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


1959-1961


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

North By Northwest (1959)

Train Berth Kisses

Hitchcock's suspense-thriller told of a case of mistaken identity when a Manhattan businessman was thought to be someone else, agent George Kaplan, and was pursued by both enemy agents and the FBI. During his flight in the direction of north by northwest, the dapper man traveled from New York to Chicago via the 20th Century Limited train, during which he had a long series of seduction scenes and suggestive dialogue with a mysterious and baffling female:

  • handsome, unattached ('on the make') ad executive named Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant)
  • blonde, ambiguous and enticing Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint)

When he wasn't avoiding capture, she encouraged him in a playful manner to kiss her. In the train car, she surrendered entirely to his hands around her head as they bantered together, even though he was basically a stranger to her:

Eve: "I'm a big girl."
Roger: "Yeah, and in all the right places too." (They shared a lingering kiss.)
Eve: "You know, this is ridiculous, you know that, don't you?"
Roger: "Yesss."
Eve: "I mean, we've hardly met."
Roger: "That's right."
Eve: "How do I know you aren't a murderer?"
Roger: "You don't."
Eve: "Maybe you're planning to murder me right here tonight?"
Roger: "Shall I?"
Eve: "Please do." (Another long kiss.)
Roger: "Beats flying, doesn't it?"
Eve: "We should stop."
Roger: "Immediately.
"

A few moments later, a porter interrupted their seduction and made up the berth's bed, but they soon continued when he left:

Roger: "Now where were we?"
Eve: "Here." (They kissed again passionately.)
Roger: "Yes. Nice of you to have opened the bed."
Eve: "Yes."
Roger: "Only one bed."
Eve: "Yes."
Roger: "That's a good omen, don't you think?"
Eve: "Wonderful."
Roger: "You know what that means?"
Eve: "Hmmm."
Roger: "What? Tell me."
Eve (in a bow to censors): "It means you're going to sleep on the floor."








North By Northwest (1959)

Honeymoon Kisses - With a Train Entering a Tunnel

Danger and seduction were blended together in the exciting finale. In a clever transition expressing their physical survival and their new real relationship, Roger continued to struggle in hauling Eve to safety from the rock ledge atop Mount Rushmore:

Roger: "Here, reach. Now."
Eve: "I'm trying."
Roger: "Come on, I've got you. Up!"
Eve: "I can't make it."
Roger: "Yes, you can. Come on."
Eve: "Pull harder."

And then - CUT - he was abruptly seen pulling her into his upper train berth in a Pullman car: "Come along, Mrs. Thornhill."

They were last seen on their honeymoon as they bedded down for the night in their private double-bedded train compartment.

Eve: "Oh, Roger, this is silly."
Roger: "I know, but I'm sentimental."

They were returning to their starting point, going east on the train. The film's final shot was blatantly phallic - their train glided into a tunnel.





Pillow Talk (1959)

More Than a "Perfect Gentleman" Kiss

The first of a series of three popular Doris Day-Rock Hudson films (the others were Lover Come Back (1961) and Send Me No Flowers (1964)) was this amusing romantic comedy about two neighbors who shared a phone party-line:

  • womanizing songwriter-playboy Brad Allen (Rock Hudson), impersonating and using the alias of "Rex Stetson" - a wealthy, shy and naive tall Texan
  • conservative-minded, yet chic interior decorator Jan Morrow (Doris Day)

As part of the seduction ploy of his neighbor, 'Rex' teased Jan with the idea that he might be romantically-uninterested in her - or even gay, to try to release her female libido. [Note: This was ironic, due to Hudson's later revelation about his real-life homosexuality.]

After meeting her and requesting a dinner/dance date on the phone, he told her: "I get a nice warm feeling bein' near you, Ma'am. It's like, like bein' round a potbellied stove on a frosty mornin'."

Following a number of dates, she challenged him to demonstrate his romantic interest and go beyond being a "perfect gentleman" all the time:

Jan: "Well, being such a perfect gentleman and all, it's-it's not very flattering."
Brad: (in character) "Oh, well, ma'am, I wouldn't want to do anything that might spoil our friendship."
Jan: (astonished) "Is that all it is with us, friendship?"
Brad: "Ma'am, that's a direct question. I think it deserves a direct answer."

