- for help when an amnesiac whom she calls Gus seeks funny answers to:

  • How are beef, cabbage, corn best raised?
  • Why do chickens cross roads?


Mirages befuddle Mary Lou (Shirley Temple), Sid (Sidney Miller), and Sonny (Junior Coghlan) in "Managed Money."

superior mirage of Santa Barbara Island: photo taken from Santa Monica, California
superior mirage of Santa Barbara Island: photo taken from Santa Monica, California



The movie ends with:

  • Mary Lou considering Gus crazy for sand-diving into water mirages;
  • Two turtles fighting near a hitch-hiking lizard;
  • Mary Lou giving Gus a banana for guessing right, then left hand, as holding something;
  • The assayer, David, identifying Gus’s dust-filled bags as fool’s gold.

Gus explodes Sonny’s lab liquids and misses David’s news.  The explosion frees Gus’s blocked memories. David identifies Gus as long-lost Burlington institute founder, John Burlington. He offers Sonny a place at Burlington Fields military academy out of gratitude for Mary Lou’s kindness. Sid and Sonny therefore participate in the opening-term parade. Mary Lou salutes Gus/John. While holding Mary Lou, Gus/John stands alongside Sid’s and Sonny’s proud parents.


Shirley Temple Festival "Managed Money" (1934)

Published on YouTube on Nov 3, 2016, by ampopfilms ~ URL:



My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.


Sources Consulted


Black, Shirley Temple. October 1988. Child Star: An Autobiography. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Hevesi, Dennis. 3 October 2009. “Frank Coghlan Jr., Child Actor of Silent Era, Dies at 93.” The New York Times: Arts>Television. Retrieved on April 26, 2014.

  • Available at:

 Mendoza, Martha. 2014. “Shirley Temple Obituary.” Legacy Memorial Sites>2014>Actors>Featured Memorial: Shirley Temple. Retrieved on April 26, 2014.

  • Available at:


the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Movie Collection includes Merrily Yours in Shirley's Short Collection of 11 short films.

Hollywood Legends: Shirley Temple - 4 Movie Collection - The Little...

Shirley Temple, American child star of the 1930s, tucks into her birthday cake: photo from Mary Evans Picture Library 2007

10x14 Photo Puzzle with 252 pieces. Packed in black cardboard box 5 5/8 x 7 5/8 x 1 1/5. Puzzle image 5x7 affixed to box top.
Photo Jigsaw Puzzle

Shirley Temple in Paramount Publicity Photo, 1934

Shirley Temple in Paramount Publicity Photo, 1934

Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 08/02/2021, DerdriuMarriner
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