Can't Help Singing


1h 29m 1944

Brief Synopsis

A senator's daughter follows her boyfriend in the days of the California gold rush.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Also Known As
Caroline
Genre
Musical
Release Date
Dec 29, 1944
Premiere Information
New York opening: 25 Dec 1944
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Cedar City, Utah, United States; Lake Arrowhead, California, United States; Parowan, Utah, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Girl of the Overland Trail by Samuel J. and Curtis B. Warshawsky (publication date undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 29m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,096ft

Synopsis

In Washington, D.C., during the Gold Rush era, Senator Martin Frost arranges to have Lieutenant Robert Latham sent to California in order to keep the young man away from his daughter Caroline. Frost believes that Robert is an opportunist who is only interested in Caroline because she is the daughter of a powerful senator, but Caroline disagrees with him, and insists on marrying Robert. Without the approval of her father, Caroline boards the first train for Sonora, California, hoping to catch up with her sweetheart. Soon after leaving Washington, Caroline is reported missing in the local newspapers, and a nationwide manhunt ensues. After offering a $5,000 reward for the return of his daughter, Martin goes to Pittsburgh, where Caroline was last seen. When Caroline arrives in Independence, Missouri, she discovers that Robert's unit has already left for Fort Richards, and that there is no room available for her on the westward-bound wagon train. Determined to get to the fort, Caroline buys a horse and wagon from Sad Sam, a fast-talking confidence artist, only to discover that the horse and wagon were not his to sell. Later, at a gambling house, Caroline finds Sam gambling with her money, and when Sam loses the money to a prospector named Lawlor, she tries to take her money back. Lawlor recognizes Caroline as the missing senator's daughter and threatens to turn her in for the reward, until she offers him $10,000 to take her to California. Caroline promises Lawlor that he will be paid in California by the wealthy Jake Carstairs, whom she calls her "fiancée." Accompanied by two bumbling Russian thieves, Caroline and Lawlor join the wagon train heading west. Along the way, Caroline and Lawlor fall in love, and vow never to separate. In California, Lawlor sends Caroline to tell Carstairs that they are in love, and Caroline, who has never met Carstairs, persuades the millionaire to play along with the hoax. Complications arise, however, when Carstairs' wife arrives and accuses her husband of having an affair. In the confusion, Robert arrives, calling out to his fiancée. A fistfight between Robert and Lawlor ensues as Lawlor believes that Caroline has a third suitor. The truth comes out, though, and Lawlor and Caroline resume their romance and celebrate with a song.

Cast

Deanna Durbin

Caroline [Frost]

Robert Paige

Lawlor

Akim Tamiroff

Gregory

David Bruce

[Lt. Robert] Latham

Leonid Kinskey

Koppa

June Vincent

Miss McLean

Ray Collins

Senator [Martin] Frost

Andrew Tombes

Sad Sam

Thomas Gomez

[Jake] Carstairs

Clara Blandick

Aunt Cissy

Olin Howlin

Bigelow

George Cleveland

Marshal

George Eldredge

Captain Sherwood

Joseph E. Bernard

Boat official

Kernan Cripps

Boat official

Robert Homans

Policeman

Edward Earle

President Polk

Bill Sundholm

Lincoln

Jim Farley

Bartender

Frank Darien

Old man

Ruby Dandridge

Henrietta

Glenn Strange

Gunman

Fred Steele

Gunman

Frank Hagney

Gunman

Harry Woods

Gunman

George Lloyd

Proprietor

Bob Mckenzie

Storekeeper

Bob Perry

Gunner's helper

Jack Stoney

Frontiersman

Forrest Taylor

Doc Crane

John James

Dispatch rider

Frank Melton

Cavalry officer

Carl O'bryan

Cavalry officer

Eddie Acuff

Cavalry officer

Phil Warren

Cavalry officer

Dennis Moore

Cavalry officer

James Bush

Cavalry officer

George Lewis

Cavalry officer

Max Wagner

Cavalry officer

Eddie Hart

Cavalry officer

Vic Potel

Guide

Nina Campana

Mexican woman

Harry Semels

Peon

Frank Lackteen

Indian guide

Nana Bryant

Mrs. Carstairs

Jay Novello

Sucker

Heinie Conklin

Waiter

Herbert Heywood

Mr. Brown

Fern Emmett

Mrs. Brown

Jody Gilbert

Attendant

Jimmy Aubrey

Customer

Irving Bacon

Barber

Renie Riano

Spinster

Theodore Rand

Specialty dancer

Geneva Holt

Specialty dancer

Gertrude Astor

Virginia Sale

Roscoe Ates

Almira Sessions

Barbara Pepper

Jack Clifford

Art Miles

Gladys Blake

Rico Demontez

Manuel Paris

Film Details

Also Known As
Caroline
Genre
Musical
Release Date
Dec 29, 1944
Premiere Information
New York opening: 25 Dec 1944
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Cedar City, Utah, United States; Lake Arrowhead, California, United States; Parowan, Utah, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Girl of the Overland Trail by Samuel J. and Curtis B. Warshawsky (publication date undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 29m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,096ft

Award Nominations

Best Music Original Dramatic Score

1946

Best Song

1946

Quotes

Trivia

Deanna Durbin's only film in Technicolor.

Notes

The working title of this film was Caroline. Can't Help Singing was the only Technicolor film to star Deanna Durbin. According to Universal press materials, portions of the film were shot on location in Cedar City, UT and Lake Arrowhead, CA. Hollywood Reporter news items also list Parowan Gap and other Utah locations as filming sites. According to a Hollywood Citizen-News news item, Universal chose to shoot large portions of this color film in Utah rather than in California because of the greener scenery, the lack of high tension wires and the better cloud effects.
       According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Universal originally sought Rouben Mamoulian as director, because he had directed the successful Broadway musical Oklahoma. In turn, the New York Times reviewer pointed out the similarities between the songs "Oklahoma" and "Californi-I-Ay." Hollywood Reporter news items include Marietta Canty in the cast, but her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. According to Hollywood Reporter, the film's $300,000 advertising budget was the largest of any Universal film to date. The film received two Academy Award nominations: Jerome Kern and H. J. Salter were nominated for their musical score and Kern and E. Y. Harburg were nominated for their song "More and More."