The Lemon Drop Kid: Bob Hope's Best Christmas Film

Comedian, actor, and singer Bob Hope appears in his annual Christmas television special and several U.S.O. tour for American soldiers serving overseas, but she also starred in an underrated Christmas movie in 1951.

Adaptations and Remakes

The Lemon Drop Kid was based on a short story by Damon Runyon, but the 1951 film bears little resemblance to the original story, in fact retaining only the title character's love for sour candy. An adaptation starring Lee Tracy was first released in 1934, and William Frawley (famous for playing Fred Mertz on I Love Lucy) appeared in both films.

Lemon Drop Kid

The Lemon Drop follows the plight of Kid Kidd, a small-time thug who owes a lot of money to a big-time gangster. He occasionally fails to borrow money from his girlfriend and his boss, but just then he sees a man dressed as Santa ringing a bell on the side of the road. The kid dresses up in a Santa suit and tries to ask for donations himself but is caught by the police.

A few days in jail give time to the child to cheat. He sets up a fake charity in the neighborhood in the name of an elderly woman who was refused admission to an old age home and claims he is raising funds to open his home for the elderly which accepts everyone. Is. He publicizes his new "charity" to all of his petty criminal friends, and soon, they flood the streets of New York City, dressed in Santa suits, carrying buckets of charity, and collecting money. . What they don't realize is that the donation will actually be used to pay back the mobster (nor his girlfriend).

Sure, the trick is figured out, but the Christmas spirit works its magic. The Kid turns his home into a casino for the elderly (the elders fill up all the gambling tables), a well-timed police raid takes care of the gangsters and a few other baddies, and the Kid makes a deal with the judge. Go straight to jail escape and focus all your efforts to make home a reality. Oh, and he got the girl.

"Silver Bells"

The Christmas song "Silver Bells" was written for The Lemon Drop Kid, sung by Hope and costar Marilyn Maxwell, who later joined the U.S.O. music program. In fact, Hope adopted "Silver Bells" as her signature Christmas song. The song was originally named "Tinkle Bells", but during rehearsals, one of the producers' wives pointed out that "tinkle" is a euphemism for urine.

An uncredited Director

The Lemon Drop Kid was directed by Sidney Lanfield, who had worked with Hope on the first five films, but after production ended, Hope was dissatisfied with the "silver bells" scene and asked gag writer Frank Tashlin to rewrite the film. Contacted to discuss restoring the scene as seen. Focal point. The end result was an elaborate new sequence that added needed polish to The Lemon Drop Kid, turned "Silver Bells" into a classic Christmas song, and launched Tashlin's career as a director, although he was not credited in the film. was given. It also ended Hope's working relationship with Lanfield.

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