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When the Lemon Drop Kid accidentally steers Moose Moran's girl away from a winning bet, he is forced to come up with $10,000 to repay the angry gangster. Fortunately it's Christmas, a time when people can be persuaded to part with money for the right cause. Written by
Erica Schulman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Lemon Drop Kid is the second of two films Bob Hope did from stories based on Damon Runyon's colorful collection of characters, the first being Sorrowful Jones. Sidney Melbourne known to one and all as The Lemon Drop Kid for his inordinate fondness for lemon flavored candy is a fellow who lives by his wits as a race track tout.
Sometimes our hero is too clever by a half and when he gives the wrong tip to gambler Fred Clark's girl friend, Andrea King, Clark says that Hope owes him ten thousand dollars, the amount the horse would have paid him.
Things move fast and furious as Hope evolves a scheme to raise the money by starting a home for little old ladies named for Jane Darwell. Hope gets everyone in his set involved including his long suffering girl friend, Marilyn Maxwell.
Maxwell, who was reputedly involved romantically with Hope during the shooting of this film, plays a part almost identical to Runyon's better known Adelaide from Guys and Dolls.
Of course this film is famous for introducing that modern Christmas classic Silver Bells by Bob and Marilyn. And in an act that some might consider charity, that other well known Paramount star, Bing Crosby made a hit record of it with his radio girl singer of the moment Carole Richards.
In his musical autobiography record Bing said that he thought the secret of Silver Bells popularity is that it is an urban based song with its images of department stores, kid's rushing, and above all the bustle the sound of bells from street corner Santas. The song fits in real nice in the film with Hope's scheme involving his fellow street people in Santa Claus suits collecting for that little old ladies home.
Silver Bells got nominated for Best song, but lost to that other Paramount film song In the Cool Cool Cool of the Evening introduced by Bing Crosby.
Still the popularity of Jay Livingston and Ray Evans classic modern holiday ballad will insure people will be watching The Lemon Drop Kid for years to come.
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