Finally, he delivered a kiss that was sensational. Jan was so flustered by the kiss that she had to excuse herself in the club: "I'd better go to the powder moon, I mean room. Fix my lipstick." Afterwards, he asked her to go away with him to Connecticut for the weekend, where he also declared his down-home love for her in front of a roaring fire with a bucket of chilled alcohol:

"Remember when I said that being near you was like being near a potbellied stove on a frosty morning?...I was wrong...You're more like a forest fire, completely out of control."




Rio Bravo (1959)

"It's Better When Two People Do It" Kisses

In this Howard Hawks' traditional western, young pretty star Angie Dickinson portrayed feisty gambler's widow Feathers, an attractive, independent and alluring stagecoach passenger. She was urged to leave the town of Rio Bravo by Sheriff John T. Chance (John Wayne), when he suspected her of cheating in cards.

When accused by the lawman, she dared him to search her clothing:

"Well, Sheriff, you've got a job to do. Where do you intend to begin?... You've got to prove I have those cards...I think you're embarrassed..."

She persisted in verbally dueling with him whenever she saw him during their antagonistic relationship. She refused to leave town on the stagecoach when Chance ordered her, telling him:

"That's what I'd do if I were the kind of girl that you think I am."

Later, when he admitted that things might be different between them if he wasn't involved in "this mess" with a jailed murderer, she told him: "That's all I wanted to hear" and kissed him. She followed it with a second more passionate kiss:

"I'm glad we tried it a second time. It's better when two people do it."

He gradually broke down and accepted her love, and they kissed freely as the film progressed.




Some Like It Hot (1959)

Impotence-Busting Seduction Kisses

Some Like It Hot has been regularly voted as the best comedy of all time. Director Billy Wilder's uproarious film featured transvestism, gangsters and murder, impotence, the sexy Marilyn Monroe as the member of an all-girl band, and Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as two down-and-out musicians on the run to Florida after witnessing the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

A memorable, racy seduction scene (dripping with sexual innuendo and imagery, and involving champagne and soft music) occurred on a millionaire's Florida yacht between:

  • luscious and voluptuous band member Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (Marilyn Monroe)
  • Joe (Tony Curtis), a broke saxophone player (in reality) who was impersonating an eccentric, rich oilman, Osgood Fielding III (comedian Joe E. Brown)

He assuringly told her that she had nothing to worry about being completely alone with him there. He supposedly had a complex about women and couldn't get excited about them, due to a traumatic childhood tragedy. The impotent millionaire explained that he couldn't fall in love anymore - he was basically frigid because Mother Nature threw him "a dirty curve" - so she sympathetically accepted the challenge to be the aggressor after he successfully convinced her to help him overcome his insensitivity and mental block toward sex.

Throwing herself on top of him, she planted a kiss after asking: "Have you ever tried American girls?" Another attempt was made when he reclined on the sofa and she asked: "I may not be Dr. Freud or a Mayo brother, or one of those French upstairs girls, but could I take another crack at it?" Joe replied: "All right, if you insist" (They kissed deeply accompanied by a phallic image - his foot rose at the end of the sofa behind her).

After she turned the lights down, she kept offering torrid kisses and sips of champagne: "You're not giving yourself a chance. Don't fight it. Re-lax." He replied that it wasn't working: "Like smoking without inhaling," and she quipped: "So inhale!"

Finally, he admitted: "I've got a funny sensation in my toes, like someone was barbecuing them over a slow flame," followed by her added quip and more hot kissing: "Let's throw another log on the fire." When he encouraged her: "I think you're on the right track," she noticed that his glasses were beginning to steam up. (see further below)




Some Like It Hot (1959)

Puckered Kiss for the Audience

During the stage show at the Florida hotel, Sugar sang: "I Wanna Be Loved By You," wearing a sheer, see-through gown as she performed in the nightclub lounge. The spotlight tantalizingly teased the viewer with shadows as it moved over her translucent, backless dress with transparent fabric, just cutting off her breasts.

At the beginning of the song, she puckered up for the audience following the lyric:

"I couldn't aspire, To anything higher, Than to fill the desire, To make you my own, Paah-dum paah-dum doo bee dum, pooooo!"

