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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 ... Wife (as Mrs. George Albert Smith)
George Albert Smith ... Husband
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Storyline

Consisting of three brief shots--an opening point-of-view scene with the camera fixed to the front of the locomotive, or "Phantom Ride"; a saucy middle shot, and a closing scene--pioneer filmmaker George Albert Smith's original short is an excellent example of early continuity editing, which eloquently portrays a loving couple's impromptu expression of affection. As the train enters a short and dark tunnel, the husband decides to display his tenderness with a gentle caress on his wife's chin--and moments later--one joyful peck on the lips leads to another, and then, yet another one, against the backdrop of (simulated) total darkness. Is a daring kiss in the tunnel what it takes to keep his charming lady smiling for the rest of the journey? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1800s | 800s | shot | point | point of view | See All (57) »

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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

Interesting for the use of narrative device
24 February 2008 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

I watched this film on a DVD that was rammed with short films from the period. I didn't watch all of them as the main problem with these type of things that their value is more in their historical novelty value rather than entertainment. So to watch them you do need to be put in the correct context so that you can keep this in mind and not watch it with modern eyes. With the Primitives & Pioneers DVD collection though you get nothing to help you out, literally the films are played one after the other (the main menu option is "play all") for several hours. With this it is hard to understand their relevance and as an educational tool it falls down as it leaves the viewer to fend for themselves, which I'm sure is fine for some viewers but certainly not the majority. What it means is that the DVD saves you searching the web for the films individually by putting them all in one place – but that's about it.

Not unlike my feeling when I saw Lumiere shoot form a leaving train, I was taken by the smooth movement into the tunnel that the film opens with and likewise the exit at the end. I liked it technically but also as a story telling device because it tells the viewer that the middle part of the story in the carriage is occurring in this tunnel. Essentially it has put the viewer on the train. It is an effective narrative tool but you need to remember that at this time there were no set narrative devices like we have now. The conventions of cinematic story telling are so set that we now only notice them when they are shunned. So here this is interesting to watch in regards seeing this early device used.

However the middle section is not as good. A simple static shot that has a man kiss a woman on the cheek with a lot of fuss leading up to it. It is not funny or interesting and seems out of place with the technical strength at the start. Worth a look to appreciate the narrative device but not much more than that.


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