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The Hard-Boiled Canary (1941)

Approved | | Comedy, Music, Romance | 8 June 1941 (USA)
A young girl fresh out of reform school who is singing in a burlesque show is offered a scholarship to a famous music camp by the camp's owner. She must overcome the suspicions of the other students in order to prove herself.


Andrew L. Stone


Robert Lively (story and screenplay), Andrew L. Stone (story and screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Allan Jones ... Michael Maddy
Susanna Foster ... Toodles LaVerne
Margaret Lindsay ... Sylvia Worth
Lynne Overman ... George Thomas
Grace Bradley ... Madie Duvalie
William Collier Sr. ... Dr. Joseph E. Maddy
Heimo Haitto Heimo Haitto ... Heimo Haitto
Peter Meremblum Peter Meremblum ... Peter Meremblum (Violin Instructor)
William Chapman William Chapman ... William Chapman
Kaye Connor Kaye Connor ... Kaye Connor
Diana Lynn ... Dolly Loehr (as Dolly Loehr)
Patricia Travers Patricia Travers ... Patricia Travers
Richard Bonelli ... Richard Bonelli
Richard Hageman Richard Hageman ... Richard Hegeman
Irra Petina Irra Petina ... Irra Petine


A young girl fresh out of reform school who is singing in a burlesque show is offered a scholarship to a famous music camp by the camp's owner. She must overcome the suspicions of the other students in order to prove herself.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

girl | children | See All (2) »


THE SEASON'S Song-sational HIT! (original ad) See more »


Comedy | Music | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

8 June 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

There's Magic in Music See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »


Kaye Connor, who is faking laryngitis and being unable to talk so that Toodles can sing in her place, speaks briefly in a subsequent scene, before her charade is later revealed. See more »


Referenced in Arena: The Orson Welles Story - Part 1 (1982) See more »


Fireflies on Parade
Written by Ann Ronell
See more »

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User Reviews

Paramount prepared-newspaper review-March, 1941
13 February 2010 | by horn-5See all my reviews

From the Original press book For "The Hard-Boiled Canary(1941)" "Great Musical Talent Cast in "Canary"... Film Bringing together one of the most impressive casts ever assembled for a motion picture, Paramount's new comedy musical, "The Hard-Boiled Canary," which opens..(Day) at the...(Theatre Name)....where it will be shown through...(Day).

Featured in the gay story of a young burlesque queen who goes operatic, are Susanna Foster, who plays the title role, and Allan Jones, Margaret Lindsay, Lynne Overman and Grace Bradley. Cast in prominent roles, brilliant Metropolitan Opera stars Richard Bonelli, Irra Petine and Tandy MacKenzie make their screen debuts in the picture. In addition to these musical luminaries, five of the most noted teen age youngsters in the world of music display their extraordinary talents which have brought them the plaudits of music-lovers throughout the country.

The five youngsters are Haimo Haitto, sixteen-year-old Finnish violinist; Patricia Travers, thirteen, considered by music authorities one of the finest young violinists in this country; Dolly Loehr, fourteen, a pianist frequently acclaimed in the concert halls, Kaye Connor, fifteen, well-known young violinist and singer, and William Chapman, a baritone of exceptional attainments.

The story is told against the background of Interlochen, the world-famous music camp in Michigan. There, it is not unusual for the dance-stirring notes of a swing version of "The Beer-Barrel Polka" to mingle with the sedate strains of music by Bach and Beethoven" End of review intended for newspaper use in towns where "The Hard-Boiled Canary" was playing in 1941. The Ames Daily Tribune used it on Saturday, March 22, 1941 where "The Hard-Boiled Canary" was booked to open on Sunday at the New Ames Theatre.

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