(see further below)

Some Like It Hot (1959)

An Honest Revealing Kiss

At the film's conclusion, Joe watched a soulful, sad Sugar singing the poignant "I'm Through With Love." He decided that he was ready to reveal the charade, and tell her the truth about 'Junior' and Josephine.

Dressed as Josephine, he came up to her and gave her a goodbye kiss as a female - a moment of sexual exposure. He affirmed the bond between them - both as an empathizing female and as a man after a full masculine kiss on the lips.

At first believing that he was the millionaire, Sugar opened her eyes, looked up and exclaimed: "Josephine!" [Symbolically, she loved both his masculine and feminine personalities (both Junior and Joe - sephine).]


Elmer Gantry (1960)

Vengeful Betrayal Kiss

Director Richard Brooks' drama was an adaptation of Sinclair Lewis' 1927 novel about a charismatic and corrupt evangelist.

One of flamboyant, high-energy revivalist preacher Elmer Gantry's (Burt Lancaster) old (and wronged) girlfriends - minister's daughter-turned-prostitute Lulu Bains (Oscar-winning Shirley Jones cast against type) - invited him to her place hours before being cast out of town by the law, following a brothel raid that he had sponsored to rout out sin. She had vengefully set him up and framed him, by having photographers positioned to take pictures from outside her window, so that they would be caught in a compromising situation - to ruin his reputation. When he arrived, she angrily criticized him for his hypocrisy:

"When you came bustin' in last night like God Almighty wearin' a tin star, I got mad, boilin' mad. All I could think of me - how you took me and ditched me. That's all I could think of, me. Little Miss Lulu, the dumb pushover. When the cops said get out of town in 24 hours, all I wanted to do was spit in your eye, blackmail ya, shake-down, anything to hurt ya. But when you walked in just now, gee honey, it was like the first time between us all over again. All goose-pimples. You'd better beat it."

He admitted that he had been wrong to run out on her back in Kansas, after having an affair with her that discredited her in the eyes of her puritanical father. When he offered a charitable handout of cash to "sort of tide you over," she instead asked for a kiss goodbye before she left for Paris: "Just kiss me goodbye, just once." She awaited his kiss - with her eyes closed - and when he hesitated, she placed her arms around his neck and approached his lips. The longer they kissed, the more passionate it became, and she rekindled her feelings for him. She realized that she had accomplished what she wanted, dimmed the lights, and then asked: "Stay awhile. Talk to me. Don't go yet. Please don't go. Oh, tell me anything. Tell me a good strong lie I can believe but hold me, just hold me like you used to. Please."

But Gantry declined, because he had feelings for dedicated Sister Sharon Falconer (Jean Simmons) instead - detestfully called "that Bible broad" by the jealous Lulu. When he went to the door to leave, she apologized and admitted: "I could use some of that cash after all" - and placed his contribution in her garter.







Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

Classic Kiss in the Rain

The final scene of this Blake Edwards romantic drama/comedy began with a taxi ride to New York's Idylwild Airport by call girl Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn), the daughter of a Texas dirt farmer. She was on her way to Brazil (to find a rich husband), accompanied by upstairs neighbor/writer and boyfriend Paul Varjak (George Peppard), who was trying to persuade her to stay and not "jump bail."

He professed his love for her ("Holly, I'm in love with you... I love you. You belong to me"). She told Paul that she didn't belong to anyone ("People don't belong to people...I'm not gonna let anyone put me in a cage").

Paul expressed his true love again ("I don't want to put you in a cage. I want to love you"). She continued to call herself a "no-name slob" -

"And my cat here. We're a couple of no-name slobs. We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don't even belong to each other."

She abruptly had the cab pull over, and let her Cat out of the car into an alleyway, ordering "Beat it!" A few moments later, Paul had the cab driver pull over again and got out -- and then told her:

"You know what's wrong with you, Miss Whoever-you-are? You're chicken. You've got no guts. You're afraid to stick out your chin and say: 'Okay, life's a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that's the only chance anybody's got for real happiness.' You call yourself a free spirit, a 'wild thing,' and you're terrified somebody's gonna stick you in a cage. Well, baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas or on the east by Somaliland. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself."

He took a ring out of his coat pocket and threw it in her lap, telling her: "Here. I've been carrying this thing around for months. I don't want it anymore," and then closed the taxi door. After placing the ring on her wedding finger, she exited the taxi in the rain and ran after him. She found him calling out: "Here, Cat." She went looking too and found the wet feline in a wooden crate.

