Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, Notorious (1946)

Excuse us while we indulge in a little Valentine’s love over here. To mark the sweetest day of the year, we’re giving you some of the best kissing scenes modern movies have given us set against some classic old school smooch from Hollywood’s so-called “Golden Age” (courtesy of Tom Charity, Film Centre Programmer.)

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, Gone With the Wind (1939)


Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, Notorious (1946)

Three minutes of very sexy romantic entanglement – despite the censors’ insistence that no kiss should stay locked for more than three seconds. For my money, this may be the best kiss ever filmed.

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, Gone With the Wind (1939)

Rhett takes matters into his own hands and sweeps Scarlet off her feet and up to the boudoir. Today he’d probably be arrested.

Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe: Some Like It Hot (1959)

Curtis (doing his Cary Grant impression) pretends to be frigid. Marilyn makes his toes curl. Not romantic, necessarily, though they do become an item – and it convinces him to stop wearing a dress.

Marlon Brando and Kim Stanley, A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, To Have and Have Not (1944)

With a little prompting from Bacall, Bogie proves that, yup, he knows how to whistle. This was their falling-in-love movie, and it shows.

John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, The Quiet Man (1952)

A kiss so passionate it even inspires erotic thoughts in ET. Wayne mostly overwhelmed the women, but usually O’Hara could stand up to him. Not this time though.

Grace Kelly and James Stewart, Rear Window (1954)

Grace Kelly – looking every inch the knockout – plants one right on the camera lens, waking up her intended, Jimmy Stewart, and every other red-blooded man in the country.

Marlon Brando and Kim Stanley, A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Stanley is bellowing for her – Stella! – like he’s howling at the moon. She’s supposed to be mad at him but she comes down anyway. He’s on his knees at the foot of the stairs – and she just folds into him, a gesture that is both maternal and surrendering.

Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr, From Here to Eternity (1953)

On the beach. Waves. Sand. Seaweed, no doubt. It’s much more than a kiss, obviously, and yet nothing more explicit is necessary.


Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, The Notebook (2004)

Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis, Witness (1984)

A timeless moment: He’s a cop due to leave the next morning for the big city. She’s Amish, and might have stepped out of the eighteenth century. This kiss has been coming for a long time, and they can’t hold it back any longer.

Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, The Notebook (2004)

“I wrote you 365 letters – every day for a year. It wasn’t over. It still isn’t over.” The rain makes this one special. Apparently Ryan and Rachel hated each other on the movie, though they hooked up a year later and embarked on a rocky on and off romance.

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, Titanic (1997)

This one’s big and sweeping and a bit silly. She’s at the prow of the boat. He’s standing behind her. The sky’s a glorious orange. The camera does a fly past or four. Is it Celine warbling gently in the background – or is it Enya? They kiss for the first time and… Talk about a cold shower: James Cameron cuts to the wreck at the bottom of the Atlantic.

Harvey Keitel and Holly Hunter, The Piano (1993)

Harvey Keitel and Holly Hunter, The Piano (1993)

She’s tinkling the ivories. He kisses a hole in her stocking. And so on. The wife likes this one. A lot.

Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, Spider-Man (2003)

Again with the rain. She’s looking underdressed. He’s wearing a condom several sizes too big, or possibly the Spidey suit, and he is hanging upside down from a thread. Folks, don’t try this one at home.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain (2006)

Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain (2006)

Lust in the dust: Who knew sheep-farmers could get so intense? Gyllenhaal said he almost broke his nose filming the scene, and complained that Heath might have had a shave first.

Tony Leung and Gong Li, 2046 (2004)

Frankly, who wouldn’t want to see these two great looking people get up close and personal? This movie is full of swoony love scenes, but director Wong Kar-Wai seals this particular kiss with the tear drops – one rolling down each side of her face. 

Tony Leung and Gong Li, 2046 (2004)

1 comment

  1. Perfect blog choice for V. Day. I agree with ninety percent of your choices, too. The kiss between Grant and Bergman in Notorious IS the best ever put on film. The kiss between Reed and Stewart while talking on the same phone in It’s a Wonderful Life–pretty damn hot if you ask me. Catch my Queen of the Lot blog at: Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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