IMDb > Can't Help Singing (1944)
Can't Help Singing
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Can't Help Singing (1944) More at IMDbPro »

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6.4/10   335 votes »
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Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Lewis R. Foster (screenplay) and
Frank Ryan (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Can't Help Singing on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 December 1944 (USA) See more »
THE THRILL YOUR EYES WILL PRIZE FOREVER! (original print ad - all caps)
A senator's daughter (who can't help singing) follows her boyfriend West in the days of the California gold rush. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more »
User Reviews:
A delight for fans of traditional musical comedy, and surprisingly innovative too! See more (17 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Deanna Durbin ... Caroline
Robert Paige ... Lawlor

Akim Tamiroff ... Gregory
David Bruce ... Latham
Leonid Kinskey ... Koppa

June Vincent ... Miss McLean

Ray Collins ... Senator Frost
Andrew Tombes ... Sad Sam

Thomas Gomez ... Carstairs
Clara Blandick ... Aunt Cissy
Olin Howland ... Bigelow (as Olin Howlin)
George Cleveland ... Marshal
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Enrique Acosta ... Passenger on Pier (uncredited)
Eddie Acuff ... Cavalry Officer (uncredited)
Gertrude Astor ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Roscoe Ates ... Lemuel (uncredited)
Jimmy Aubrey ... Customer (uncredited)
Irving Bacon ... Bath House Barber (uncredited)
Joseph E. Bernard ... Boat Official (uncredited)
Gladys Blake ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Nana Bryant ... Mrs. Carstairs (uncredited)
James Bush ... Cavalry Officer (uncredited)
Nina Campana ... Mexican Woman (uncredited)
Jack Clifford ... Townsman (uncredited)

Iron Eyes Cody ... Indian Scaring Caroline (uncredited)
Chester Conklin ... Townsman (uncredited)
Heinie Conklin ... Waiter (uncredited)
Leon Cortez ... Townsman (uncredited)
Kernan Cripps ... Boat Official (uncredited)
Ruby Dandridge ... Henrietta (uncredited)
Frank Darien ... Old Man (uncredited)
Rico De Montez ... Townsman (uncredited)
Edward Earle ... President Polk (uncredited)
George Eldredge ... Capt. Sherwood (uncredited)
Fern Emmett ... Mrs. Brown (uncredited)
Jim Farley ... Bartender (uncredited)
Jody Gilbert ... Bath House Attendant (uncredited)
Frank Hagney ... Gunman (uncredited)
Eddie Hart ... Cavalry Officer (uncredited)
Herbert Heywood ... Mr. Brown (uncredited)
Robert Homans ... Albert (uncredited)
John James ... Dispatch Rider (uncredited)

I. Stanford Jolley ... Jeff (uncredited)
Frank Lackteen ... Man with Gunfighter (uncredited)
George J. Lewis ... Cavalry Officer (uncredited)
George Lloyd ... Proprietor (uncredited)
Robert McKenzie ... Storekeeper (uncredited)
Frank Melton ... Cavalry Officer (uncredited)
Art Miles ... Townsman (uncredited)
Dennis Moore ... Cavalry Officer Near Independence Dock (uncredited)
Jay Novello ... Sucker (uncredited)
Wedgwood Nowell ... Elderly Townsman (uncredited)
Barbara Pepper ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Bob Perry ... Gunner's Helper (uncredited)
Victor Potel ... Guide (uncredited)
Theodore Rand ... Specialty Dance Team Member (uncredited)
Renie Riano ... Spinster Exiting Bathhouse (uncredited)
Virginia Sale ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Scott Seaton ... Elderly Townsman (uncredited)
Harry Semels ... Peon (uncredited)
Almira Sessions ... Lemuel's Wife (uncredited)
Freddie Steele ... Crewman (uncredited)
Jack Stoney ... Frontiersman (uncredited)
Glenn Strange ... Gunman (uncredited)
William Sundholm ... Lincoln (uncredited)
Forrest Taylor ... Doc Crane (uncredited)
Max Wagner ... Cavalry Officer (uncredited)
Phil Warren ... Cavalry Officer (uncredited)
Harry Woods ... Gunman Disliking Prying (uncredited)

Directed by
Frank Ryan 
Writing credits
Lewis R. Foster (screenplay) and
Frank Ryan (screenplay)

John D. Klorer (story) (as John Klorer) &
Leo Townsend (story)

Samuel J. Warshawsky (novel "Girl of the Overland Trail") &
Curtis B. Warshawsky (novel "Girl of the Overland Trail")

Produced by
Felix Jackson .... producer
Frank Shaw .... associate producer
Original Music by
Hans J. Salter  (as H.J. Salter)
Cinematography by
Elwood Bredell  (as Woody Bredell)
W. Howard Greene 
Film Editing by
Ted J. Kent 
Art Direction by
Robert Clatworthy 
John B. Goodman 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman 
Edward R. Robinson 
Costume Design by
Walter Plunkett 
Makeup Department
Jack P. Pierce .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Holland .... assistant director
Sound Department
Bernard B. Brown .... sound
Joe Lapis .... sound
Edwin Wetzel .... sound mixer (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
John P. Fulton .... miniatures (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Towers .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Music Department
Andrés de Segurola .... vocal coach
Edgar Fairchild .... musical director: Miss Durbin
Hans J. Salter .... musical director (as H.J. Salter)
Frank Skinner .... orchestrator
Other crew
William Fritzsche .... associate technicolor color director
Natalie Kalmus .... technicolor color director

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
90 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Did You Know?

Over its December 1944-January 1945 run at Lowe's Criterion Theatre in Manhattan, this film broke the attendance record.See more »
Plot holes: 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 »
HONKY-TONKSee more »


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15 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
A delight for fans of traditional musical comedy, and surprisingly innovative too!, 4 September 2004
Author: Andrew Schoneberg from United States

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.

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