A man whose wife has died remarries, and his new wife has a daughter of her own from a previous marriage. The man's young son, however, who loved his mother deeply and misses her terribly, ... See full summary »
Irene is unhappily married to an older businessman, but very much in love with a handsome young lawyer. He doesn't want to add to her unhappiness by ruining her marriage; she is terrified of her husband's jealousy and anger. They decide to stop seeing each other, and she bides her time with Pierre, a young friend of the family who walks their dogs and is in puppy love with Irene. When Pierre is about to leave for college, he begs her for a goodbye kiss. She agrees, and who should walk in while it is happening, but her ailing and financially distraught husband... Written by
Gary Dickerson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As a fan of Greta Garbo films, I consider each one of them highly entertaining and worth seeking out. The Swedish beauty could captivate the viewer in many of her roles to such extend that she was as popular in movie world as, much later, the Swedish band ABBA was in music world. Yet, when I talk to people who are quite knowledgeable about the early cinema, I usually encounter the opinion that Garbo films let them down. "She was such a dramatic lady," they say "she can still make us cry."
Strange as it may occur, to some extend, this pretentious opinion may be found accurate, particularly when we consider the year 1939 and Garbo's first comedy NINOTCHKA made by Ernst Lubitsch. What a change, what a revelation it was! "A true transformation," some said and indeed, NINOTCHKA proved Garbo's talent in comedy (unfortunately forever bound to fail two years later in TWO FACED WOMAN). But few people know that Garbo had wonderfully modern roles in some other films, roles that can still make your day thanks to their charm and convincing portrayals. One of such films is THE KISS with original musical score, the last silent movie of Garbo and MGM directed by Jacques Feyder with whom Garbo worked later on the German version of "Anna Christie" with Salka Viertel. The uniqueness of THE KISS is the fact that it is very different from all other Garbo films.
The kiss of 'good bye' that cost Irene Guarry (Greta Garbo) so much (which was metaphorically Garbo's farewell to silents) is the representation of all human struggles and desires. Simple as the short story may seem, when you watch the film carefully, you realize that the director aimed at conveying some important and a very up-to-date message for all of us: "Listen to your heart not the tyrants of conventions and misery of duties..." There is a bit of everything in the story: wit, romance, jealousy, pardoning... Consider, for instance, the sequence at the court where we get the masterwork of human situation, individual situation in the mute world.
The film can boast terrific artistic merits with scenes of exceptional charm. Here, a mention must be made of the party at Lasalle, which again proves the glamor of the silent era. But, most things we can appreciate here are there thanks to the Swedish Sphinx... Garbo. The great Greta gives another brilliant performance in the lead but, as it has already been mentioned, her role differs from other of her silent roles in the way that Irene Guarry appears to be a particularly modern character as well as her story appears to be extremely appealing to modern audience. It is not as much her vehicle as the story which captivates certain viewers. That, however, does not mean that we easily forget the great actress whose presence illumines the moments and supplies them with unique power. There are exceptional shots of Garbo's face. Consider, for instance, the moment she looks at herself in the mirror. Perhaps not as great as the ultra famous moment in FLESH AND THE DEVIL but also highly worth attention. What a great beauty she was!
So to speak, THE KISS is a very important movie in both Garbo's career and the history of MGM. It occurs to be a great farewell to the silent era, an interesting look at life situation filled with the affection that any kiss deserves... And for Garbo fans somewhere there in the world: a different look at the famous Swede, yet, unique and magnetic as always.
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