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The Lemon Drop Kid

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The Lemon Drop Kid is a 1951 comedy film starring Bob Hope.

Synopsis

Sidney Melbourne (Bob Hope), known to all as the Lemon Drop Kid because of his fondness of that particular candy, is a small time con artist who works the race tracks skimming money off unsuspecting dopes who know nothing about horses. When he unknowingly offers a rotten bet to local gangster Moose Moran (Fred Clark), which costs him $10,000, Sidney finds himself having to repay the debt by Christmas Eve or as Moose delicately puts it, "He will find himself at the bottom of the river in a cement Santa Claus suit." Sidney goes to a freezing cold New York City trying to find the money and comes up with a wild scheme to make some by setting up a charity based around local homeless identity Nellie Thursday (Jane Darwell) with the money for a home for "Old Dolls". Sidney drags his girlfriend Brainy Baxter (Marilyn Maxwell) into the scheme which she believes is an honorable new chapter in his supposed reformation from life as a con artist, not knowing he intends to skip with the collected money on Christmas Eve to pay Moose back. Setting up the bogus retirement home in one of Moose's disused casinos, Sidney falls foul of local gangster Oxford Charley (Lloyd Nolan), who takes over operation of the home and the money is already collected. Realizing that Christmas Eve is coming, Sidney tries desperate measures to retrieve it even down to dressing like a little old lady to join the home and then trying to get it out of Oxford's clutches. Of course it being Christmas Eve, Sidney has a change of heart in regards to most of what he has been doing and not only does he help the two crime leaders put away and the money put into keeping the home open, but he also gets Brainy back and filled with the proper Christmas spirit, he finally agrees to marry her, bringing the story to a happy conclusion.

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