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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.

Director:

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
...
...
Latham
...
Koppa
...
Miss McLean
...
Senator Frost
Andrew Tombes ...
Sad Sam
...
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

SWING YOUR SWEETHEART
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Sung by Olin Howland and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

She Can't Help it!
26 February 2002 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

In a decade devoid of great (non-MGM, non-Rita Hayworth) color musicals, CAN'T HELP SINGING deserves a more important place among the celebrated. A female-driven western tale preceding HARVEY GIRLS, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, and CALAMITY JANE, while musically aping Broadway smash OKLAHOMA, this adaptation of GIRL OF THE OVERLAND TRAIL is the uniting of three great entertainment entities - Durbin, Jerome Kern, and the resources of the Universal Technicolor escapist machine. After losing Durbin's producer, Joe Pasternak, and her director, Henry Koster, to MGM, you'd think they would have tried more often, but no, Durbin's 1940s pictures were not expensively-mounted productions, and this is quite a distinctive product for 1943-4 Universal. However, not being a Durbin afficionado is probably the main reason this is my favorite Durbin vehicle. The superior if neglected Kern score awaits rediscovery, from the beguiling title tune (Durbin and company can't help singing from outdoor bathtubs) to lush ballads like "More and More" (also a big Perry Como hit), and a rousing, ersatz "Oklahoma" homage to "Californ-i-a." Without Maria Montez-John Hall to bolster, the populous if underused supporting company does well enough, with Robert Paige (a sort of poor man's John Carroll) not near so bad as I'd heard. Make no mistake, the "Durbin-ator" dominates the affair, surrounded by all the bright, lush colors of the Technicolor rainbow lavishly painting impressive backdrops of scenery, an extravagant, detailed, period wardrobe, and the Collector's Doll make-up adorning the star's perfect face. Durbin herself is at her gorgeous peak, and this colorful achievement is certainly the entertainment it set out to be.


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