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


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

Hold Your Man (1933)

A Deep and Forceful Kiss

Director Sam Wood's romantic comedy-drama was the third of six films co-starring two of the biggest screen stars of the 1930s:

  • Ruby Adams (Jean Harlow), a good-hearted, working-class, wise-cracking charmer
  • Eddie Hall (Clark Gable), a flirtatious, lovable yet raffish small-time con man

The two first met when Eddie was fleeing from NY police and he hid in stranger Ruby's apartment. He barged into her bathroom and found her taking a bubble bath. When they questioned her, she pretended that he was her husband who was taking a very sudsy bath.

Soon after, she met up with him again and he invited her over for a drink together. After she dumped her male friend at dinner, she met him at his apartment. In the seduction scene, Eddie willingly helped Ruby remove her coat ("I told you it would be too warm in here with it on"). She was wary of him, and told him of two rules she often followed: "Keep away from couches and stay on your feet." A bit later, he gave Ruby a crushing, body-clenching kiss after which the camera panned to the right where a phonograph record was playing before fading to black - they undoubtedly experienced one night of pre-marital sex (leading to her subsequent pregnancy).

The strict moralism of the censorial Hays Code forced her wicked ways to be punished with a two year sentence in a woman's reformatory for 'bad girls' as an unwed criminal mother, while fugitive Eddie was on the lam.

She was able to be reunited with Eddie and hastily marry him in the reformatory chapel to make her an honest and respectable woman (so that the child is not illegitimate) and him a redeemed and rehabilitated husband in the sentimental conclusion.

Queen Christina (1933)

Queen's Kiss on the Lips

This was one of the daring pre-Code films with its lesbian leanings regarding the real-life bi-sexual 17th century Queen Christina of Sweden (portrayed by Greta Garbo).

The willful queen monarch expressed her romantic attraction to her own lady-in-waiting Countess Ebba Sparre (Elizabeth Young) whom she affectionately kissed on the lips. Countess Ebba complained: "I can't get near you." Christina explained how she must attend to her official duties of "ambassadors, treaties, councils" instead of going sleigh-riding with Ebba, but then she promised to spend private time with Ebba later:

Christina: "Today, I'll dispose of them by sundown, I promise you, and we'll go away for two or three days in the country. Wouldn't you like that?"
Ebba: "Oh, I'd love it."

The Painted Veil (1934)

Veiled Lesbian Kisses

MGM's romantic soap-opera drama was based upon W. Somerset Maugham's 1925 novel of the same name and set in colonial China, with Garbo in a loveless marriage to a dedicated, self-sacrificing doctor (Herbert Marshall).

Early in the film before she married, Garbo portrayed Austrian spinster Katrin Koerber, who shared a lesbian kiss with her younger sister Olga Koerber (Cecilia Parker).

It was disguised, due to restrictive Hays Code rules just put into effect, as an intense series of multiple kisses between sisters on Olga's wedding day as they bid goodbye.

The Scarlet Empress (1934)

Clandestine, Adulterous Kisses

This stylish, unorthodox biopic by director Josef von Sternberg starred Marlene Dietrich as Russia's Sophia Frederica (eventually renamed Catherine the Great) in a frank and suggestive way. (It was the sixth of seven collaborations between von Sternberg and Dietrich.)

The film was filled with erotic images and motifs, and portrayed the transformation of the queen into a sexually-depraved, dominatrix ruler.

Although in an arranged marriage with idiotic, grinning, and childlike Grand Duke Peter III (Sam Jaffe in his film debut) - presumably impotent, she clandestinely met Russian emissary Count Alexei (John Lodge) in a stable barn, where she seductively kept replacing a piece of straw between her lips and warned: "If you come closer, I'll scream." He removed every strand and then coyly answered: "It is easier for you to scream without a straw in your mouth," before kissing her. She was startled by the whinnying of a horse mid-kiss and ran off.

In another scene of adulterous seduction, she met up with an anonymous palace guard on his first night of duty, who was astonished to learn who she was: ("If you are the Grand Duchess, then I am the Grand Duke...On a night like this, anything might happen - if I'm fortunate"). She mentioned that he was "very fortunate" and clasped her hands behind him (with extended fingers) as she embraced him - before a fade to black.

In another sex scene with the Count, she appeared with a gauzy veil over herself before allowing him to vow his love for her ("Catherine, I love you, worship you"). He leaned down to kiss her behind the veil - when they kissed, she gripped the veil with her fist and drew it aside to reveal their affectionate kiss, and then asked for a favor from the scorned Count - to open her secret door for another military figure - Captain Orloff (Gavin Gordon).

In the bell-ringing conclusion, the Captain would help her to coordinate and engineer a military coup d'etat leading to the downfall of Peter III, followed by her crowning as Catherine the Great, Tsarina of Russia. The film's last lines were delivered by Count Orloff to Emperor Peter who had been dethroned: "There is no emperor. There is only an empress."

The Thin Man (1934)

Sarcastic "I Love You" Kiss

This was the first of The Thin Man series of six mystery films (from 1934-1947) featuring the rich, carefree husband-wife detective team:

  • Nick (William Powell), clever, usually inebriated
  • Nora Charles (Myrna Loy), lovely and wealthy, Nick's wife

The couple were known for sleuthing, solving murders, wisecracking one-liners, affectionate witticisms, delightful teasing and one-upmanship.

