Teenage Sunny (Junior Coghlan; aka, Frank Coghlan, Jr.) & his best friend Syd (Kenneth Howell) want to go to military school together, but only Sunny's dad can afford it. The lads needs to raise some money fast, so as to stick together, in the two-reel comedy Managed Money (1933).
Sonny & Syd decide to go prospecting for gold, taking a cute little donkey & the self-invited Mary Lou (Shirley Temple) who stowed away in the car. They come upon an unexpected mansion in the California desert, but then it vanishes. A mirage!
The boys go off digging for gold & Mary Lou stays with the car. A strange man (Huntley Gordon) who doesn't know who he is wanders into the tale & crazily tries to high-dive off a joshua tree into a mirage lake. Then the three kids & the strange man watch some nature footage of battling tortoises.
The crazy old coot claims to know where there's gold. "Follow me!" He actually gives them some of his stockpile of gold dust. The kids bring the kindly crazy guy back home with them.
The assayer shows up & declares the gold dust to be fool's gold. But the crazy prospector is mucking with a chemistry set & causes an explosion that gives him his memory back. He's John Barlington the founder of the military school. Because he was saved in the desert, he gives a military school scholarship to the lads as reward, & they won't have to be separated after all.
Definitely a kiddy film for the era without much adult interest, though Shirley is about as small as you can ever see her.
Dora (Ethyl Sykes) runs a donut stand & has a crush on a scruffy schoolteacher (Andy Sykes) who gets donuts from her every morning.
Shirley Temple is only three or four years old but already going to school, where all the kids are very musical, having a children's band, billed in the credits as the Meglin Kiddies Band.
This was an actual troupe of children founded by Ziegfeld girl Ethel Meglin. Shirley Temple was in fact discovered at the Meglin Dance Studio on Hollywood Boulevard.
Dora has come up with an improved donut. She & the schoolteacher decide with the kids to work up a jingle to advertise her donuts on the radio.
Florence Gill sings a chicken song on the air, then it's the kids' turn to do a number. While Andy Clyde sings the lyrics about donuts, the kids provide the chorus.
Then Shirley climbs onto a chair to reach the microphone & recites a goofy poem. There's a tapdance routine by three boys, whose mothers start a fight over who is best.
Andy Sykes rather than Shirley Temple was the star of this turd of a short subject. But it's Florence Gill who steals the show, a one-gag lady whose chicken-singing scored her vocal work in cartoons.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl