Can't Help Singing
|Can't Help Singing|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Frank Ryan|
|Produced by||Felix Jackson|
|Based on||Girl of the Overland Trail
by Samuel J. and Curtis B. Warshawsky
|Music by||H.J. Salter|
|Edited by||Ted J. Kent|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Can't Help Singing is a 1944 American musical Western film directed by Frank Ryan and starring Deanna Durbin, Robert Paige, and Akim Tamiroff. Based on a story by John D. Klorer and Leo Townsend, the film is about a senator's daughter who follows her boyfriend West in the days of the California gold rush. Durbin's only Technicolor film, Can't Help Singing was produced by Felix Jackson and scored by Jerome Kern with lyrics by E. Y. Harburg.
The movie was one of the most expensive in Universal's history.
Set during the early years of the California Gold Rush, the film tells of the adventures of Caroline Frost, the wilful and spoilt daughter of a US Senator. He does not approve of her beau, Lt Robert Latham, of the US cavalry, and persuades President James K. Polk to post Latham to guard gold shipments from the California mines owned by Jake Carstair.
Caroline travels by train and steamboat and manages to join a wagon-train about to trek overland to the West. She shares a wagon with Johnny (Robert Paige), a debonair but ruthless gambler with whom she falls in love, and two comically inept opportunists, Prince Gregory Stroganovsky and his much put-upon servant Koppa.
Adapting slowly to the rigours of the journey, she first claims to be married to the Prince (as no unattached women are allowed to join the wagon-train) and then further claims to be actually married to Carstair.
She eventually reaches Sonora in California. Here, her problems are quickly sorted out. After some confusion between Carstair and his real wife, Caroline decides that she really loves Johnny. Her father, who has followed her, is reconciled.
- Deanna Durbin as Caroline Frost
- Robert Paige as Johnny Lawlor
- Akim Tamiroff as Prince Gregory Stroganovsky
- Thomas Gomez as Jake Carstairs
- David Bruce as Lt. Robert Latham
- Clara Blandick as Aunt Cissy Frost
- George Cleveland as U.S. Marshal
- Ray Collins as Sen. Martin Frost
- Olin Howlin as Bigelow, the Wagonmaster
- Leonid Kinskey as Koppa
- Andrew Tombes as Sad Sam
- June Vincent as Jeannie McLean
- Johnson Canyon, Cascade Falls, Duck Creek, Strawberry Point, Navajo Lake (Utah), and Cedar Breaks in Utah.:287
- Big Bear Lake, Big Bear Valley, San Bernardino National Forest, California, USA
- Lake Arrowhead, San Bernardino National Forest, California, USA
Awards and nominations
- 1946 Academy Award Nomination for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture (Jerome Kern and Hans J. Salter)
- 1946 Academy Award Nomination for Best Music, Original Song (Jerome Kern and E.Y. Harburg)
- "U's 1944-45 Production Budget". Variety. 12 July 1944. p. 21.
- "Can't Help Singing". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
- Speed, Maurice F. Film Review 1945. MacDonald, 1945.
- "Full cast and crew for Can't Help Singing". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
- D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: A history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874.
- "Filming locations for Can't Help Singing". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 12, 2012.