Can't Help Singing

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Can't Help Singing
Can't Help Singing FilmPoster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFrank Ryan
Produced byFelix Jackson
Screenplay by
Story by
  • John D. Klorer
  • Leo Townsend
Based onGirl of the Overland Trail
by Samuel J. and Curtis B. Warshawsky
Music byH.J. Salter
Edited byTed J. Kent
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • December 25, 1944 (1944-12-25) (USA)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States

Can't Help Singing is a 1944 American musical Western film directed by Frank Ryan and starring Deanna Durbin, Robert Paige, and Akim Tamiroff.[2] 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.[3]

The movie was one of the most expensive in Universal's history.[1]


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, 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.



Filming locations[edit]

  • Johnson Canyon, Cascade Falls, Duck Creek, Strawberry Point, Navajo Lake (Utah), and Cedar Breaks in Utah.[5]:287
  • Big Bear Lake, Big Bear Valley, San Bernardino National Forest, California, USA
  • Lake Arrowhead, San Bernardino National Forest, California, USA[6]

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 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)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "U's 1944-45 Production Budget". Variety. 12 July 1944. p. 21.
  2. ^ "Can't Help Singing". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
  3. ^ Speed, Maurice F. Film Review 1945. MacDonald, 1945.
  4. ^ "Full cast and crew for Can't Help Singing". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
  5. ^ D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: A history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874.
  6. ^ "Filming locations for Can't Help Singing". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 12, 2012.

External links[edit]