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22 user 7 critic

Can't Help Singing (1944)

Passed | | Musical, Western | 29 December 1944 (USA)
A senator's daughter (who can't help singing) follows her boyfriend West in the days of the California gold rush.

Director:

Frank Ryan

Writers:

Lewis R. Foster (screenplay), Frank Ryan (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Deanna Durbin ... Caroline Frost
Robert Paige ... Lawlor
Akim Tamiroff ... Gregory
David Bruce ... Dr. Robert Latham
Leonid Kinskey ... Koppa
June Vincent ... Miss McLean
Ray Collins ... Senator Martin Frost
Andrew Tombes ... Sad Sam
Thomas Gomez ... Jake Carstairs
Clara Blandick ... Aunt Cissy
Olin Howland ... Bigelow (as Olin Howlin)
George Cleveland ... Marshal
Edit

Storyline

With the California Gold Rush beginning, Senator Frost's singing daughter Caroline loves a young army officer; the Senator can't stand him, and has him sent to California. Headstrong Caroline follows him by train, riverboat, and covered wagon, gaining companions en route: a vagrant Russian prince and gambler Johnny Lawlor, who just might take her mind off the army. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Her First Technicolor Picture See more »

Genres:

Musical | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

29 December 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Caroline See more »

Filming Locations:

Duck Creek, Kanab, Utah, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is Deanna Durbin's only Technicolor vehicle. Unfulfilled plans to showcase Miss Durbin in color, proposed between 1938 and 1953, included these eventually produced films: First Love (1939) (which starred Miss Durbin in black and white), Phantom of the Opera (1943) (Susanna Foster in Technicolor), Up in Central Park (1948) (Miss Durbin in black and white), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949) (Rhonda Fleming in Technicolor), Melba (1953) (Patrice Munsel in Technicolor), Kiss Me Kate (1953) (Kathryn Grayson in Anscocolor), The Student Prince (1954) (Ann Blyth in Anscocolor) and Song of Norway (1970) (Florence Henderson in Color by DeLuxe). As reported by A.H. Weiler in The New York Times on August 3, 1947, Deanna Durbin was being offered a black-and-white filming in Britain of The Beggar's Opera (1953), which ultimately featured Dorothy Tutin portraying Polly Peachum in Technicolor. See more »

Goofs

After her bath Caroline changes into a clean white dress. However, she has had no access to her trunk where she would have kept her clothing. Such a voluminous dress couldn't have been stored in her hat-box or her small case, her only other luggage. See more »

Quotes

Lawlor: There is no misunderstanding, your daughter is a liar.
Senator Martin Frost: It's not her fault. She comes from a long line of liars. I am a politician. My father was a politician, and...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood on Trial (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

CALIFORN-I-AY
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Sung by chorus, Robert Paige, Deanna Durbin
Danced by 2 uncredited specialty dancers
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Deanna's lovely voice
24 January 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Can't Help Singing featuring Deanna Durbin singing those wonderful Jerome Kern-E.Y. Harburg songs either solo or with Robert Paige is nice musical entertainment. So entertaining it can even be forgiven some very illogical plot premises.

Deanna's the daughter of a United States Senator who's run away from home to catch up to her beau, cavalry lieutenant David Bruce. On the wagon train west to California she hooks up with gambler Robert Paige and a couple of Russian con artists, Akim Tamiroff and Leonid Kinsky.

Maybe I am being picky, but I cannot understand for the life of me why Deanna's father Ray Collins had such a problem with David Bruce. He sees him as an opportunist, but at the time of the California gold rush when this film is set, there was in fact a very famous marriage by an army lieutenant to a prominent Senator's daughter. That would be John C. Fremont wedding Jessie Benton, daughter of Senator Thomas Hart Benton.

Of course an ambitious army lieutenant is no match for his sugarplum, but hooking up with a gambler is all right. Doesn't make any sense no matter how many times I see Can't Help Singing.

Still when Jerome Kern writes the music, a whole multitude of sins are forgiven. Universal spent quite a bit of money on this film, probably more than they'd spend on three Abbott and Costello films and those two were Universal's bread and butter at this time.

In fact Kinsky and Tamiroff make a very funny pair. Maybe they should have teamed more often.

Can't Help Singing is good musical entertainment, just learn to live with the ridiculous plot.


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