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Screen Kisses: From The Kiss to One Day

Updated June 27, 2011

The electrifying kiss between Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) in One Day inspired us to look back at other great screen kisses.

The Kiss of Cinema
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)
The Kiss of Cinema

The Kiss of Cinema

At the beginning of One Day, when recently acquainted Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) turn to embrace and kiss on an empty Edinburgh street, the moment is mesmerizing. In all great kisses, like Alfred Eisenstaedt’s iconic “V-J Day in Times Square,” the moment feels at once fully present and frozen in time and memory. While kissing has been around (we hope) since time’s beginning, representing romantic kissing is a pretty recent affair.  Although there are notable exceptions –– like Giotto di Bondone’s 1266 “Legend of St Joachim, Meeting at the Golden Gate” –– the romantic kiss really started to pop up in paintings, sculpture and photography in the 19th and 20th century. In 1896, the kiss was first planted on the face of cinema. And there it found its greatest medium. From the moment when May Irwin and John Rice puckered up for Edison’s cameras onward, filmmakers have been trying to capture the perfect kiss, that moment of embrace, at once fleeting and forever remembered. A kiss may be still a kiss, but as we find out, some kisses are more memorable than others.