When the Lemon Drop Kid accidentally cheats gangster Moose Moran out of his track winnings, the Kid promises to repay Moose the money by Christmas. Creating a fake charity for "Apple Annie" Nellie Thursday, the Kid tricks his gang into donning Santa suits and "collecting dough for old dolls" like Nellie who have nowhere to live.
Simply lovely con artist caper delivering mirth for the yuletide season. The Lemon Drop Kid is directed by Sidney Lanfield (Frank Tashlin uncredited) and based on the short story of the same name written by Damon Runyon (Edmund Beloin adapting). It stars Bob Hope, Marilyn Maxwell, Lloyd Nolan, Jane Darwell, Andrea King & Fred Clark. It's perhaps a bit unfair to call it purely a Christmas movie? But watching it during the festive holiday season itself more than doubles the impact of the viewing. Bob Hope is The Lemon Drop Kid, a scam artist who during one of his cons at the race track finds himself in debt to a gangster for $10,000. If he doesn't find the money by Christmas day then he's going to be done for in a very grizzly way. We then follow the intrepid Hope on his various escapades to get the money; no mater how morally corrupt it be! A charity scam in the name of an old peoples home brings about much mirth and frivolity, and as the film twists as much as Hope does in his energetic scenes, it leave us with a delightful feel good seasonal offering. The lead cast are fine, with Hope in his element with the material to hand, while Marilyn Maxwell is perfect foil for Hope in the lead female role that calls for gusto and sentiment to be layered equally. While the final cherry on this lovely yuletide cake comes with the Hope/Maxwell rendition of "Silver Bells" that underpins the Christmas flavour of the piece. It's unlikely to impress hardcore Runyon followers, and those that don't buy into Hope's form of comedy are probably best to avoid it. But for many folk, myself included, The Lemon Drop Kid is a 10/10 film, particularly at the Crimble season.