The most erotic kiss in film history – Notorious

The great erotic moment in “Vertigo” is the one where the man kisses the woman of his fantasy, while the room whirls around him. There is a parallel scene in “Notorious,” and it was famous at the time as “the longest kiss in the history of the movies.” It was not, however, a single kiss, as Tim Dirks points out in his essay on the film (www.filmsite.org/noto.html).

The production code forbade a kiss lasting longer than three seconds, and so Bergman and Grant alternate kissing with dialogue and eyeplay, while never leaving one another’s arms. The sequence begins on a balcony overlooking Rio, encompasses a telephone call and a discussion of the dinner menu, and ends with a parting at the apartment door, taking three minutes in all…

via Notorious :: rogerebert.com :: Great Movies.

On screen Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant were smokin’ hot:

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A fascinating comment from George Kaplan which I’d like to highlight concerning the twisted romance of Hitchcock’s “Notorious”:

I agree about Notorious in particular. The kissing scene. Wow. Interesting that it’s so *dark* tho’. Ingrid is pushed to go through some pretty tough things before Devlin comes to his senses. She’s proving her goodness and love by doing things that people (men in particular) would judge her for. Devlin takes some time to realize her sacrifices but it’s gratifying when he does, even at the last possible moment. Odd, that although he’s a weasel we feel some sympathy for Claude Rains at the end. Well, a little.

Notorious, Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman

17 comments

  1. George Kaplan

    Vickie cara mia (!), it is the most erotic kiss, isn’t it? The production code obstacles forced Hitch and Co. to create something *more* powerful, so thank you Mr Hayes!
    To be soft-hearted (and, perhaps, -headed) I’m very pleased and beyond flattered that you quoted from my rambling (a little embarrassed when I read what I wrote though, I get the image of Our Gang’s Alfalfa or Curly from the Three Stooges pontificating with pipe in mouth!), you’ve made my day.
    Have a dazzling and romantic St Valentine’s.
    Sending you a (Notorious) X from George K.

  2. On the topic of kissing… I hate watching and listening to today’s kissing scenes — at least the ones where you hear the salvia exchange… do you know what I’m talking about? (When it’s prolonged and sounds like someone eating a sloppy sandwich I get grossed out.) Don’t get me wrong, a great kissing scene, when done well, is something I live for. I love romance, sexual tension, etc. I just hate the sound of saliva! haha!
    Back in the day they captured every ounce of romance and lust because they did it in a way that was discreet.

    • I would give an Academy Award to the Sound Editor who spared us the smacking, sloppy, lip-lock! I do know what you mean. What I don’t understand is why nobody thinks to tone the sound down… Although, I have been known to take earplugs to movies I know will be noisy, so maybe I’m not the best judge.
      Let’s hear it for discreet!

  3. Well I have never seen that Hitchcock and now I want to.Not hard to make me want to watch Hitchcock movies anyway.I love the discreet way its all done,such a difference from today.Maybe its that sort of thing that makes me want to watch this sort of film again and again.Very,very few films made now make me want to do that.At he moment of writing I am casually asking myself which films over the last ten years I would watch again and although I am not exactly sitting here with a pen and paper none come spontaneously to mind.I think thats for a reason as well and not just some nostalgic reason on my part.Most of the films that popped into my head were at least thirty years old.

  4. Heather in Arles

    le sigh. *let me take a moment to reconstruct myself out of being a pool of sentimental goo on the floor*

    See? That is one of the many reasons why I love Hitch. He uses some of the most stunning or delightfully simple techniques, ruses and stylistic advances. I have watched this fine film several times and yet never thought twice about this one long kiss because I was too busy swooning!
    Thanks Ms V and Mr K for making me appreciate it even more…

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