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The Lemon Drop Kid

The Lemon Drop Kid(1934)

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The title card for this film reads, "Damon Runyon's The Lemon Drop Kid." Runyon's original short story was later published in his collection Blue Plate Special (New York, 1934). Background footage was shot at Tanforan Racetrack in San Bruno, CA. A pre-production news item in Hollywood Reporter on July 20, 1934 states that Gertrude Michael was set to star with Lee Tracy and Helen Mack in this film, although she does not appear in the final film. Several reviews praise William Frawley's performance, especially the scene in which he sings a lullaby to Baby LeRoy.
       Paramount also used Runyon's story as the basis for a 1951 comedy entitled The Lemon Drop Kid, directed by Sidney Lanfield and starring Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell. The two films have few similarities and, although neither is completely faithful to Runyon's story, the 1934 film more closely resembles it. In the original short story the "Lemon Drop Kid" has no other name and both his wife and baby die.