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A Kiss in the Tunnel (1899)

The Kiss in the Tunnel (original title)
A humorous subject intended to be run as a part of a railroad scene during the period in which the train is passing through a tunnel.
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Cast

Credited cast:
Laura Bayley Laura Bayley ... (as Mrs. George Albert Smith)
George Albert Smith
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Storyline

A train moves down the track. In a car, seated next to each other in a companionable way, is a couple who are reading, probably wife and husband. As the train enters a tunnel, the man abandons his reading, turns to the woman, and kisses her; she is somewhat reluctant. As the train leaves the tunnel, they return to their books. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Romance

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Details

Country:

UK

Release Date:

November 1899 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Kiss in the Tunnel See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

George Albert Smith Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Contains of the earliest shots of the technique called "phantom ride". This entails the camera and or cameraman positioned onto the front of the train, here, and the viewer then gets the viewpoint / experience of being at the forefront of the then moving train. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Acute comedy about social codes and potential freedom.
22 December 2000 | by Alice LiddelSee all my reviews

Only a couple of years after the scary documentary 'Arrivee d'un train', and the cinema's gone all Freudian on us. The camera watches as a train emerges from a tunnel, towards which it then moves, placed as it is on the engine. This documentary shot cuts to a flagrantly artificial set, as a bourgeois couple sit among their many purchases, on their way home after a day's shopping.

In public (out shopping) and in private (at home) they must keep up a rigid, Victorian, bourgeois facade. In a train, though, in a dark tunnel, they are allowed brief liberty, as the husband kisses a protesting, though not unwilling wife, before propriety returns with the tunnelless daylight. This film is given extra frisson by the knowledge that the couple are played by the director and his wife.

This kind of equation of trains with sex would become a cliche, most wittily used by Hitchcock in films like 'The 39 Steps', 'The Lady Vanishes' and 'North by Northwest'. Where this film scores is in its paradoxical awareness - the natural desires of a married couple find expression in an 'artificial' setting, which expresses a truer reality; while the repressive, artificial world of codes, strictures and taboos are equated with the 'natural', when, of course, they are anything but.

The film also links the train, the cinema and sex, the idea of being in the dark and letting your fantasies take off away from society; the difference between public and private blurred by new technologies.


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