Premiered March 8, 1951.
Note:The Lemon Drop Kid was released on this date in 1951, which is why we're blogging about a Christmas movie when it's nearly St. Patrick's Day.
Kid: "It's all the same to you whether Sam kills me now or doesn't open me 'til Christmas. And if I get the money you're 10 Grand ahead. You see, Moose, picking up 10 Grand will be fun for you and killing me will be so sloppy."
|The Lemon Drop Kid gets inside information from a friend|
|Taking in a couple of suckers|
|Moose wants his $10,000 back ... or else!|
|A snowy and windy day to be without a coat in NYC|
|The Kid talks to Nellie Thursday|
|The Kid and Brainey Baxter|
|The Kid's initial Santa scheme gets busted|
|The Kid calls Brainey to bail him out|
He obtains a charity license and claims that Moose's abandoned casino will be used a nursing home, with Nellie and some other "Old dolls" from her neighborhood moving in.
|Brainey and the Kid talk to some of the Old Dolls|
|The Kid inspects the Santas|
|The Kid disguises himself as an Old Doll.|
J.A. Morris says:
I generally enjoy Bob Hope's onscreen persona. From the 1930s to the 50s, he basically played the same character, an exaggeration of his stand-up comedy identity. If you like Hope's movies from this era, you'll like The Lemon Drop Kid. If not you won't. Hope is funny here, making the ne'er-do well Kid sympathetic. We believe Sidney is a "tout with a heart of gold." I also enjoyed the Kid's interaction with Nellie Thursday. Hope and Jane Darwell made it feel like there was genuine affection between the two. Marilyn Maxwell is good here as Brainey, and she has a nice singing voice as well.
|Sidney teases a policeman while singing "Silver Bells".|
|The kid hits up Oxford Charlie for money.|
|The Lemon Drop Kid & Brainey sing "Silver Bells"|
Some notes about the supporting cast:
William Frawley appeared in numerous movies, but he's best remembered for playing Fred Mertz on I Love Lucy. The Lemon Drop Kid was released just a few months before that series premiered.
|Gloomy Willie (Frawley) sings his own "Silver Bells" lyrics:|
Let's put some dough
In the kitty"
|Sidney recruits Super Swedish Angel.|
|A snowy Christmas street scene.|
|A Santa plays Craps for the Old Dolls home.|
J.A. Morris' rating:
3 Candy Canes.
|The Kid and Brainey sing to the Old Dolls|
This is a fun, but not a great Christmas movie. Bob Hope is enjoyable as the title character and the supporting cast is top notch, but there's just something about the story that doesn't quite sit right with me. Maybe it's the straddling of the line between screwball comedy and pathos that doesn't quite work. Maybe it's that the story feels a bit too much like Guys and Dolls (which is also based on Runyon's work) without being quite as satisfying as that musical.
|The Kid finds a creative spot to hide the money!|
|Gambling tables double as beds for the Old Dolls and also disappear behind walls unexpectedly|
Two and a half candy canes