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Can't Help Singing (1944)

Approved | | 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.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Lawlor
...
...
Dr. Robert Latham
...
Koppa
...
Miss McLean
...
Senator Martin Frost
Andrew Tombes ...
Sad Sam
...
Jake Carstairs
...
Aunt Cissy
...
Bigelow (as Olin Howlin)
...
Marshal
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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:

THE THRILL YOUR EYES WILL PRIZE FOREVER! (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Musical | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 December 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caroline  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

Miss McLean: [to Latham] You know the first time I saw you, you were riding in the park on a beautiful white steed. It was love at first sight. I'm convinced now it was the horse.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood on Trial (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

HONKY-TONK
Music by Jerome Kern
(instrumental, piano in bar scene)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Deanna's lovely voice
24 January 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See 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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