The Lemon Drop Kid is neither true Damon Runyon, from whose short story of the same title it was adapted [story by Edmund Beloin], nor is it very funny Bob Hope.

The Lemon Drop Kid is neither true Damon Runyon, from whose short story of the same title it was adapted [story by Edmund Beloin], nor is it very funny Bob Hope.

Although Hope is the principal interest and gets most of the laughs, his comedy style, and particularly his wise-cracking lines, are at the root of the picture’s failure. It not only destroys the Runyonesque sentimental flavor but actually pulls the props from under the inherent humor of the story.

Marilyn Maxwell is decorative as the sophisticated and therefore un-Runyon love interest, and she teams neatly with the star in the catchy incidental songs [by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans]. Other members of the cast are generally excellent, primarily because they conform to the Runyon requirements. Thus, Lloyd Nolan is passable though a trifle over-suave as a racketeer, while Jane Darwell, Fred Clark, Jay C. Flippen, William Frawley, Harry Bellaver, Sid Melton and various others are properly intense and therefore genuinely comic as assorted minor hoodlums.

The Lemon Drop Kid

Production

Paramount/Hope. Director Sidney Lanfield; Producer Robert L. Welch; Screenplay Edmund Hartmann, Robert O'Brien, Frank Tashlin, Irving Elinson; Camera Daniel L. Fapp; Editor Archie Marshek; Music Victor Young; Art Director Hal Pereira, Franz Bachelin

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1951. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

Bob Hope Marilyn Maxwell Lloyd Nolan Jane Darwell Andrea King Fred Clark
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