It all started in 1896 when “The May Irwin Kiss” was not only one of the first films ever to be shown commercially to the public, but also the first ever “film kiss”. The film kiss is almost inevitable in Hollywood and a necessity in the Romance. “The May Irwin Kiss” caused a scandalized uproar and sometimes even calls for police action in many places where it was shown. It was simply considered inappropriate to view two physically-unattractive people magnified on the screen during an extended kiss.

May Irwin and John Rice in The Kiss (1896)

Today, we are luckily not that sensitive anymore, and there are some pretty remarkable “film kisses” in the history of cinema. The film kiss can either be the satisfying “they finally got each other”-kiss or the heart-breaking “if they love each other they have to leave each other”-kiss, but it can also be a friendly “I’ll always be here”-kiss. Either way, they always leave us with some sort of emotion. Here are some emotional film kisses for you.

Jean Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg in À bout de souffle (1960)
Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina in Pierrot le Fou (1965)
Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind (1939)
Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita (1960)
Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Liv Ullmann and Bibi Anderson in Persona (1966)
Anne Wiazemsky and Balthazar in Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)
Scarlett Johansson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Matchpoint (2005)
Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Mathew Goode and Colin Firth in A Single Man (2009)
Diane Keaton and Woody Allen in Annie Hall (1977)
Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk in A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
James Stewart and Grace Kelly in Rear Window (1954)
Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)

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