Best and Most Memorable
Film Kisses of All Time
in Cinematic History


1896-1925


Best Movie Kisses of All-Time
Film Title/Year and Description of Kiss in Movie Scene
Screenshot

The Kiss (1896) (aka The May Irwin Kiss)

First Screen Kiss

Although regarded as "disgusting" and scandalous and prompting demands for censorship, May Irwin and John Rice re-enacted a lingering kiss for Thomas Edison's film camera in this 20-second long short, from their 1895 Broadway stage play The Widow Jones.

It was the first film ever made of a couple kissing in cinematic history, and became the most popular film produced that year by Edison's film company (it was filmed at Edison's Black Maria studio, in West Orange, NJ).

A Fool There Was (1915)

First Vamp Kiss

The original vamp and first movie sex goddess, the full-bosomed Theda Bara, starred in a number of early silents for the Fox Film Corporation - her first lurid, slinky vamp appearance (and first lead role) was in this Fox "psychological" melodrama.

She portrayed a worldly, predatory woman who stole a wayward married man (Mr. Victor Benoit) from his wife and child by luring him with kisses ("Kiss me, my Fool!"). The catchphrase later became popularized as: "Kiss me, you fool!"


Behind the Screen (1916)

'Gay' Kiss

In this two-reeler's infamous 'gay' scene, hired film studio worker David (Charlie Chaplin) kissed a young girl (Edna Purviance) who was dressed in masculine clothing (as a masquerading way to find work).

They upset his brutish and burly foreman Goliath (Eric Campbell) who believed they were homosexual and teased them mercilessly by acting 'prissy' to mock them.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)

Tango Kiss

This long war epic from Metro Pictures, one of the biggest silent film hits ever made, featured Argentinian Julio's (Rudolph Valentino) sexy (but forbidden) tango dance and kissing scene in a seedy, smoke-filled Argentinian cantina near Buenos Aires.

Greed (1924)

Shameful Dentist's Chair Anesthetized Kiss

In this early scene in Erich Von Stroheim's epic tale, self-taught quack dentist McTeague (Gibson Gowland) lustfully looked down at the unconscious, sedated face of his patient - ether-anesthetized, helpless Trina (ZaSu Pitts) in his dental chair. His eyes were fixed on her and he lustfully bent down toward her - but then he held back and resisted the strong temptation and impulse to molest her (inherited from his degenerate hereditary line).

He took out his drill to begin working, but still appeared disturbed: (Subtitle) "But below the fine fabric bred of his mother, ran the foul stream of hereditary evil...the taint of generations given through his father." He smelled her hair and her perfume, and eagerly leaned over and could not resist kissing her full on the mouth while she was under the influence of the ether. His agitated pet bird jumped and hopped about in its cage in a corner of the office.

At the conclusion of the shameful kiss, he pulled back, grabbed his hair in distress, and continued working.

Sherlock, Jr. (1924)

Imitative Kiss

This classic silent comedy included a scene of lovelorn projectionist and flustered 'detective' Sherlock, Jr. (Buster Keaton) kissing his sweetheart/girlfriend (Kathryn McGuire) in the projection booth.

He was following and imitating the cues of the leading-man screen actor kissing his girl on the big screen.


The Big Parade (1925)

Kisses with French-Speaking Peasant Girl During WWI

King Vidor's influential war film, the highest grossing silent film in cinematic history, told of the experiences of a group of US doughboys who were sent to France to fight in WWI (The Great War), where one of them found love with a French girl.

In a marvelous, fully pantomimed, classic sequence - (one of the most famous scenes in silent film) - filmed in a single, uninterrupted take after they sat down on a bench beside her front steps, American soldier Jim Apperson (John Gilbert) introduced his French-speaking peasant girlfriend named Melisande (Renee Adoree) to American chewing gum with a lesson on how to stretch the gum out of one's mouth.

To her surprise, she swallowed the stick of gum with one large gulp and then politely refused his offer of a second piece. With broken French, he boldly and awkwardly attempted to tell her of his love, and she reciprocated the attempt in broken English, and resisted his advances for a kiss.

However, during their eight o'clock date that evening, when they both retreated to the wine cellar, in candlelight, he pointed out what he wanted to say to her about his love for her from his French primer. She beamed a smile back at him and they both shared a delicious, long kiss. When they rendezvoused later, their passion was released in a flood of kisses by the stream's edge under a tree.

At war's end, when amputee Jim returned to France to meet his lover, they joyously embraced and kissed each other to end the film.



Best and Most Memorable Film Kisses
(in chronological order by film title)
Introduction | 1896-1925 | 1926-1927 | 1928-1932 | 1933-1936 | 1937-1939 | 1940-1941
1942-1943 | 1944-1946 | 1947-1951 | 1952-1954 | 1955 - 1 | 1955 - 2 | 1956-1958 | 1959-1961
1962-1965 | 1966-1968 | 1969-1971 | 1972-1976 | 1977-1981 | 1982
1983-1984 | 1985-1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989-1990 | 1991 | 1992-1993 | 1994
1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006-2007 | 2008 | 2009-

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