She hugged and embraced Cat, placing it in her coat to keep it dry. As the theme from "Moon River" played, she went over to Paul and they breathlessly kissed and embraced in the pouring rain in the alleyway. The rescued Cat was squished between them, as the camera zoomed in for a closeup, and then pulled away for medium and far shots.

The film's last line was: "Cat! Cat! Oh, Cat... ohh..."




The Innocents (1961, UK)

Underage Ethereal Kisses

Director Jack Clayton's scary, supernatural-psychological horror film was adapted from Henry James' novella, The Turn of the Screw.

The setting was in the 19th century at a gothic, bleak English country estate where a new governess, Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr), was taking care of a young boy and girl for wealthy Bly House estate owner and bachelor, the Uncle (Michael Redgrave). The children were:

  • young 'ghostly' Miles (Martin Stephens), the orphaned, seemingly 'innocent' nephew
  • Flora (Pamela Franklin), the niece

As the story unfolded, the sexually-repressed Miss Giddens appeared slightly deranged (was she mad or not?), believing that the slightly mature, corrupted and strange children Miles and Flora were 'possessed' by the malignant spirits of the estate's dead (violently murdered) valet Peter Quint (Peter Wyngarde) and the previous drowned governess Miss Jessel (Clytie Jessop) suffering from 'mad grief'. The two deceased individuals had carried on a perverse relationship and were suspected of 'haunting' the estate as apparitions.

The most controversial portion of the film was its adult-like, intimately passionate, unsettling on-the-lips kiss between Miss Giddens and the wise-beyond-his-years Miles after she escorted him to bed. She was horrified that Miles was keeping a pigeon with a broken neck under his pillow ("Yes, poor thing, I'll bury it tomorrow"). And then he suddenly sat up and put his arms around her neck, asking: "Kiss me goodnight, Miss Giddens."

In the film's conclusion in the greenhouse, he screamed at her, calling her a "damn hussy, a damn dirty-minded hag" (with a cackling laugh) and then fled outside. In the garden, she grabbed Miles and forced him to admit that the ghost of Quint existed ("Say his name, and it will all be over...Tell me his name, you must tell me his name!"). He yelled back at her: "You're wrong, you're insane," and then collapsed to the ground at her feet after screaming out: "Where you devil, where?" She cradled his body in her arms, assuring him and believing that he was freed from Quint ("He's gone, Miles. You are safe. You're free. I have you. He's lost you forever"), and then realized he was dead ("Miles? Miles! Miles!"). Sobbing, she leaned over and kissed him, as the film ended.



Bedroom Kiss



Conclusion

West Side Story (1961)

Star-Crossed Lovers' First Kiss

Co-directors Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins brought Stephen Sondheim's musical play to the big screen, winning Best Picture for its tragic romantic Romeo and Juliet tale transposed to New York City's streets filled with gang warfare.

In the gymnasium dance sequence, from across the dance floor, Puerto Rican Maria (Natalie Wood) and Polish-American Tony (Richard Beymer) spotted each other and became magically entranced - everything around them became blurred and in soft focus. As the lights around them went out, they were drawn to each other as other couples around them froze - it was instantaneous love at first sight.

As a couple, they performed a light ballet to the tune of "Maria" - the black sky behind them was dotted with multi-colored stars, as they spoke to each other --

Tony: "You're not thinkin' I'm someone else."
Maria: "I know you are not."
Tony: "Or that we met before?"
Maria: "I know we have not."
Tony: "I felt - I knew something never before was gonna happen, had to happen, but this is so much more."
Maria: "My hands are cold. (He touched and took her hands) "Yours too." (She gently caressed his cheek with her right hand.) "So warm."
Tony: (He was guided to touch her face.) "So beautiful."
Maria: "Beautiful."
Tony: "It's so much to believe. You're not makin' a joke."
Maria: "I have not yet learned how to joke that way. I think now I never will."

The camera slowly moved in as Tony's lips descended to Maria's for their first kiss. When their romantic reverie ended and the lights came back up, Maria's brother Bernardo (George Chakiris) pushed the American away from improperly kissing his appealing sister:

"Get your hands off, American! Stay away from my sister!"







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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