5.8/10
2,772
20 user 4 critic

The Kiss (1896)

Not Rated | | Short, Romance | 1 April 1896 (USA)
In a medium close-up shot of the first kiss ever recorded on screen, two fervent lovers cuddle and talk passionately at hair's breadth, just before the love-smitten gentleman decides to give his chosen one an innocent peck.

Director:

William Heise

Writer:

John J. McNally (play)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man opens the big gates to the Lumière factory. Through the gateway and a smaller doorway beside it, workers are streaming out, turning either left or right. Most of them are women in ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Lumière
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Three men hammer on an anvil and pass a bottle of beer around.

Director: William K.L. Dickson
Stars: Charles Kayser, John Ott
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An impudent child plays a prank on a gardener innocently watering his plants.

Director: Louis Lumière
Stars: François Clerc, Benoît Duval
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The sound has been found in the form of an old Edisonian recording cylinder. The cylinder was repaired, then Walter Murch ACE MPSE synced the film to the correct music in (I believe) 2002. Total running time is approximately 17 seconds.

Director: William K.L. Dickson
Stars: William K.L. Dickson
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Annabelle (Whitford) Moore performs one of her popular dance routines. She uses her dance steps and her long, flowing skirts to create a variety of visual patterns.

Directors: William K.L. Dickson, William Heise
Stars: Annabelle Moore
Documentary | Short | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A train arrives at La Ciotat station.

Directors: Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière
Stars: Madeleine Koehler, Marcel Koehler, Mrs. Auguste Lumiere
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A shot of people walking on The Leeds Bridge.

Director: Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Auguste Lumière directs four workers in the demolition of an old wall at the Lumière factory. One worker is pressing the wall inwards with a jackscrew, while another is pushing it with a ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Lumière
Stars: Auguste Lumière
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The clip shows a jockey, Domm, riding a horse, Sally Gardner. The clip is not filmed but instead consists of 24 individual photographs shot in rapid succession, making a moving picture when using a zoopraxiscope.

Director: Eadweard Muybridge
Stars: Gilbert Domm, Sallie Gardner
Short | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

This short film, one of the first to use camera tricks, depicts the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Director: Alfred Clark
Stars: Mrs. Robert L. Thomas
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

An athlete swings Indian clubs.

Director: William K.L. Dickson
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In the garden, a man asks his friends to do something silly for him to record on film.

Director: Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince
Stars: Annie Hartley, Adolphe Le Prince, Joseph Whitley
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
May Irwin ... The Widow Jones
John C. Rice ... Billie Bikes
Edit

Storyline

A couple make love, in the 19th century sense. Then he grooms his moustache, and gives her a kiss. On the lips! Written by David Steele

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

1 April 1896 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The May Irwin Kiss See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 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 Edison catalog advertised it thus: "They get ready to kiss, begin to kiss, and kiss and kiss and kiss in a way that brings down the house every time." 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). See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
They get ready to kiss, begin to kiss, and kiss and kiss and kiss in a way that brings down the house every time.
27 June 2007 | by Ziggy5446See all my reviews

In 1896 the Edison Company purchased the rights to a motion picture projector that had been invented by C. Francis Jenkins and Thomas Armat. The projector was renamed the Vitascope and had its commercial debut on April 23, 1896. During its first year the most popular film shown using the Edison vitascope was the May Irwin Kiss.

May Irwin who was a Canadian actor, comedienne and singer. Her first starring role on Broadway came in 1895 in a musical comedy created for her by J.J. McNally, called The Widow Jones. In one key scene at the end of the play, Irwin and her co–star, John C. Rice, kiss each other with something of a flourish. Many were scandalized when they recreated their stage kiss for Edison's camera the following year, and one clergy member denounced the film as "a lyric of the stockyards". Critic Herbert Stone complained, " . . . neither participant is physically attractive and the spectacle of their prolonged pasturing on each other's lips was hard to beat when only life size. Magnified to gargantuan proportions and repeated three times over is absolutely disgusting!" Despite, or perhaps because of these derisive reviews, the May Irwin Kiss became the most popular film produced that year by Thomas Edison's film company.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed