A kiss is just a kiss?

It’s Valentine’s Day! Yay for corporately-created holidays designed to entice people into spending copious amounts of money on flowers, candy, and various stuffed creatures of all types!

I mean … yay for love!

In honor of the day, I’m posting five of my favorite classic movie kisses, from the utterly romantic to the sentimental to the poignant to the giggle-inducing.

1. Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Yes, they’re dogs. But their inadvertent kiss over a plate of spaghetti, accompanied by the gorgeous tune “Bella Notte,” is still romantic as hell. Hey, even a tramp and a rich bitch can find love in this crazy world! Kind of gives you a case of the warm-and-fuzzies, doesn’t it?

2. Notorious (1946)

You knew I’d have a Cary Grant smooch on here. And nothing beats this two-and-a-half minute string of kisses, beautifully shot to highlight the intense emotion and passion behind the embrace. Devlin (Grant) may be an unmitigated bastard to Alicia (Ingrid Bergman) throughout much of the film, but this kiss indicates there’s more depth to his feelings for the woman than he himself is willing to admit or accept.

3. Rear Window (1954)

For a director best known for elements of suspense in his films, Hitchcock certainly knew how to stage a love scene. Even something as simple as being awoken with a kiss is heightened to erotic levels in Hitch’s capable hands. Grace Kelly never looked better on film, and discussions of an empty stomach have never been sexier.

4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

It sets the bar for practically every cinematic kiss in the pouring rain. That particular motif has devolved into the realm of cliche over the years, but the rain-soaked embrace between Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) and Paul Varjak (George Peppard), complete with an overly patient cat and the lovely strains of “Moon River,” remains a memorable, beautiful moment (seriously, though–poor cat).

5. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

The least romantic kiss on the list, and yet one of the best. Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) loathes his silent-film leading lady, the screechy-voiced Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen), who has gotten his new lady love, Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds), fired from her job. While filming a love scene for their newest picture, Don lets Lina know just how deep that loathing really is. It’s a truly hilarious scene, and (in my mind) Kelly and Hagen demonstrate more chemistry in this moment than Kelly and Reynolds display throughout the entire film. Odd, sometimes, how the flow of combat heightens sensuality.

Now that I’ve had my say, what are some of your favorite classic movie smooches?

17 thoughts on “A kiss is just a kiss?

  1. Must admit, you stole the first two that popped into my head (the Hitchcocks), but I’d also suggest:

    1. Belle and Beast/Prince at the end of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
    2. Scarlett and Rhett on the road away from the burning Atlanta in Gone With the Wind
    3. Rick and Ilsa in Casablanca (either “Kiss me as if it were the last time” or (“I wish I didn’t love you so much.”)

    Great post for Valentine’s Day!

    • I love the Scarlett/Rhett moment, too! I like that kiss much, much more than the punishing one later in the movie, which precedes Rhett sweeping her up the stairs and essentially raping her. I will never understand why that is considered to be the height of romanticism by some folks.

    • Thank you, madam. I wonder which ones would make your list? I know your choices would be more modern, but maybe one of those movies I’ve forced you to watch over the years has made an impression. 😉

    • Thank you! The WONDERFUL LIFE kiss is a sweet moment. To be honest, I don’t particularly care for the movie itself, but Stewart and Reed have a really lovely chemistry.

  2. Great picks! The kissing scene in “Lady in the Tramp” is soooo romantic – and sweet. The music and the candlelight and two absolutely adorable doggies, Disney at his best.

    On my own list, I’d pick the out-of-the-blue smooch Grace Kelly gave Cary Grant in “To Catch a Thief” over “Singin’ in the Rain.” It’s a sexy kiss, but the look on Cary Grant’s face afterward is priceless.

  3. Oh, I LOVE that scene in Breakfast at Tiffany’s! (In no small part because they are reunited with Cat, that poor no-name slob.) I’d also include George and Mary sharing the phone in It’s a Wonderful Life and Hubbell warning Katie, “you mustn’t be too serious” before their first kiss (as if she could take ANYTHING lightly).

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