Oscar History

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Feb 10 2019

Great Moments in Screen Kissing: Notorious (1946)

For the next few days Team Experience will be sharing favourite screen kisses.Here's Seán...

Seán here in Berlin,sayinghallo!to you with the adequate amount of Prussian warmth.I'll be filling you in with all my hot takes on only a handful of the myriad of films premiering at the Festspiele.But first a quick wink to one of my favourite on-screen kisses (the whole lot of them).

Alfred Hitchcock was a master of genre and form,leaving behind a body of work admired by scholars and movie lovers alike.Aside from being a good,old,problematic trickster on set,he also knew how to do it within the confines of the screen.The Production Code which outlined what was decent and indecent on film had a long list of cuttable offenses.Even toilets were verboten.But what if the inclusion of one was essential to the story,as it was when Marion Crane disposes of a letter inPsycho?Hitchcock knew how to skirt the rules andNotorious(1946) is one of the best examples of this...

Using the retrictions of the day,Hitchock and his stars created what might actually be one of the most sustained and erotic kisses of screen history.

Lasting no more than 3 seconds,a kiss certainly couldn't be open mouthed either.If a scene violated a rule it had to be cut.But as Hitchcock proved inPsycho,by including essential dialogue or plot points in the same scene with the offense meant that cutting it could ruin the picture.InNotorious,Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman smooch,nuzzle,nibble,peck and press lips against each other,breaking continuously and getting all wrapped up in each other again.Hitchcock may also have created one of the most realistic on-screen kisses as these two so clearly have the hots for each other.Sometimes it's the little things that have the biggest impact.

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Reader Comments (5)

One of the great film romances- Grant and Bergman are true movie stars

February 10,2019 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

This whole movie is just so perfect.All of it so infused with sex and passion and this cool sense of grown up,intelligent people going through doubt and pain because they're palpably obsessed with each other.

Ah,the days when character insight and genre skill went hand in hand...

February 10,2019 | Unregistered Commentergoran

I love this movie.It was the first movie I saw that really captured intense love,and you've captured one of the scenes - but also the scene where Grant goes to get Hepburn when she's been poisoned - she is halfway asleep but says "tell me you love me again,it keeps me awake"and then they descend that staircase,famously lengthened by Hitchcock.Ahh!So wonderful.

February 11,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

@Rebecca,i tink u meant Bergman,not Hepburn

It's a crime tt both Bergman n Grant were o/looked for a nom!!

Bergman shld've won her 1st Oscar for this,not the insufferable Gaslight.

February 11,2019 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

Bergman and Grant are amazing,and yet the best part of the movie is Claude Rains,playing the villain who falls madly in love with her.

February 11,2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeter W

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