They also had a loving relationship and alcoholic fun with plenty of martinis, accompanied by a wire-haired terrier named Asta (actually named Skippy). Their drinking was often punctuated with quick kisses and slight hiccups.

During a Christmas party as the drunken party-goers sang Oh Christmas Tree, Nora embraced and kissed Nick, and sarcastically told him what she thought about all the low-life guests he had gathered together:

"Oh, Nicky. I love you, because you know such lovely people."

The Thin Man (1934)

"I'm Used to You" Kisses

As Nick prepared to leave Nora to work on a new case - the disappearance of 'thin man' inventor Clyde Wynant (Edward Ellis) - Nora was pouting. She was upset because the retired Nick had brought her to New York while engaged in the dangerous assignment ("just to make a widow of me"), although she had urged him to get involved.

She resisted a good-bye kiss and they quipped with each other:

Nora: (affectionately) Take care of yourself.
Nick: (laughing) Why sure I will.
Nora: (retorting) Don't say it like that. Say it as if you meant it.
Nick: Well, I do believe the little woman cares.
I don't care. It's just that I'm used to you, that's all. (She grabbed him for a kiss)

As he left, she teasingly threatened Asta: "If you let anything happen to him, you'll never wag that tail again."

Alice Adams (1935)

"A Penny For Your Thoughts," and "Gee Whiz!" Kiss

Director George Stevens' romantic drama, an adaptation of Booth Tarkington's novel, featured a wistful small-town girl who yearned to be included in higher social circles. The main heroine and her beau were:

  • Alice Adams (Katharine Hepburn)
  • Arthur (Fred MacMurray), Alice's wealthy beau

After a disastrous dinner party with him and her family, Alice walked back out to her front porch for fresh air and to gaze into the stars. The camera rested on her as she heard an off-camera voice:

"A penny for your thoughts. No, a poor little dead rose for your thoughts, Alice Adams."

Arthur had remained behind on the porch swing waiting for her at the end of the evening, although he had overheard everything about her lowly status.

Despite logic and through her sheer determination, even though he knew the whole truth and in spite of everything, he professed his love for her on the front porch: "And I found out one thing. I love you, Alice."

This brought the film to a close with her exclamation: "Gee Whiz!", his response of "I love you," and a shared kiss.

Camille (1936)

A Shower of Kisses

Director George Cukor sensitively directed this lavish MGM romantic drama, an adaptation of an Alexandre Dumas novel, about an ill-fated courtesan. The tragic tale featured two lovers:

  • Marguerite Gautier, aka Camille (Greta Garbo), a dying courtesan, passionately romantic and broodingly dark at times about her consumptive, incurable disease
  • Armand Duvall (Robert Taylor), Camille's handsome lover

In one memorable scene, he followed her into her candle-lit boudoir - a scene filmed with delicate lighting and shadows. She was dressed in a beautiful strapless white gown. She abandoned herself to him by raising her head to him. Arching backwards, she drew the earnest, idealistic young man toward her, lifting herself up spiritually by accepting his pure devotion.

"After all, when one may not have long to live, why shouldn't one have fancies? You see, I'm not laughing anymore. (She threw her neck back and beckoned with her upturned lips for a kiss. They kissed.) (She offered him a camellia in her palm.) Take this and come back to me when it dies...Tomorrow night."

When he professed his love, she offered him a key so that he could return later:

Camille: "There. You can let yourself in when you come back."
Duvall: "You're an angel. I won't go, I can't."

Then she showered his entire face with delicate kisses. They kissed one final time before he left - she swooned backwards, and revived herself with the smell of one of her camellias.

The Plainsman (1936)

A Final Dying Kiss That Won't Be Wiped Off

Cecil B. De Mille's post-Civil War biographical western was a romanticized and fictionalized account of various historical figures, including Wild Bill Hickok (Gary Cooper), Calamity Jane (Jean Arthur), Buffalo Bill Cody (James Ellison), and General George A. Custer (John Miljan). In a few scenes, Calamity Jane showed her affection for Hickok, but he often repulsed her kisses.

The film told about the efforts of Hickok to end gun-running to Indians on the warpath by profiteering front-man John Lattimer (Charles Bickford). During the action, feisty and spunky Calamity Jane was kidnapped by Cheyenne Indians led by Chief Yellow Hand (Paul Harvey). Hickok tried to save her by buying her with his musical watch and guns, but he was also captured. Jane was forced to reveal vital information about Cody's whereabouts (Cody was leading a supply ammunition train to Fort Piney) to save Hickok from torture (over a fire pit). Her actions caused Cody's men to be ambushed by Cheyenne using Lattimer's seven-shot repeating rifles.

In the film's conclusion set in Deadwood City, South Dakota, Hickok and Cody teamed up to stop another Lattimer shipment. Hickok self-defensively killed Lattimer, arrested his henchmen, and took them to a saloon. Soon after while playing poker (with a famous 'dead man's hand' of black aces and three eights), Hickok was fatally shot in the back by cowardly Lattimer cohort Jack McCall (Porter Hall).

As the film ended, heartbroken and teary-eyed Calamity Jane kissed Wild Bill Hickok as she cradled him in her arms, telling him: "That's one kiss you won't wipe off."

The film ended with an epilogue of text: "It shall be as it was in the past... Not with dreams, but with strength and with courage... Shall a nation be molded to last."

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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