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The Lemon Drop Kid

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The Lemon Drop Kid, starring Bob Hope Marilyn Maxwell Lloyd Nolan Jane Darwell William Frawley and Tor Johnson
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movie review of “The Lemon Drop Kid” starring Bob Hope, Marilyn Maxwell an!d William Frawley – where a gambler must raise money at Christmastime – or else!

The Lemon Drop Kid (1951) starring Bob Hope, Marilyn Maxwell an!d William Frawley

Product Description of The Lemon Drop Kid starring Bob Hope, Marilyn Maxwell, William Frawley

To pay back the money he owes Moose, Sidney enlists some pals to hit the street corners of New York dressed as Santa Claus accepting donations for a bogus elderly ladies home. The calamity starts when gangster Oxford Charlie (Lloyd Nolan) tries to move in on Sidney’s scam. What follows is vintage Hope shenanigans highlighted by a heart-warming rendition of the Christmas classic “Silver Bells” sung by Hope and Marilyn Maxwell (who appeared with Hope in the l953 film Off Limits). Also starring William Frawley (I Love Lucy) and Tor Johnson (Plan 9 from Outer Space).

Bob Hope stars as Sidney Melbourne (A.K.A. The Lemon Drop Kid named so after his love of the simple candy) a conman who offers a friendly “sure thing” horse tip to the girlfriend of mobster Moose Moran at the race track. When the horse loses and Moose’s Original pick wins Moose gives Sidney until Christmas to pay back the money he lost or his thug Sam the Surgeon will “open” Sidney after Christmas.

Editorial review of The Lemon Drop Kid, courtesy of

Bob Hope plays a small-time con artist with a fondness for lemon candy in this film based on a Damon Runyon story. When the Lemon Drop Kid accidentally cheats gangster Moose Moran (Fred Clark) 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. Radio personality Marilyn Maxwell assists as the Kid’s girlfriend, while William Frawley and Jay C. Flippen play the lovable, gruff crooks that fall for the Kid’s Santa scam.

Hope is great as the fast-talking sharpster, and the comical gangsters are well worth the price of admission. Music by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston (including the classic Christmas song “Silver Bells) makes The Lemon Drop Kid that much sweeter. —Mark Savary

Songs in The Lemon Drop Kid

  • Silver Bells, Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, Sung by Marilyn Maxwell and Bob Hope
  • It Doesn’t Cost a Dime To Dream, Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, Sung by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell
  • They Obviously Want Me To Sing, Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, Sung by Bob Hope

Cast of characters

Funny movie quotes from The Lemon Drop Kid

Moose: What’s the matter, Kid, you look kind of sick?
Sidney Melbourne (Bob Hope): No, I always turn green this time of year.

Race track guard 1: [about the Lemon Drop Kid] And to think that I bought one of his tips last week.
Race track guard 2: You, too?

Sidney Melbourne (Bob Hope): First doctor I ever met who keeps what he took out and threw the patient away!

Sidney Melbourne (Bob Hope): It’s all the same to you if Sam [the surgeon] kills me know or doesn’t open me ’til Christmas!

Sign: Nellie Thurston Home for Old Dolls

Sidney Melbourne (Bob Hope): That judge didn’t look honest to me!
Police officer: He’s been on the bar for fifteen years.
Sidney Melbourne (Bob Hope): That’s just what I mean! Drinking on the job!

Little Girl: Are you coming to my house Christmas eve?
Gloomy Willie (William Frawley): Sure!
Little Girl: Will you bring a doll?
Gloomy Willie (William Frawley): No, my doll’s working.

Sidney Melbourne (Bob Hope): [blowing snow off the head of a statue] Dandruff!

Gloomy Willie (William Frawley): What’s a cow doing inside a house?
Sidney Melbourne (Bob Hope): Milton Berle is on tonight.

Old woman: You’ve still got your hourglass figure, dear.
Sidney Melbourne (Bob Hope): [in drag, disguised as an old woman] Thank you, dear.
Old woman: but most of the sand has settled to the bottom.

Gloomy Willie (William Frawley): You’re sweet too, pickle-nose … bring the chair.

Sidney Melbourne (Bob Hope): Santy Claus don’t drink.
Gloomy Willie (William Frawley): Oh, no? Well, how come he’s always falling down chimneys?

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