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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Robert Paige ...
Lawlor
...
...
Latham
Leonid Kinskey ...
Koppa
...
Miss McLean
...
Senator Frost
Andrew Tombes ...
Sad Sam
...
Carstairs
Clara Blandick ...
Aunt Cissy
Olin Howland ...
Bigelow (as Olin Howlin)
George Cleveland ...
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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Over its December 1944-January 1945 run at Lowe's Criterion Theatre in Manhattan, this film broke the attendance record. 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

ELBOW ROOM
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Sung by chorus of wagon train folks
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User Reviews

A delight for fans of traditional musical comedy, and surprisingly innovative too!
4 September 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

You don't need to be a Deanna Durbin fan to find this film delightful. It should appeal to anyone who enjoys traditional musicals like "Oklahoma" and "Showboat".

Can't Help Singing is filled with humor and wit, played with a wink to the audience and genuine gusto--not dated in the least. Akim Tamaroff is especially funny; you can clearly see how he was the model for "Boris Badinov" in the "Bullwinkle" cartoons.

The songs are first rate; Kearn's melodies are beautiful and Harburg's lyric to "Californiay" is full of wit, creativity, and surprises; his other lyrics are well done, but nothing special.

Another layer of delight and interest to someone who knows about the history of movie musicals, like myself, is how far ahead of it's time this film is. The large majority of it is filled outdoors, a lot of it on location. This is unique and innovative in an era when virtually all musicals were filmed inside sound stages with some use of the studio back lot. One of the musical numbers features Durbin in outdoor locations which vary from shot to shot, while she continues to sing seamlessly. This is something that became common a decade or more later, but certainly pioneering in 1944.

Durbin and Paige are both fine singers, most likable, adept at playing the light humor their roles call for. This is a film that should be much better known and appreciated.


15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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