Lemon Drop Kid [1951]

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

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