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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.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Miss McLean
Senator Frost
Andrew Tombes ...
Sad Sam
Aunt Cissy
Bigelow (as Olin Howlin)


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


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


Musical | Western


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

29 December 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caroline  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


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 »


Referenced in Hollywood on Trial (1976) See more »


Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Sung by Deanna Durbin with unseen choir
See more »

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User Reviews

Deanna in colour!
3 April 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"CAN'T HELP SINGING" - I first saw this charming colour film on television and treasured the tape recording for many years.

My late mother liked Deanna and had a "Deanna Durbin" Hat and told me that she once visited Paris in the late 30's and misplaced this cherished hat and was asking everyone if they'd seen "mon chapeau" - she retrieved it! The hat is remembered from "100 Men and A Girl" with the theatre caretaker watching the moving feather as Deanna was hiding behind the theatre seats.

The songs from "Can't Help Singing" are memorable and they are repeated nicely in the colourful dress-changing finale of the film. I believe "continuity" was a bit apprehensive, but Deanna said "no one will notice"! I love the public bath-house scene and note the slightly cross look Deanna throws her co-star's way when he insists on joining in the song at one point - as if she wants to keep the song's delivery entirely to herself! It is a great scene along with the bonus confusion at the end of it, when Robert Page eagerly awaits the unknown singer.

"More and More" is performed beautifully with Deanna serenading her travelling companion. I like the the bells at the end of "Any Moment Now" at which Deanna reacts. "Californ-i-ay" is another highlight. A super happy film with quite a bit of hilarity at the end.

Thanks Deanna!

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