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Can't Help Singing 1944

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4.5 out of 5 stars (17) IMDb 6.4/10
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Caroline (Deanna Durbin) is the daughter of a wealthy senator, and is determined to marry handsome cavalry officer Lawlor (Robert Paige). But when Lawlor has to go to California, Caroline chases after him, banging into bandits and Indians along the way.

Starring:
David Bruce, June Vincent
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature universal
Runtime 1 hour 27 minutes
Starring David Bruce, June Vincent, Leonid Kinskey, Akim Tamiroff, Andrew Tombes, Robert Paige, Deanna Durbin, Ray Collins
Director Frank Ryan
Genres Drama
Studio SIMPLY MEDIA
Rental release 29 March 2004
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
If ever a film was filled with sheer joy, this is it. Technicolor only seemed to add to a film's quality in musicals like this one. Can't Help Singing was Deanna Durbin's only film in color and the vibrant hues are stunning as both Durbin and the outdoors have never been photographed so beautifully. The brilliance of the colors is striking and the story is fun and wonderful, making this not only one of Durbin's best films, but one of the best American musicals ever made.
Deanna is a delight as the young Senator's daughter, Caroline Frost, hilariously scheming to marry young calvary officer Robert Latham (David Bruce) against her father's wishes in this adaption of "Girl of the Overland Trail" by Samuel J. and Curtis B. Warshawsky. Jerome Kern wrote some great melodies for the film and E. Y. Harburg gave them lyrics still remembered decades later.
Deanna fakes a fever in hilarious fashion to get out of singing for the president so she can see Robert instead. But when that doesn't work and her dad (Ray Collins) wants to send her to see her uncle in New York, you can see the squirrel cage spinning in her head and the next thing you know she's gone missing, with a 5,000 dollar reward offered by her father for anyone who can find her. She's off to California, of course, as Robert has been sent with the 4th calvary to guard the Carstair holdings.
She gets fleeced along the way and ends up hitching her hopes on a wagon train heading out west. Akim Tamiroff and Leonid Kinskey are a hoot as the bumbling Russian thieves Gregory and Koppa, who spend the entire film attempting to steal Caroline's huge trunk but ending right back where they started! Circumstances pair her with card shark Johnny Lawlor (Robert Paige), who may need to find a new profession.
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Format: VHS Tape
There is a reason Deanna Durbin was one of the top Hollywood stars from the mid-Thirties through the Forties. She was a natural actress with a fine face and figure and a deep-throated soprano she knew how to use. She was one of those people the camera loves. Her personality, direct and warm, comes straight across to the audience. She could handle all the immaculate make-up Hollywood gave her as she matured into a young woman, but there always was something of the tomboy about her. She had a natural exuberance, a sense of humor and a good-natured willingness to take pratfalls or march into mud-holes. And she was a professional at her craft. In this movie, Can't Help Singing, watch how she manages to wander through the woods singing, through bushes and over hillocks, avoiding branches, and periodically fronting pretty scenery. This scene is shot in long takes. I have no idea how many takes it took, but Durbin manages to move, sing, smile, emote a bit and hit all of her marks without any sign of effort or evidence of an editor's scissors used to mask mistakes.

By the time Durbin was 14 she was major box office, and stayed there until she retired in 1950 at 29. She never liked the glitz and fan adulation of stardom. She and her third husband left for France right after she retired and that was that. She still lives just outside Paris, has turned down any number of film offers and hasn't granted an interview with anyone since 1949. As a person who was grounded in reality and decided to live her own life, Deanna Durbin gets a tip of my hat.

Can't Help Singing is a lush, colorful musical about a young woman, Caroline Frost, daughter of a wealthy senator, who leaves Washington against the wishes of her father to meet the man she intents to marry.
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I am a very elderly admirer of ms Durbin and her fantastic Voice plus Acting ability.
I first 'heard' her wonderful singing at the age of 13 years in the early thirties !.
From then on I was able over next decade and more to follow here career and films.
I saw most of her movies when in the armed forces and in many places even Jerusalem.
This film ,her only film in Colour was made toward the end of her career in films but
is a tribute to her skills as a then top 'Star' in Holywood. Sadly by 1948 she had got
disillusioned with the power & pains of the 'Holywood' system . so at just 27 years she
packed her bags and with husband left and settled in France ! . At 92 years there she still lives .
Eric Frith . Malta .
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This is an endearing romantic-comedy musical western and the only film starring Deanna Durbin in the lead-role which was made in colour. In comparison with many other of her black and white films, both the sound and picture quality are far superior and it is hard to believe that it was made in 1944.

As already reviewed, the story follows the escapades of a wealthy senator's beautiful daughter during the time of the California Gold Rush who, to the utter dismay of her father, has fallen in love with and intends to marry a US cavalry officer. When father exercises his influence to have the officer posted out of the way and, to his mind, out of reach, his daughter decides to chase after him, hotly (albeit, laboriously) pursued by father who offers a $5,000 reward for her return. During her journey, she encounters several unscrupulous rogues, including a "card-sharp" who distracts her from her intended mission with not entirely surprising consequences.

The film contains many memorable songs - especially the title song - and Deanna's character displays some beautifully glamorous costumes - probably very few suitable for a journey across the dusty Wild West!

The only downside is that the film is only 87 minutes long - perhaps budgets were tight then - or maybe the best things really do come in small packages. Altogether thoroughly enjoyable and well worth watching over and over again.
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