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The Kiss (1896 film)

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Screenplay  John J. McNally
Genres  Short Film, Romance Film
Country  United States
6/10 IMDb

Director  William Heise
Language  Silent
The Kiss (1896 film) movie poster

Cast  May Irwin, John C. Rice
Release date  1896 (1896)
Writer  John J. McNally (play)

Similar  Le Coucher de la Mariée, Dont Look Now, Eyes Wide Shut

Thomas edison the kiss 1896

The Kiss (also known as The May Irwin Kiss, The Rice-Irwin Kiss and The Widow Jones) is an 1896 film, and was one of the first films ever shown commercially to the public. Around 18 seconds long, it depicts a re-enactment of the kiss between May Irwin and John Rice from the final scene of the stage musical The Widow Jones. The film was directed by William Heise for Thomas Edison. The film was produced at the Edison Studios of Edison, the first movie studio in the United States. At the time, Edison was working at the Black Maria studios in West Orange, New Jersey.


The Kiss (1896 film) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommons88

In 1999, the short was deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

The Kiss (1896 film) The Kiss 1896 YouTube

The kiss 1896 film


The Kiss (1896 film) The Kiss 1896 MUBI

The film contained the very first kiss on film, with a close-up of a nuzzling couple followed by a short peck on the lips ("the mysteries of the kiss revealed"). The kissing scene was denounced as shocking and obscene to early moviegoers and caused the Roman Catholic Church to call for censorship and moral reform - because kissing in public at the time could lead to prosecution.

The Kiss (1896 film) The Kiss 1896 YouTube

The film caused a scandalized uproar and occasioned disapproving newspaper editorials and calls for police action in many places where it was shown. One contemporary critic wrote, "The spectacle of the prolonged pasturing on each other's lips was beastly enough in life size on the stage but magnified to gargantuan proportions and repeated three times over it is absolutely disgusting."

The Kiss (1896 film) The Kiss 1896 The Public Domain Review

The Edison catalogue advertised it this way: "They get ready to kiss, begin to kiss, and kiss and kiss and kiss in a way that brings down the house every time."

The Kiss (1896 film) Short Film Saturday The Kiss 1896 The Movie Rat

Perhaps in defiance and "to spice up a film", this was followed by many kiss imitators, including The Kiss in the Tunnel (1899) and The Kiss (1900).

Public exposure

The Kiss was projected in West End Park, Ottawa, on July 21, 1896, and was long thought to be the first film publicly shown in Canada. However, the competing Lumière Brothers Cinematograph had already exhibited different films in Montreal on June 27, 1896.


The Kiss (1896 film) Wikipedia
The Kiss (1896 film) IMDb The Kiss (1896 film)